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Jenna Ortega Almost Passed on Wednesday Altogether

Wednesday star Jenna Ortega has revealed that she almost “passed” on playing the titular character of Netflix’s Addams Family spin-off.

In a new interview published in The Sunday Times, Ortega revealed that she initially danced with the idea of playing the lead character in Tim Burton’s Netflix series Wednesday. In fact, she admitted that she turned down the role a “couple times” before finally signing up for it.

“I got the email, passed on it,” Ortega explained, per Deadline. “I had done so much TV in my life, all I’ve ever wanted to do is film. I was scared that by signing on to another television show it could prevent me from doing other jobs I really wanted and cared about.”

Prior to Wednesday, Ortega had starred in the 2022 horror films Scream and X. She was keen to focus on her growing film career, but said she was persuaded back to the Wednesday Addams role after meeting with the series’ director and executive producer Tim Burton.

“The only reason I went back is because Tim is such a legend, and we just happened to get along very well,” she said, although she admitted that there was still some hesitation on her part. “Even then, I said, ‘Ah, no – I think I’m OK,’ a couple [more] times.”

Wednesday sees Ortega playing the creepy and kooky (and altogether ooky) character Wednesday Addams, the iconic daughter of Morticia and Gomez Addams. The series has been a huge success for Netflix and has become one of the streamer’s most-watched shows ever.

IGN’s review was a bit less kind about the series, noting that while Ortega shines as Wednesday, “some tertiary characters struggle from weak writing while more interesting players are kept on the sidelines.” Nevertheless, “it’s not enough to bog down the series too much.”

Adele Ankers-Range is a freelance entertainment writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

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