As you read this, Jenna Ortega (Wednesday Addams) is busy in Romania filming Netflix and Tim Burton's upcoming "The Addams Family" spinoff series Wednesday. Joining Ortega as her on-screen parents are Catherine Zeta-Jones (Morticia Addams), and Luis Guzmán (Gomez Addams), with the series marking Burton's first time tackling series television. Now we're hearing a little more from Ortega about working with Burton as well as what makes developing Wednesday Addams as a teenager so different from how she's been portrayed in the past (and it's not just the age difference). Here's a look at some of the highlights:
A Teenage Wednesday Addams Presents a Particular Set of Challenges: "We've never seen her as a teenage girl. You know, it's funny and sweet and almost charming to hear this eight-year-old's obsession with murder and blood and guts. As she gets older, that nasty attitude or [those] biting remarks, it's almost kind of hard to not make it sound like every other teenage girl. So, it's like, how do we establish this character and give her the same fire without letting her become something that she's not? Also, it's eight-hour series so, for an emotionless character, there has to be some sort of an emotional arc. That's been really interesting to figure out in terms of, okay, well, she's got to be able to push the story forward in some way but how do we keep her true to her deadpan self? It's been a bit of a challenge and I'm curious to see how it plays. I've never had the opportunity to play an iconic character before. I know she's well-loved and well-respected and I just don't want to mess her up."
On Burton's Collaborative Approach to Filmmaking: "That has been really incredible, just being such a fan of his work prior, but also getting to know him and realizing he's the most detail-oriented director I'll ever work with. He's also one of the sweetest directors I think I'll ever work with. I'm really blown away by how collaborative he is and how kind he is."
Gwendoline Christie (The Sandman, Game of Thrones), Riki Lindhome (Knives Out, Another Period), Jamie McShane (Mank, Bloodline), Hunter Doohan (Your Honor, Truth Be Told), Georgie Farmer (Treadstone, The Evermoor Chronicles), Moosa Mostafa (Nativity Rocks!, The Last Bus), Emma Myers (Girl in the Basement, Taste of Christmas), Naomi J. Ogawa (Skylines), Joy Sunday (Dear White People, The Beta Test), and Percy Hynes White (The Gifted, Pretty Hard Cases) are also star. In addition, Issac Ordonez (Pugsley Addams), Victor Dorobantu (Thing), and George Burcea (Lurch) are on board to round out the cast.
Created by Al Gough and Miles Millar, the series finds Wednesday spending her time as a student at the peculiar Nevermore Academy involved in sleuthing some supernatural mysteries. Andrew Mittman for 1.21 (The Addams Family, Alphas), Kevin Miserocchi (Tee and Charles Addams Foundation), Kayla Alpert (Code Black, Up All Night), Jonathan Glickman for Glickmania (RESPECT, Addams Family 2) & Gail Berman (The Addams Family, Alphas) are also part of the production team.