‘Wednesday’ team explains how they turned the show’s weirdest character into an instant fan favorite

Thing became one of the fan-favorite characters in Netflix’s spooky hit show Wednesday, and its creation was a mix of digital magic and practical effects to make it all happen.

In an interview with Variety, the man behind the hand, real-life magician Victor Dorobantu and the visual effects supervisor discussed how the process worked. One part was Dorabantu’s ability to use his hand effectively and the other was the prosthetic tail-end of the hand placed atop Dorabantu’s wrist that created the illusion. There were four or five versions of it, and Turnbull discussed how much it brought the story:

“As soon as we put the stump on and did the scene, it was amazing. The transformation — you suddenly no longer saw the actor; it was completely game-changing. And that’s what really, I think, brought Thing to life.”

Although Wednesday is a loner by nature, her closest confidante was her disembodied hand who not only helped her solve the mysteries surrounding Nevermore Academy but also tried to help her become a better person. Thing would guide her in a more amiable direction and make sure she involved herself in the lives of others, and out of all the characters on the show, she probably respected Thing the most.

The use of the stump was inspired by a similar prosthetic used in The Addams Family (1991) to pull off the disembodiment illusion. That movie also used a stump, and Turnbull believed that doing so helped limit the extra rotoscoping and compositing work for the production. The effect was a success as Thing’s scenes are convincingly realistic rather than excessively computer-generated.

Dorabantu wore a full-body blue screen suit and his body was painted out in post-production. He explained how this method allowed him to focus his efforts on his performance.

“The blue suit really helped me a lot — not only the VFX guys — because when I was looking at my hand, I was ignoring everything that was blue — so, the rest of my body — and I was trying to channel all of my energy and thoughts into my hand.”

One of the other moments that has taken the world by storm is Wednesday’s iconic dance she performs at the Rave’N. The scene shows her dancing eclectically using a series of dance moves inspired by different elements. It’s become a TikTok sensation and many people have now recreated the scene to show their appreciation for the character and show.

Wednesday is available to stream on Netflix.