Jenna Ortega (Scream VI) sat down with Dax Shepherd for an episode of his podcast Armchair Expert, and revealed more than a few disappointing memories of working on Netflix’s Tim Burton-produced series Wednesday. Ortega said that she would frequently change lines, refuse to act according to the script, and admitted that she “became unprofessional” because she believed the material that she had been given was torturously poor.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had to put my foot down on a set in the way that I had to on Wednesday,” said the actor. “I grew very, very protective of [Wednesday the character], but you can’t lead a story and have no emotional arc because then it’s boring and nobody likes you.” Ortega didn’t have high hopes for the show’s reception, and says that contemporary viewers are “easy to please” because of the sheer amount of content being shipped out so fast. (If there was ever an interview with an actor that completely validated one of io9's reviews, it’s this one.)
As it turns out, Wednesday was a big Netflix success, and it’s credited with greatly elevating Ortega’s profile. Even so, the actress doesn’t have much of anything positive to say about her experience on set. “I can’t watch my work, but I can go home from set and say, ‘The scene that we shot today felt good.’ On Wednesday, there was not a scene in that show that I went home and was like, ‘OK, that should be fine.’” Ortega has said in previous interviews that the long hours and extensive training she did took a huge toll on her, and had her “hysterically crying,” according to Variety. (As was widely reported, she performed the show’s viral dance number while she was unknowingly sick with covid.)
Ortega took umbrage with the writing above all else. She said on the podcast, “everything that she does, everything that I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all.” With regards to Wednesday’s sarcastic sense of humor, Ortega said, “When you’re little and you say morbid, offensive stuff, it’s funny and endearing and, ‘Aww, you don’t know any better.’ But then you become a teenager, it’s, ‘Now you’re being nasty and you know it.’ There’s less excuse.”
Wednesday has been renewed for a season two, with Jenna Ortega on board as a producer as well as the lead.
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