Jenna Ortega changed ‘Wednesday’ script without telling writers
The ‘Wednesday’ actress tinkered the scripts for the show to add depth and nuance to her character.
Jenna Ortega portrays the titular character of the deadpan and witty Wednesday Addams in Netflix’s ‘Wednesday’. Since the series premiere in November 2022, the show has gone on to be a massive hit, surpassing even ‘Stranger Things 4′ with over a billion hours watched.
However, in a recent interview, Ortega admitted to making changes to her character’s dialogue without informing the writers. This was done because, according to the Latina actress, many of the original scripts made no sense to her from a character perspective.
Tweaking the script
Ortega told the “Armchair Expert” podcast: “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,” she added. “It wasn’t… I didn’t know what the tone was, or what the score would sound like.”
A darker tone seems like a logical decision for the series given that Wednesday is famously a morbid character along with the rest of her family.
“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,” she continued. “Everything that Wednesday does, everything I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all.
Despite the dialogue changes, there were still aspects of the script that Ortega did not agree with, yet it made it into the show.
“Her being in a love triangle? It made no sense,” she said. “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 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 do certain things.”
Creating a more three-dimensional Wednesday
These changes were arguably for the better as Ortega managed to add more depth to her character. Wednesday isn’t just morbid or monotonous, but has a clear character journey throughout the show’s first season.
“I grew very, very protective of her,” Ortega went on. “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.”
The actress reportedly went back and forth on how to depict Wednesday with series director and producer Tim Burton.
“There were a lot of battles like that because I felt like people didn’t always trust me when I was creating my path in terms of, ‘Okay, this is her arc. This is where she gets emotional,’” she said
There’s no doubt that this version of Wednesday Addams has been a hit with fans as some refer to Ortega’s version as one of the best portrayals of the character alongside Christina Ricci’s.