Wednesday Season 2 Sees Jenna Ortega Having More Creative Say
Wednesday star Jenna Ortega discusses why she feels "fortunate" and "really lucky" to have more creative say during Season 2 production.
While it's still tough to say when production can get underway, considering the current WGA/AMPTP writers' strike doesn't look to be ending anytime soon, we know at some point the strike will end & Jenna Ortega will be back in front of the cameras for the second season of Wednesday. Except, this time around? Ortega will be taking on a producer role, which means she won't be running into the kind of rough spots that she had to deal with during the first season. But not everyone was open & receptive to Ortega's honesty when she opened up about things like, "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. " From there, Ortega explained why it was important for the person portraying the character to have a more active role in formulating the character overall – and it sounds like that's exactly what she has for this go-around.
Taking part in a roundtable conversation sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter that also included Sheryl Lee Ralph (Abbott Elementary), Elle Fanning (The Great), Ayo Edebiri (The Bear), Natasha Lyonne (Poker Face), and Devery Jacobs (Reservation Dogs), Ortega addressed the importance of having differing opinions in the creative process. "I feel really, really fortunate to be coming on as a producer this time around. I was going to piggyback off of what you [motions to Ayo Edebiri] were saying — any of the best teams or environments that I've been on on set have been people who are very collaborative and wanted to hear different opinions because it's very easy for people to get caught up in their own. I think a project is best when there's as many voices and ideas thrown out as possible," Ortega shared before sharing what her experiences have been like when there isn't that collaborative effort. "I've had experiences in TV where I felt my voice wasn't heard, that I was meant to be a puppet. I've been told on sets, 'You wouldn't know because you're not a writer,' or, 'Just shut up and do your job.' From 12 years old, I've been hearing things like that. So, I went into 'Wednesday' with hesitance. But I was fortunate to be working with someone like Tim Burton, who pulled me in his trailer one day and said that he wanted to be a soundboard for my voice. So, every day, me, him, the writers, we'd get together in the morning and go through sides. But also being younger, being a woman, being of smaller stature."
But even though there may have been some butting of heads at times, Ortega adds that the production eventually did become a "collaborative experience" and that she feels "really lucky" to be in a position to be involved creatively at the very beginning with the writers' room. "I think that because I'm someone who is very opinionated or because I know what it's like to be a people pleaser in this industry, and I know how unhappy or how frustrating it's been in the past – when I went into 'Wednesday' I really put my foot down and made it clear that everything that I had to say mattered and was heard. And as the show went on, we all got a better feel for one another, and it's become a really collaborative experience, and I feel really lucky to be able to be in the room early next season and be talking about scripts and giving notes," Ortega adds.