Wednesday Creators Talk Relationships in Season 2; COVID/Jenna Ortega
After blowing past 1B hours viewed in jaw-dropping time and earning some positive public comments from Netflix about what the future holds, it's safe to say that the prospects of a second season look very promising for Miles Millar, Al Gough & Tim Burton's Jenna Ortega (Wednesday Addams), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Morticia Addams), Luis Guzmán (Gomez Addams) & Isaac Ordonez (Pugsley)-starring Wednesday. Millar & Gough spoke with The Hollywood Reporter for a rather extensive deep dive into "The Addams Family" spinoff. And while the full interview is definitely worth your time, there were two topics covered that we wanted to pass along. First, Gough shares where things could be heading for Wednesday and her classmates with a second season. Following that, Millar addresses their decision to have Ortega film her dance scene at the Rave'N Dance while awaiting the results of a COVID test (with Ortega sharing her thoughts following).
Gough on Nevermore Academy Closure as an Opportunity to Explore Relationships: "We wanna sort of explore and sort of complicate all of those relationships going forward. The school was closed when they left, which gave us the most possibilities for season two, and I think that's something that we're excited to explore. For us, the show also is really about this female friendship, with Wednesday and Enid really being at the center of that. The fact that they really connected with audiences, it has been really gratifying. So, we're excited to explore now that Wednesday's dipped her toe into the friendship pool; what's that gonna look like? It's like, she hugged. That was her big arc for the season, right? So it's like now, we do that. Then, the other thing that's really interesting is to continue to explore the Wednesday-Morticia mother-daughter relationship as well, which, now that Morticia knows about the power, it has given her sort of an idea of how that's going to go. How is their relationship going to evolve?"
Millar Emphasizes COVID Protocols "Were Enforced" During Dance Scene Filming: "What we can say is that we had extremely stringent COVID protocols that were enforced all the way through the dance. Jenna tested negative the day before, and only when a positive test came back, and as soon as it did, she was escorted off the set and went into quarantine for, I think 10 days. It's one of those Chinese whispers elements. Every test, every protocol was explicitly followed, and there was no compromising of that in any decision to keep filming and film Jenna ill or sick; it was never a discussion. If she had been, we would've closed and let her rest, the health and well-being of the cast and crew was and always is paramount to us and everybody at MGM and Netflix. So, it was one of those things that basically was sort of blown out of proportion in terms of a story, which we understand, but the facts speak for themselves in terms of every protocol was followed, and the protocols were stringent in terms of double-masking, PCR tests every single day."
Wednesday: Jenna Ortega on Filming Dance Scene with COVID
Speaking with NME, Ortega explained how the dance routine came about. "I choreographed that myself! I'm not a dancer, and I'm sure that's obvious. I'd gotten the song [The Cramps, "Goo Goo Muck'"] about a week before, and I just pulled from whatever I could," she revealed. But it's this last part that should probably be getting more attention than it is: "It's crazy because it was my first day with COVID, so it was awful to film."
So let's roll things back again for a second because what Ortega casually put out there was that she was physically performing a routine during filming while in the beginning stages of COVID. And based on how Ortega describes it, this was definitely a lot more than just sniffles and chest cold. "Yeah, I woke up and – it's weird, I never get sick, and when I do, it's not very bad – I had the body aches. I felt like I'd been hit by a car and that a little goblin had been let loose in my throat and was scratching the walls of my esophagus. They were giving me medicine between takes because we were waiting on the positive result," Ortega detailed. And even after going through all of that to capture that series-defining scene, Ortega is still critical of her performance: "I asked to redo it but we didn't have time. I think I probably could have done it a bit better." Series production company MGM confirmed to NME that "strict COVID protocols were followed and once the positive test was confirmed production removed Jenna [Ortega] from set."
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