Jenna Ortega (Scream) has seamlessly stepped into the iconic role of Wednesday Addams in the Netflix series Wednesday. But in doing so, she wanted to make sure that it was original to her and the audience excited to see the story come back to life, again.
Christina Ricci, who portrayed Wednesday Addams in the ’90s movie The Addams Family and Addams Family Values, recently interviewed Ortega for Interview Magazine. The two talked about diving into the role, how Ortega is making it her own, and how they worked to make this well-known character timeless.
“Honestly, it was more difficult than I was anticipating because everything that you did is so flawless,” Ortega told Ricci when asked who she wanted to reinterpret the role.
“It’s a completely different thing,” Ricci commends Ortega in return for her reinterpretation.
Ortega worked hard to keep the essence of Wednesday in the Netflix series without it being repetitive and unoriginal. She couldn’t deliver a knockoff performance of Christina Ricci’s character. No one can.
“I feel like the script was very reminiscent of ’90s Wednesday,” Ortega told Ricci as they started breaking down the ins and outs of this beloved character. “It was really important to me that I wasn’t doing a knockoff of your performance, and it was different.”
In admitting she didn’t want to copy Ricci’s Wednesday Addams, the two actresses bonded in the interview over the work that goes into making the character truly theirs. In addition, Ricci understands Ortega’s struggle to bring Wednesday’s callous humor to a teenage version of the Addams icon.
“When someone is saying really dark, twisted things out of a place of pure honesty and innocence, that naive aspect of a child, it’s a bit different when you get older and become a teenager because then you just sound like a bitch,” Ortega expressed. “You don’t want her to be nasty.”
Ricci agreed and shared that she was told in rehearsals that as a teenager in the sequel, Wednesday’s delivery was coming off as “nasty and bratty.” However, what isn’t bratty is Wednesday’s new style in the Addams family reboot and how Ortega worked with the crew to make it something memorable.
As for Christina Ricci’s role in the Wednesday series, it’s still kind of a mystery. We know her name is Marilyn Thornhill, and she is a sort of den mother at Wednesday’s new school Nevermore Academy. But her relationship to Jenna Ortega’s character is being kept a tight secret.
Nevertheless, we will be seated.
Wednesday premieres on November 23, 2022, on Netflix.