Wednesday star Jenna Ortega had a difficult time while filming the Netflix series, due to the intense shooting schedule. The 20-year-old actress revealed to Variety that she cried “hysterically” and even pulled out her hair.
According to Ortega, the shoot — coupled with additional cello and fencing lessons — pushed the actress to her breaking point. “It was: show up to set two hours early, do that 12- to 14-hour day. Then go home and then get on a Zoom and have whatever lesson that I had,” Ortega recalled. “Or show up to my apartment, [and] my cello teacher was already waiting for me. It was just constantly going, and if you could on a weekend, if we weren’t shooting the sixth day that week, it was, ‘All right, well then, we’ll get your lessons in on that day.’”
The actress said that she started the cello lessons months before filming started but still found the “Paint It, Black” cello sequence difficult to master as she had to hire a new teacher once filming began. “I did not get any sleep. I pulled my hair out,” Ortega revealed. “There’s so many FaceTime calls that my dad answered of me hysterically crying.”
Ortega said that she was “very adamant about being as well prepared” because she wanted director Tim Burton to be able to use as much footage of her playing as possible. She added that it is “more believable if you could see your face. I didn’t know where my hands were even supposed to go. And then I had to make two cellos come out of one cello, which was ridiculous.”
Ortega also revealed that she choreographed the iconic dance scene in two days and later found out that she had tested positive for COVID-19 while filming. “[Burton] came to my trailer about two days before we shot it and said, ‘Hey Jenna, so I know you said you wanted to choreograph this yourself,’ ” she recalled. “He was like, ‘I know you got it, you’ve been working on it, I’m not even worried about it. I trust you.’ And I said, ‘Oh, yeah. You know, it’s all so good.’ ”
Ortega called the series “the most overwhelming job I’ve ever had,” according to Interview magazine. “I would call my parents every night in a panic because I felt like it was different from any job I had ever done before where I typically have that time to sit into the character,” the actress said. “We didn’t really have time for rehearsals. I remember it being very stressful and confusing. I did the best I could, but that’s probably the most overwhelming job I’ve ever had.”
Wednesday has been a smash hit for Netflix, with a second season announced last month. Ortega said she was no idea what will happen in the second season, or when it will start production, but she said that the writers’ room is “very fresh.” As far as what she wants to see in the next installment, Ortega said she would rather it focus less on love triangles, which “was a weird thing to justify,” and instead “just focus on her and her experiences.”