Jenna Ortega Reveals What Nearly Made Her Leave Wednesday

Long set hours, intense cello lessons, and tearful Zoom calls with family nearly made Jenna Ortega call it quits while filming Wednesday.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

jenna ortega wednesday

Jenna Ortega’s Wednesday was an undeniable smash hit for Netflix, but filming the series wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Variety reported on a Q&A session Ortega did in Hollywood, where the actor talked about how intense the filming schedule was for the Netflix series and how it almost made her throw in the towel. Ortega said, “It was show up to set two hours early, do that 12-14 hour day, then go home and then get on a Zoom and have whatever lesson that I had.”

When she talks about lessons, Jenna Ortega refers to the extensive cello and fencing lessons the actor had to take to portray Wednesday properly. Rather than having someone stand in for those scenes, Ortega learned to fence and play cello herself. That’s some intense dedication to a role that even Daniel Day-Lewis would be proud of.

“I did not get any sleep. I pulled my hair out…There’s so many FaceTime calls that my dad answered of me hysterically crying.”

Jenna Ortega

It certainly seemed like those long hours of filming and lessons took their toll on Jenna Ortega, but the effort was well worth it. As mentioned, Wednesday has been a runaway hit for Netflix and has already been renewed for a second season. Now that Ortega has learned fencing and cello, hopefully, there will be fewer lessons and an easier film schedule for her in the next season.

Jenna Ortega plays the titular Wednesday in the Netflix series, which focuses on the Addams family’s daughter as she attends school, hones her psychic abilities, and uncovers a mystery that embroiled her parents years ago. The series set a record the week it was released, with 341 million minutes viewed, and was viewed for over one billion minutes in its first month. Clearly, the series shows no sign of slowing down.

It’s no surprise that Netflix is moving forward with more of Jenna Ortega’s Wednesday, as the critics loved it too. The reviews were mostly positive, and the series was even nominated for two Golden Globes — Best Musical or Comedy Television Series and Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for Ortega. Tim Burton even got his long-time collaborator Danny Elfman to write the theme and co-compose the score with Chris Bacon, adding prestige to the series.

Jenna Ortega Wednesday

Not only did the series get tons of viewing minutes on Netflix, Jenna Ortega and Wednesday became an overnight sensation on social media. The ‘Wednesday dance’ trend was particularly huge, as people on TikTok and Instagram Reels imitated the dance from one of the episodes. The second season will surely be just as big of a hit as the first.

Along with Jenna Ortega, Wednesday stars Gwendoline Christie, Riki Lindhome, Jamie McShane, Hunter Doohan, Percy Hynes White, Emma Myers, Joy Sunday, Georgie Farmer, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzman, Naomi J. Ogawa, Moosa Mostafa, and Christina Ricci who played Wednesday in the ’90s Addams Family movies. Tim Burton executive produced and directed four out of eight of the episodes. The series was created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar.

It’s certainly been interesting learning what goes on behind the scenes for massive Netflix productions like Wednesday. Hopefully, there are some cool behind-the-scenes tidbits to learn from the filming of Season 2. Stay tuned for more news about this and other top Netflix shows.