From the comedic and gory scenes down to the superb casting, fans can’t get enough of Wednesday, a spin-off series of Tim Burton-directed Addams Family. Currently, it is the most streamed series on Netflix with a total of 411.29 million viewing hours this week—just two weeks since its release.
Fans are particularly curious about its lead star, Jenna Ortega, who amassed over ten million Instagram followers in ten days after the series' release. She's even gone viral on social media for her character's now-iconic dance that inspired a new TikTok challenge.
Below, we list four things that you should know about Jenna, the star behind the feisty, gothic student of Nevermore Academy.
1. Jenna, the little 'drama queen'
Fans are interested to know about the actress' ethnicity. In fact, the top query on Google search in the Philippines is whether Jenna is Filipino or not. She is actually Hispanic with Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage.
Ortega was born on Sept. 27, 2002—a Libra— in La Quinta, California, Unita, and has five siblings. She stands 5'1" tall, but her achievements as an artist is continuing to grow taller, spending more than half of her life in the industry.
She first got interested into acting when she was six years old. Although her parents initially were against it, her mom gave her a dramatic monologue book to study. Her mom filmed one of her reenactments and shared it on Facebook with the caption: "Jenna my Drama Queen!"
Later, Jenna was discovered by a friend of her mom who knows a casting director. The rest, they say, is history.
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Her acting career officially started when she was ten years old, debuting in the movie After Words starring Marcia Harden.
Since then, she had been part of several movies and TV shows, playing notable roles like the young Jane in Jane the Virgin, Lorraine in the horror film X, and Ellie in the second season of psychological-thriller series You.
Jenna also appeared in Days of Our Lives, Rob, Iron Man 3, Disney's Stuck in the Middle, Netflix's Yes Day, and was one of the leading voices in the Disney film, Elena of Avalor.
2. She is (almost) Wednesday Addams in real life
In one of her interviews, Jenna shared that she was mostly compared to Wednesday Addams her entire life basically because of her fashion sense. Growing up, she used to love black and white, button-ups, and white collared shirts.
“I love dark colors. It really pains me to wear a color sometimes,” she said. She is also most likely to be associated with the character with her way of interacting, "I think because I tend to be very dry and monotone.”
Another similarity to Wednesday was revealed in an interview with WIRED. Jenna casually said that she used to perform autopsies on small animals, specifically dead lizards she finds in their backyard.
"[I] used to perform autopsies on little animals when I was younger,” she said, describing herself as a “weirdo.”
3. Jenna has been linked to actors and singers
When it comes to love, the actress is mum about her personal life. Although, Jenna has been linked to a few Hollywood stars as well.
In 2017, Jenna was rumored to be dating singer Jacob Sartorius after her appearance in his music video, Chapstick, wherein they shared a kiss. But it was revealed months later that he was in a relationship with Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, they broke up later in 2018.
A year after that, Jenna was also linked to actor Asher Angel. The two were spotted together at fashion shows and events, including the Just Hared Halloween Party where they dressed up as then-couple Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson. However, the two never addressed the rumor.
4. Jenna is a youth advocate
Apart from being an actor, Jenna is also an advocate for women and minorities, as well as an LGBTQ+ ally.
Speaking to Forbes, she said that she wants to encourage the youth and women to speak out their beliefs.
“There is no excuse to not speak up. It doesn't matter if you have five followers or a million followers. It doesn't matter your age where you come from. Every voice is important,” she said.
One advocacy that she is very vocal about is raising awareness about AIDS.
In her 2017 speech during the WE Day, Jenna encouraged young people to be involved and raised their awareness about AIDS, "I want to help eliminate the stigma of AIDS and get people talking about it. Make it normal. Bring it up. It's a disease that affects all of us.”