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Here's why Jenna Ortega refused to play her iconic ‘Wednesday’ role ‘a couple of times’

By Melanie Uson Published Mar 13, 2023 12:16 pm

Jenna Ortega revealed that she initially did not want to play the role of "Wednesday Addams," saying that she rejected the offer "a couple of times."

In her recent interview with The Sunday Times, the actress said she was leaning towards making films when the project was offered to her via email. She pointed out that she's been spending most of her career doing television series since she was 13. 

"I had done so much TV in my life, all I've ever wanted to do is film," she recalled. Ortega previously took part in the famous television series Jane the Virgin, where she portrayed the young Jane. She also starred in the YouTube series Know It All Nina as well as the Disney Channel series Stuck in the Middle. 

But she changed her mind when she got the chance to meet the series’ executive producer Tim Burton, who she describes as a “legend."

"The only reason I went back is because Tim is such a legend, and we just happened to get along very well. But even then I said, 'Ah, no–I think I’m okay,' a couple of times," she said. Other than directing and producing the hit Netflix series Wednesday, Tim Burton is known for his gothic, horror films Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, and Beetlejuice. 

Ortega’s portrayal of Wednesday became a global hit in 2022, from her monotonous face and tone to her iconic dance.

When asked about the show's success, the actress said it's something she did not see coming.

"I didn’t expect the reaction," Ortega said, sharing that “her fellow cast members weren't expecting much of the series.” 

"So I thought it wasn’t going to be watched. That it will be a nice little gem that someone finds." 

After her iconic portrayal as Wednesday, Ortega is in talks to join the cast of another Tim Burton movie, Beetlejuice 2, where she would play Lydia Deetz. 

Other than Burton’s classics, Ortega has appeared in other works featuring the thriller and/or horror genre, such as the Netflix’s series, You, 2022 film X, and most recently, Scream VI.