Why Jenna Ortega Has Mixed Feelings About 'Wednesday' Despite Its Success

Stepping into the role of the dark, death-obsessed teenage daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams was no easy feat for Jenna Ortega. Months after Netflix's hit series Wednesday debuted to massive success, the actress, who can next be seen in Scream VI, out Friday, opened up about the daunting process of bringing the character to life on the screen, admitting that Wednesday is "not my proudest moment."

In a new interview on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast, Ortega detailed her role in creating a teenage version of the beloved character, revealing that she wasn't happy with the scripts she was given and chose to make some impromptu changes. Ortega told Shepard, "I don't think I've ever had to put my foot down on a set in the way that I had to on Wednesday," explaining that "everything that she does, everything that I had to play, did not make sense for her character at all. Her being in a love triangle made no sense. There was a line about a dress that she has to wear for a school dance and she said 'Oh my god I love it... ugh, I can't believe I said that, I literally hate myself.' And I had to go 'No.'"

According to Ortega, "there were times on that set where I even became unprofessional, in a sense, where I just started changing lines. The script supervisor thought I was going with something, and then I would have to sit down with the writers, and they'd be like, 'Wait, what happened to the scene?' And I would have to go through and explain why I couldn't do certain things." Ortega explained that she was "protective" of the character, and while she didn't like some of the "emotional" arcs on the show, she knew it was necessary.

Those unprompted script revisions, including Ortega's decision to choreograph that now-viral dance scene all by herself, certainly paid off. Debuting on Netflix on Nov. 23, Wednesday quickly soared to the top of the streaming charts, where it remained unscathed for several weeks. More than that, though, Wednesday smashed multiple streaming records. Within just a few days of its debut, Wednesday broke the record for the most hours viewed in a week for an English-language TV series on Netflix, a title previously held by Stranger Things, when subscribers watched 341.23 million hours of Wednesday in over 50 million households within the first week of its debut. By early December, Wednesday was crowned Netflix's third most popular English-language TV series and fifth most-popular series of any language ever, amassing 752.52 million hours viewed. In February, Wednesday officially cemented its place as the most-watched premiere of 2022, even beating out HBO's House of the Dragon, per Deadline. All of the success led to a Season 2 renewal for Wednesday, with Ortega set to reprise the role for at least one more season.