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Jenna Ortega commends Netflix for casting Hispanic Wednesday Addams

Jenna Ortega has commended Netflix for making Tim Burton’s iteration of The Addams Family character Wednesday Addams Hispanic.

The actor, who was previously famed for performances in Stuck in the Middle, Iron Man 3 and The Fallout, plays the iconic character in Tim Burton’s brand new Netflix series, Wednesday, and discussed the exciting role in a recent interview with NME.

“It’s not often that you get the opportunity to play such an iconic character,” Ortega said. “There were challenges along the way, but we wanted to make this an interesting new version [of Wednesday].

Of the character’s heritage, she added: “It was also really wonderful to make her Hispanic. I think that was a really cool decision on Netflix’s part and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to [give something back to] young girls that look like me because it was definitely harder growing up [without so many on-screen role models].”

In a description on the platform, Netflix has described the series as a “sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery” which traces Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy.

The official synopsis reads: “Wednesday attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorised 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.”

The series also welcomes Christina Ricci, who played the original Wednesday Addams, back to the cast. In an interview with Variety, Ricci refrained from giving anything away about her role, but expressed surprise at Burton’s choice to cast her. 

“I was really flattered to be asked and to be asked by Tim,” she said. “It’s nice to be a part of this next iteration of that character. It’s fun to watch, and it’s fun to see other people’s takes on things and what they put of themselves into something like that.” 

In an earlier interview with Variety at a Yellowjackets fan event, Ricci showed her excitement for the new show, saying it was true to the “heart and soul” of the original.  

“It’s super fun. I loved working with Tim [Burton],” she explained. “I worked with Gwendolyn Christie; it was amazing. And Jenna [Ortega, who plays Wednesday] is incredible. I saw some of the wardrobe photos before I went, so I knew [what she looked like in character], and I was like, it’s such a great modern take on Wednesday. It’s so true tonally to the heart and soul of [the original], but then it’s incredibly modern, and it’s great.”

The Netflix original series is available to stream now. Watch the official trailer below.