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Wednesday Creators Talk S02 Plans; Confirm Jenna Ortega Choreography

On the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast, Wednesday's Al Gough & Miles Millar discuss Season 2 & Jenna Ortega's choreography.

This week's edition of the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast features two individuals who host Michael Rosenbaum knows all too well. Wednesday series creators Al Gough and Miles Millar (though we have a feeling most of you also know them by Smallville) are in the studio to dish on how things went and where things are going with the Jenna Ortega-starring Netflix series. And they cover a wide range of topics, from getting Tim Burton aboard (and how he filmed with only one camera) to keeping production going through the pandemic, to shopping the series to a steady stream of studios who said no and more. And that's before we get into the Smallville talk – but that's another story for another post (stay tuned).

Wednesday. Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in episode 104 of Wednesday. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

But for this go-around, Gough & Millar are touching upon two topics that tend to be at the top of everyone's lists. First up, the duo discusses how the first season focused so much on Ortega's Wednesday to help establish the character & the universe that it gives them opportunities in the second season to expand the universe in ways that focus on more characters and their respective storylines. Rosenbaum asked them if the second season means that Netflix gives them pretty much gives them free rein, but the duo shared that the streamer was creatively hands-off during the first season (except when Gough & Millar wanted them involved). And then there's the matter of "The Dance" – with Gough & Millar putting to rest any rumblings that it wasn't Ortega who choreographed her own dance (leaving a hired choreographer with a lot of free time). And even as the footage was still being edited, Gough & Millar believed that they may have had an on-screen dance moment on par with Pulp Fiction. Here's a look at the complete episode of the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast (subscribe here), with the "dance" talk kicking in at around the 54:50 mark and the Season 2 talk around the one-hour mark:

Back in March, Ortega checked in with Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast – and our biggest takeaway? It sounded like the vast majority of the Wednesday Addams that we saw on our screens had a lot to do with Ortega making changes on the fly without consulting the writing team and holding her ground when it came to what worked best for her character. That may be one of the reasons why Ortega will begin work on the second season with a new title – executive producer. Here's a look at some key highlights from the podcast:

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in episode 101 of Wednesday. Cr. Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022

"Wednesday" Didn't Start Out Dark: "When I read the entire series, I realized, 'Oh, this is for younger audiences.' When I first signed onto the show, I didn't have all the scripts. I thought it was going to be a lot darker. It wasn't… I didn't know what the tone was or what the score would sound like."

Ortega on Why She Needed to Be "Almost Unprofessional" at Times: "I don't think I've ever had to put my foot down more on a set in a way that I had to on 'Wednesday.' Everything that Wednesday does, everything I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all. Her being in a love triangle? It made no sense. There was a line about a dress she has to wear for a school dance and she says, 'Oh my god, I love it. Ugh, I can't believe I said that. I literally hate myself.' I had to go, 'No.' There were times on that set where I even became almost unprofessional in a sense where I just started changing lines. The script supervisor thought I was going with something, and then I had to sit down with the writers, and they'd be like, 'Wait, what happened to the scene?' And I'd have to go and explain why I couldn't go do certain things.'"

Ortega Was "Protective" of Wednesday's Need for an "Emotional Arc": "I grew very, very protective of her. You can't lead a story and have no emotional arc because then it's boring, and nobody likes you. When you are little and say very morbid, offensive stuff, it's funny and endearing. But then you become a teenager, and it's nasty, and you know it. There's less of an excuse."

Jenna Ortega on Wednesday S02 Writers' Room, Grueling Filming Cycle

During a Q&A panel hosted by Netflix, Ortega shared what it was like bringing the series to life – and she didn't mince words. "It was show up to set two hours early, do that 12-14 hour day, then go home and then get on a Zoom and have whatever lesson that I had. Or show up to my apartment; my cello teacher was already waiting for me. It was just constantly going, and if you could on a weekend, if we weren't shooting the sixth day that week, it was 'All right, well then, we'll get your lessons in on that day,'" Ortega shared when describing how "free time" was just more time spent training for whichever skill was needed in front of the camera next. In fact, Ortega's fencing and cello lessons began several months before she flew out to Romania for the eight-month filming. "I did not get any sleep. I pulled my hair out. There's so many FaceTime calls that my dad answered of me hysterically crying," Ortega shared, citing her performance of "Paint It Black" as an example, a two-cello piece made to accommodate one that he learned even after having to change instructors with the move overseas.

"I didn't know where my hands were even supposed to go, and then I had to make two cellos come out of one cello, which was ridiculous," Ortega said, explaining that she wanted to do right by how she represented cellists. But as production rolled on and the filming schedule tightened, Ortega revealed that others had to step in to cover some scenes. "We started running out of time because Wednesday's in pretty much every scene. They had to start using stunt doubles or occasionally cello doubles if they didn't have time to get hands, but I was very adamant about being as well prepared as possible because I wanted them to be able to use myself because that's so much more believable if you could see your face," she added.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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