‘Wednesday’ star Jenna Ortega explains how she communicated with a disembodied hand on set

thing wednesday netflix
Image via Netflix

Netflix looks to have struck gold with Wednesday; seeing as the Addams Family spinoff surpassed the English-language viewership record originally held by season four of Netflix’s flagship franchise Stranger Things, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before we get confirmation of a second season.

Wednesday has just about everything you could ever want for a supernatural coming-of-age drama for young adults: Jenna Ortega‘s starring performance in what could become her most iconic role in her career, an ensemble supporting cast ranging from the bubbly and colorful Enid to the broodier Xavier, and some Addams Family love in the form of Gomez, Morticia, and even Uncle Fester.

Of course, no show of this sort would be complete without an adorable sidekick, and Thing T. Thing, the living human hand, fills that role in the most appropriately macabre way possible.

One might think that Wednesday’s most nimble ally was simply a matter of CGI work, but that would have been far too straightforward for a series of this magnitude. In an interview with ScreenRant, Ortega revealed the wildly multi-faceted process that brought Thing to life, including the use of a real actor; a behind-the-scenes nod to the 90s Addams Family films.

“Tim wanted it to be an actual actor like they did in the 90s films, so it was this magician named Victor [Dorobantu]. He would wear a full blue suit, and he would hide behind walls and underneath beds. Then they built this prosthetic on top of his hand so that it looked like a wrist knob, and he would walk around. Tim really liked his mannerisms, and he would spend hours in hair and makeup every day just getting that hand on.”

The actress would go on to reveal that most of Thing’s hand and finger gestures, which he used to communicate with Wednesday, were made up entirely on the spot; knowledge that would make a rewatch especially worthwhile.

“It was so funny, because the Thing language was just made up on the day. Every day we’d show up and go, “Ahhh…” [hand motions] “That looks right. I feel like I kind of know what he’s saying.””

Wednesday is currently available to stream on Netflix.