Matching the title, Netflix released all 8 episodes of the dark fantasy series Wednesday last Wednesday. The daughter of the famous Addams Family is sent to a magical boarding school, where she solves a series of murders and uncovers old family secrets. Wednesday is embodied by horror star Jenna Ortega, who starred in this year’s new Scream installment.
Ortega’s dry yet accomplished portrayal of the character is lauded by nearly all reviews. the chaotic filming of the Netflix series were no help to her.
This is how Jenna Ortega describes the difficult Wednesday shoot
Wednesday – Trailer (German subtitles) HD
Jenna Ortega spoke a few weeks ago with Christina Ricci about the special challenges of the role. Ricci iconicly embodied the character in two Addams Family installments in the ’90s and is also in Wednesday. Not only Ricci’s overwhelming role model made it difficult for Ortega to access Wednesday. Also the “stressful” Production conditions put a strain on the 20-year-old and probably the entire cast.
I have panicked my parents every nightbecause the job felt different than anything else I’ve done before, where I’ve usually had time to empathize with the character
The shooting did not take place in the USA, but in Romania. Once there, the tightly scheduled production obviously didn’t waste a second.
In Romania we immediately started training and shooting. We didn’t have time for rehearsals. It was very stressful and confusing. I did my best, but it was the most overwhelming job I’ve ever had.
The Wednesday executives wanted different versions of the character
Tim Burton (Sleepy Hollow) shot the first 4 episodes of the season and shaped the style of the series. He gave the remaining 4 episodes to the directors Gandja Monteiro and James Marshall. The problem: The trio of directors did not agree on their vision for the main character.
We are from Tim [Burton] switched to someone else, and then back to Tim, and then someone else again. Tim wanted me [als Wednesday] show no emotion at all. He wanted a smooth surface, which I understand. It’s funny and great unless you want to advance a plot.
This resulted in creative conflicts, from which Jenna Ortega in particular suffered.
There were a lot of struggles like this because I felt like I wasn’t trusted when trying to find my own way. Like, ‘Okay, that’s her story, this is where she gets emotional.’
“I remember after the first month I was just exhausted”
Normally, such creative subtleties are discussed and coordinated beforehand in the directing team, in the writers room and of course during rehearsals with the cast. But not on Wednesday.
And so then we jumped into the first episode and so much happened. You have to introduce the whole story.
In addition, Ortega had to acquire the many special skills that characterize Wednesday while shooting:
While I’m still orienting myself, I have to learn the cello and archery and all that.
But the biggest problem was the many creative influences that blocked each other.
There never was so many cooks in the kitchen. I was completely lost and confused. I don’t usually have a problem speaking up. […] But I remember after the first month I was just done.
Ortega does not directly criticize any of the people involved, but rather the general chaotic circumstances. She highlights Tim Burton, who is one of her many supportive “rock” has been.
How the chaos of shooting is expressed in the Netflix series
As I said, Jenna Ortega’s performance in Wednesday is universally acclaimed. Her dedication to the role can be felt in every scene. The fact that her character development sometimes seems bumpy and jerky is due to the disagreements described, which in turn is to blame for the tight shooting schedule.
That’s how they are first 4 episodes of Tim Burton are clearly the funniest of the season. In every episode, Wednesday serves at least one dry one-liner that she doesn’t bat an eyelid to. The humor is macabre and dark – Wednesday wants to rest in a morgue and torture her brother. This sardonic element abruptly breaks away after episode 4. Wednesday’s wall dissolves, the tone of the series becomes softer and warmer.
Tim Burton staged Wednesday as a puzzle. His successors transformed her into a more approachable anti-heroine.
Netflix’ 1899 in Podcast: With explanations and theories from the dark masterminds
The new mystery series 1899 invites you to puzzle over Netflix. We unravel the twists and turns of season 1, explain the ending and show where the dark mystery path could lead.
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Guests in the stream are Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, who as series creators of 1899 and Dark already leave some hints about twists and season 2.
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How did you like Wednesday?