Jenna Ortega Won’t Make A Movie Like Her Breakout Ever Again

Jenna Ortega explains in an interview that filming X was such a great experience, with an amazing crew, that she worries it can't be duplicated.

By Jennifer Asencio | Updated

Jenna Ortega has built quite a career for herself since her days as a child actress, especially in the world of horror. She appeared in Ti West’s sexy slasher X, about the cast and crew of a porn movie that finds themselves stalked by the repressed owner of their farmhouse set. According to Slashfilm, she said in her interview that the experience of working with the breakout horror director was unique and likely wouldn’t happen again.

This is not to say that Jenna Ortega would not want to take part in a movie like X again, but that the stars seemed to align over the film in ways that cannot be replicated on another set. Ti West, she says, was challenging to work with because his energy is so frenetic, but also rewarding because his love of film is so immense. She also characterized him as being very prepared and professional with his vision.

“I was really excited at the opportunity to work with Ti West,” Jenna Ortega said in the interview, “just because I had been a fan of his previous horror films. […] When I had conversations with him about possibly doing this job, he just had a lot of interesting ideas. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with somebody who’s so well prepared or so certain in their vision. That’s really exciting for an actor just because sometimes you go on set not really knowing what to expect.”

X is the story of a small crew of aspiring porn actors who travel to rural Texas to make their movie at a remote farmhouse. They arrive and begin filming, not noticing they are being watched by the owner’s wife, who is both fascinated and repulsed by their libertine attitudes. Mia Goth stars as both Maxine, the star of the movie, and Pearl, the elderly wife, and Jenna Ortega co-stars as the sound specialist and girlfriend of the cameraman.

More than simply a slasher, X examines sex and sensuality from both extremes, as television sets wherever Jenna Ortega and the rest of the crew go are tuned to a station with a preacher ranting about the immorality of lust. Pearl herself is repressed by the combination of her own sensuality, her advanced age, and her husband’s infirmity. A post-credit scene in X announces a sequel that focuses entirely on Pearl, who Mia Goth again plays.

jenna ortega
Jenna Ortega in You

Jenna Ortega herself is a breakout star that is rapidly gaining a reputation as a scream queen because of her participation in a variety of popular horror movies and shows in recent years. 2019 saw her transcend from being a Disney kid to more mature roles, such as the serial killer drama You and the Netflix horror sequel The Babysitter: Killer Queen. 2022 has been a prodigious year for the actress as, in addition to X, she also starred in Scream and Wednesday, both of which have been very popular with audiences.

Whatever the future holds for Jenna Ortega is sure to be bright, but will probably never replicate the experience she had working on X with Ti West and crew. There was an independent spirit to the movie that larger, studio-based productions lack because the bosses and financiers are more demanding and exacting. As Jenna Ortega becomes more prominent as a performer, she is more likely to be working with these major studios.

X is on Showtime, which can be accessed through the Paramount+ and Amazon Prime apps, while the sequel Pearl can only be rented, as it was just released in September. Jenna Ortega can also be seen in Wednesday on Netflix, and Scream on HBO Max. Carrying on the scream queen tradition she has established for herself, she will next be appearing in Scream 6.