Jenna Ortega Took Charge on ‘Wednesday’ Set!
In a recent episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, Jenna Ortega, the shining star of Netflix’s series Wednesday, gave us some rather juicy insights into the changes she decided to make on set – and no, we’re not talking about her viral dance number.
Jenna admitted to going off-script – and not in small ways. She talked about completely changing lines of dialogue, without consulting the writers beforehand.
Jenna explained, “Everything that Wednesday does, everything I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all. Her being in a love triangle made no sense.”
When “I Love It” Becomes “No”
For instance, she recalled a line where her character was supposed to gush over a dress for a school dance. “Oh my God, I love it! Ugh, I can’t believe I said that.
I literally hate myself.” Jenna took a firm stance on this – “No.” – and began to change lines so much that she described herself as “almost unprofessional.” “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?’”
Being Protective of Her Character
Throughout the filming process, Jenna developed a deep attachment to her character, which led her to insist on script changes. Her aim was to make Wednesday more likable and to make the show more believable.
She pointed out, “You can’t lead a story and have no emotional arc, because then it’s boring and nobody likes you.” She further added that while it was endearing for a child to say “morbid, offensive stuff,” it’s not the same with teenagers.
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An Unexpectedly Lighter Tone
In the early days, Jenna expected the show to be darker. After reading the whole series, she realized, “Oh, this is for younger audiences.” The overall tone and direction of the show were a mystery to her.
The Challenges of Filming During a Pandemic
Rewriting lines wasn’t the only challenge Jenna faced during the filming of Wednesday. While performing a dance scene she choreographed herself, she experienced symptoms of COVID-19. Unfortunately, her positive test result didn’t come until after the scene was done.
Reflecting on the ordeal, she revealed that the scene was “awful to film,” and confessed she probably could have “done it a bit better” if she hadn’t been unwell. Time constraints didn’t allow her to reshoot the scene.