Jenna Ortega has revealed that she experienced serious anxiety when Christina Ricci joined the cast of Wednesday. Ortega is set to play the iconic Wednesday Addams in the forthcoming Tim Burton-directed Netflix series. Ricci had played Wednesday in The Addams Family and Addams Family Values.
Ortega said: “I felt like I was genuinely having a panic attack when I was told. I was terrified. She’s a really cool lady. I was fine meeting her, but the first time we did a scene together, and she had to see me done up the way she was done up 30 years ago, it was nerve-racking.”
The fact that Ricci’s Wednesday Addams was so good was what had caused Ortega’s worries. She said, “It’s really important to me that I wasn’t ripping anyone off. Christina Ricci’s performance is flawlessly done. It’s pitch-perfect, and I wouldn’t change anything about it, which is another reason it was hard for me to do this job.”
Rather than any sort of direct remake, Wednesday will instead tread new ground and takes place a couple of years after Ricci’s Wednesday would have left things. Ortega commented on the new light that audiences may now see Wednesday in.
She said, “We’ve never seen Wednesday as a teenage girl. When you get older and you say these sarcastic, bitchy one-liners, it can come off as less charming and more rude or obnoxious. That was something I was really wary of.”
Joining Ortega on screen are Cathrine Zeta-Jones (Morticia), Luis Guzman (Gomez), Isaac Ordonez (Pugsley) and George Burcea (Lurch). Tim Burton will be directing four of the eight episodes written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. The show, which explores Wednesday’s high school years while she tries to control her supernatural powers, is set to premiere on Netflix on November 23rd.