5 Things You Should Know About Jenna Ortega

Lead Photo: Jenna Ortega Photo Credit: Christopher Moss
Jenna Ortega Photo Credit: Christopher Moss
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If someone were to call you the “Next Big Thing” in Hollywood, most people would probably feel at least a little pressure to live up to those expectations. But actress Jenna Ortega, who was labeled that by The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, doesn’t seem too fazed by it. In fact, what she looks forward to the most when thinking about her career moving forward is contributing to other people’s creativity and artistry.

“If there’s any way that I could be supportive in that, or beneficial in that process, I jump at the opportunity to do so,” Ortega said. “I like making people feel things, and I hope that the projects that I do in the future do that.”

In her latest film, X, Ortega plays Lorraine, one of the members of a film crew that travels to a secluded farmhouse in Texas in 1979 to shoot a movie. Plans change, however, when the creepy elderly couple hosting them decide that their guests aren’t going to survive the night.

“There were more layers to [Lorraine] than initially anticipated when I first auditioned,” Ortega told Complex. “She was kind of viewed as somebody who didn’t really speak, like this weakling… It was really exciting to see her put her foot down.”

Here are five interesting facts about Ortega if you want to know more about the 19-year-old actress.

X opens in theaters on March 18, 2022.


How It Started

Ortega has been a professional actress since the age of nine. Her screen debut came during a 2012 episode of the sitcom Rob starring Rob Schneider and Cheech Marin. The following year, she made her film debut with a small role in the Marvel sequel Iron Man 3 where she played the vice president’s daughter. Later, Ortega kept it kid-friendly on Disney Channel shows like Stuck in the Middle and Elena of Avalor.


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Speaking Out

Away from the TV and movie set, Ortega is a strong advocate for LGBTQ rights, gun control,  and immigration rights. At the 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards, in response to then-First Lady Melania Trump wearing a jacket with the words, “I Really Don’t Care. Do U?” while visiting immigrant children, Ortega wore a jacket with the words, “I Do Care And U Should Too.”


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Horror Hound

On the opposite end of her family-friendly projects, Ortega has starred in a handful of horror and thriller movies and TV series in her young career. Her new horror film X is far from her first slasher experience. Along with Scream earlier this year, she’s been featured in Insidious: Chapter 2, The Babysitter: Killer Queen, the horror-comedy Studio 666 with the Foo Fighters and the Netflix series You. She recently told RottenTomatoes that her five favorite horror movies of all time were Insidious, Prom Night, Possession, The Witch, and Persona.


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On the Horizon

Although it might not look like it from her Instagram photo where she’s holding a script for her upcoming TV series Wednesday, Ortega says her version of The Addams Family character will do something that past Wednesday Addams’ haven’t really done before. “My Wednesday will smile,” Ortega told Remezcla during an interview last month. Since the series is being directed by Tim Burton, we’re hoping her smile is as big as the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.


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Spice is Nice

Ortega loves spicy food. So much so, she’s even said that she could drink Tapatío straight from the bottle. “I love hot sauce,” she told New York Magazine. “I’m not afraid of spice. If I could have every meal with hot sauce on it, I would do it. Tapatío is by far my favorite. It has more of a kick than Cholula, and Tabasco doesn’t have enough flavor for me. Tapatío is just a good mix of flavor and spice, and if you know how to use it right, it won’t be too overwhelming.”


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