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Actress Jenna Ortega has become a viral sensation and icon among young celebrities, particularly for her work in Netflix’s Wednesday.
Wednesday on Netflix showcased Jenna Ortega’s exceptional talent in portraying the iconic character of Wednesday Addams. Ortega’s portrayal brought a fresh and modern twist to the beloved character, capturing the essence of Wednesday’s dark and macabre personality while infusing it with a contemporary edge. Her performance was both captivating and eerily enchanting, drawing viewers into a world where the Addams family’s peculiar charm and love for all things spooky took center stage.
Jenna Ortega’s nuanced performance in Wednesday was praised for her ability to balance the character’s gloomy demeanor with a sense of rebellion and independence. Her chemistry with the rest of the cast, including Emma Myers (Enid Sinclair), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Morticia Addams), and Luis Guzmán (Gomez Addams), to name a few, was palpable, contributing to the show’s undeniable success. Ortega’s take on Wednesday Addams breathed new life into the character, making her a standout in the series, and left a lasting impression on audiences who eagerly followed the Addams family’s peculiar adventures in the show.
Ortega has become an icon due to her ability to play this role so effectively– with the collaboration of Tim Burton— and it has landed her many more opportunities. Prior to playing Wednesday, Ortega became a horror icon by stepping into the Scream franchise (Scream V, Scream VI). She’s set to reprise her role as Tara Carpenter in Scream 7, but that’s not all we’re seeing from the actress.
Speaking of work with Tim Burton, Jenna Ortega is set to play Lydia’s daughter in Warner Bros’ sequel to Beetlejuice. The film is expected to be released in 2024, but the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes– which have actually affected Ortega’s ability to dress up as Wednesday Addams this Halloween season— could have something to say about the release before it’s all said and done.
Though Ortega has become synonymous with some of these roles and looks to have a promising career, it hasn’t always been easy sailing for the 21-year-old. She got her start in the entertainment industry with appearances in commercials and minor roles before landing a breakthrough opportunity on Disney Channel. Ortega’s big break came when she was cast as the lovable, young Harley Diaz in the Disney Channel series Stuck in the Middle (2016-2018).
As Ortega was working through her Disney Channel career and attempting to make a major step in Hollywood, she encountered some roadblocks. Speaking of her experience, Ortega explained in an interview that she was very excited for a family adventure comedy movie that she ultimately saw fall away.
”I was up for a role in a family adventure comedy, with two young actors who are huge stars. (…) I did a reading with the main actor, the chemistry seemed to be there. Despite everything, in the end, it didn’t happen. How I cried when I heard the news!… When I heard the news, I thought, there you go, another door slammed in my face.”
But, this opened up the door for her to look at other roles in Hollywood, including those that she has now become synonymous with.
“I knew I could play more adult and serious roles when I was ready, and in fact I didn’t have to wait very long for the opportunity to present itself. (…) it is God who decides the right time,” she said. “….I know you just have to take risks and see what happens.”
While there may have been some roles that didn’t work out for Jenna Ortega, no one can deny that she is one of the fastest-rising names in Hollywood today, and her work, particularly in Wednesday, has already put her in rarified air.