Netflix is going all out as it counts down to the premiere of its anticipated new series, “Wednesday“. In an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look released on, ahem, Wednesday, the stars and creative team behind the ambitious series peel back the curtain on what went into bringing Wednesday Addams to life, including why leading lady Jenna Ortega turned out to be the only one for the job and intriguing glimpses into the expansive world.
In the eight-episode series, Wednesday attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago – all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore.
As Ortega teases in the video, Wednesday’s new home at Nevermore – “the school for all outcasts” – means the Addams teen will be seen adapting to her new environment. “We follow Wednesday as she navigates this new school, new relationships,” the actress previews. But of course, it being “Wednesday” and all, there’s bound to be a mystery involved – and this one involves serial killers and monsters.
According to showrunners Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, “Wednesday” is not a reboot or a remake, but “a new chapter” in the character’s storied history. “This is really a show about her journey into adulthood,” Gough explains. Added Tim Burton, who is an executive producer/director: “Wednesday is the classic outsider. She sees things in very black and white, mainly black. But in the past incarnations, it’s been very cartoony, so in this longer form, we just tried to give it a reality, which I love.”
Ortega explained that she wanted to differentiate her Wednesday from others in the past, adding that her version of the character is “more socially awkward, there’s a confidence there but it’s concealed.” Noted Gough: “She says the things that the rest of us wish we could say.”
Ortega also revealed that it was crucial that Wednesday, who is a Latinx character in the series, celebrate her heritage and is represented onscreen. “For me, any time that I have an opportunity to represent my community, I want that to be seen.”
The producers praised Ortega, who took cello and fencing lessons to get into character, for being “the key” that unlocked the show. “I watched the movies when I was younger. Wednesday was somebody I always was compared to my entire life,” Ortega shared, while Catherine Zeta-Jones, who plays matriarch Morticia Addams, said her TV daughter’s dry sense of humour and wit helped bring the character to life.
“She’s like a silent movie actress in the sense where she’s able to convey things without words,” Burton said. “To see the inner life and the subtleties was very exciting. And that’s why we’re very lucky to have Jenna because I can’t imagine any other Wednesday.”
“Wednesday” premieres this fall on Netflix.
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