Jenna Ortega is living the dream with the title role in Netflix’s smash hit Wednesday, but she has revealed she very nearly turned down the role.
Tim Burton’s supernatural comedy horror telling the story of young Wednesday Addams’ coming of age beat Stranger Things for the most amount of streamer hours watched in its first week on Netflix, where it became the second most watched English-language show in the platform’s history.
In her title role, Ortega has swiftly become a global star, not least for her dance scene in the fourth episode, which has become a TikTok craze, her fans across the world creating their own versions.
Now, Ortega – who showed off her comedic chops on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live – has revealed she initially wasn’t interested in the role.
She told the UK’s Times:
“No, I didn’t. I got the email, passed on it. I had done so much TV in my life, all I’ve ever wanted to do is film.
“I was scared that by signing on to another television show it could prevent me from doing other jobs I really wanted and cared about.”
And Ortega revealed it was only the lure of director and exec producer Tim Burton that persuaded her to think again.
“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 OK,’ a couple [more] times.”
Ortega started acting professionally aged just nine and formerly a child star on the Disney Channel, with a lead role in Stuck in the Middle.
More recently, her appearances in chillers such as Insidious: Chapter 2, The Babysitter: Killer Queen, American Carnage and season two of Netflix’s serial-killer series You.
These roles, plus her current outing in Scream VI, have led to some depictions of Ortega as the screen’s current “scream queen.”
She told the Times:
“For some reason people see my face and want to throw blood on it … I don’t know what it is. I’ve had a horror director tell me once my eyes looked like they could be very innocent. It was never intentional, but it’s really fun.”
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