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Jenna Ortega Says ‘It’s a Big Deal’ to Her That a ‘Latina Is Playing Wednesday Addams’ in Netflix’s ‘Wednesday’ Series

Jenna Ortega spent the last few months in a very cold, dark and isolated part of Romania filming “Wednesday,” Netflix’s upcoming Addams Family series.

“It has been hard because we had to be very careful to not get covid,” said Ortega in an interview with mitú.

The 19-year-old Mexican-American has starred in some of the scariest films of the last two years. Her performances in “The Babysitter: Killer Queen,” “Scream,” “Studio 666” and “X” have earned her the title of the new “Scream Queen,” which makes her laugh.

“It’s an honor, I guess,” she said with a shrug. “While I do enjoy horror movies, this wasn’t on purpose. I never set out to be part of the genre. It sort of happened. I am not complaining, though. Those movies are hard to film, but also a lot of fun,” Ortega added.

Maybe the genre was casualidad, but not the fact that her name is starting to be included among the short list of Hollywood’s new generation of superstars. It’s hard to believe that we met her eight years ago as the young Jane in “Jane the Virgin.”

“It’s hard to believe for me too,” she said. 

During the interview, she was getting ready to wrap up the series, but still got goosebumps when she remembered that she was working with Tim Burton on a project awaited by millions of fans around the world.

“I remember Christina Ricci’s Wednesday. She killed it and it’s very important to me to honor her legacy and the role. My abuela, my parents all saw the original series de ‘Los locos Adams’ everybody is familiar with the story,” she said and added with emphasis: “I know what it means that a Latina is playing Wednesday. It’s a big deal to me.”

She is not speaking about the effect the role will have in her already thriving career or the fact that it could keep opening doors for Latinos in Hollywood, “which is also amazing if it helps.” Ortega is very aware of the importance of representation and how incredible it was to see young Latinas enthusiastic when they realized she was the voice of Disney Junior’s “Elena of Avalor.”

“When you see people that look like you doing things of value, you realize that you have value too. It also opens in your head a world of possibilities,” she expressed. Her world of possibilities has included working with some of her idols like Foo Fighters Dave Grohl in “Studio 666,” Courteney Cox in “Scream,” and Jennifer Garner in “Yes Day.”

According to Netflix, the eight episode series “follows Wednesday Addams’ years as a student, when she attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart and solve the mystery that embroiled her parents.” 

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán play those parents Morticia and Gomez Addams, while Netflix revealed that Ricci herself is part of the cast.

Ortega mentioned that while it’s “a coming of age series,” it’s far from the comedic tone that has ruled previous Addams family projects.

“It’s Tim, ok? – think ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘Corpse Bride’ — by now, people know his style. I can’t say much, just that Wednesday is at the Nevermore Academy, trying to understand herself and the weird environment around her. There is also some detective work. I hope people like it. It’s nothing they have seen before, but fits perfectly with what we know about the Addams.”

This article has been updated for clarity.

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