Although Jenna Ortega has been compared to Wednesday Addams her entire life, becoming the iconic, deadpan, character was still a feat. While filming in Romania, Ortega had to undergo a number of lessons to believably portray the dark teen. Such lessons included cello, fencing, language, stunts, and more. And while Ortega put in tons of effort to play the part, others gave their all to help the talented actor look the part as well.
Jenna Ortega got her neck shaved in order to play Wednesday Addams
Hair and makeup are always important components of building a character. But in the case of the well-known and beloved Wednesday, it was even more important to nail the character’s look. Tim Burton, who produced Wednesday and directed the first four episodes, was insistent on perfecting the pigtailed braids for Ortega’s Wednesday. In fact, the director even delayed filming until he was satisfied with Ortega’s hair.
“We’d been trying to perfect Wednesday’s braids,” Ortega told The Face about filming Wednesday with Burton. “We were two hours behind because he kept coming over and saying: “No, that’s wrong. Well, this isn’t straight enough.” They were shaving the back of my neck to create the perfect line. They were cutting my hair on the day – there were hair and make-up artists cutting new extensions in the trailer as we were speaking and as we were shooting.”
Tim Burton personally crafted Wednesday’s bangs
Eventually, Burton was satisfied with Wednesday’s braids. However, the bangs were a different story. According to Ortega, the director personally manipulated her bangs until he was satisfied with their appearance. “He took a hairdresser’s comb and brushed my hair,” Ortega recalled. “He was taking apart my fringe one [hair] by one until it sat in the place he wanted it to sit. Then he hairsprayed it so that it wouldn’t move.”
Describing Burton as “intense and meticulous”, Ortega revealed that she loved working with him on Wednesday. The Fallout actor shared that Burton had a clear vision and wasn’t willing to compromise on it. “After we established the look – which was also very exciting to see him do, because he’s such a visionary – he refused to shoot anything that didn’t satisfy that itch that he had in his brain,” Ortega explained. “It’s very insightful to see. He always did it kindly. He knew everyone’s names, [but] he was very quiet and [kept] two himself. He excused himself if he felt he was in the way.”
Fans of ‘Wednesday’ have reacted favorably to Ortega’s look
Clearly, nailing Wednesday’s hair was important to Burton. Thus far, many people have reacted positively to the character’s new look. Fans have cited the bangs, in particular, as a great way that the Addams’ daughter has been reimagined for a new generation. We imagine that there will be no shortage of people dressing up as Ortega’s Wednesday when Halloween season hits.