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Ever since Wednesday premiered back in November, fans have been completley enamored with the Netflix show. In less than two months’ time, over a billion hours of the show have been streamed, and the comedy-horror series has been renewed for season 2. Jenna Ortega has been receiving tons of praise for her performance of the titular character, Wednesday Addams. But while filming the show was no cakewalk for Ortega, her audition process was pretty painless.

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in 'Wednesday,' which was renewed for season 2 on Netflix. Her hair is in double braids, and she's frowning at someone.
Jenna Ortega in ‘Wednesday’ | Netflix

Jenna Ortega was shocked when she learned that Tim Burton wanted to meet with her

Though Ortega had been compared to Wednesday her whole life, she was still surprised when she learned that Tim Burton was considering her for the role. Even though The Fallout star had been acting since she was a child, she didn’t think that Burton was familiar with her work. And while she wasn’t exactly interested in being locked into a TV contract, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to audition for a Burton project.

The actor hadn’t slept in 24 hours when she auditioned for the main role in the ‘Wednesday’ cast

Many fans of Wednesday know that Burton served as the director for the first four episodes of the series. However, he also served as an executive producer for the show, allowing him to have creative input on a myriad of the show’s components. One area that the filmmaker had a huge say in was the casting process, and Ortega was his first choice for the titular role. The two scheduled an audition via Zoom in order to touch base about the part.

It would be fair to say that Ortega’s Wednesday audition was a wee bit unorthodox. At the time, she was filming another project, X, in New Zealand and had to fit her audition into her jam-packed filming schedule. This meant that the You alum had been awake for 24 hours when she finally met with Burton. To top things off, Ortega didn’t have any time to take off her hair and makeup from the day’s shoot. This meant that her face was covered with a bloody prosthetic gash and fake blood.

Ortega felt comfortable trusting her instincts in her ‘Wednesday’ audition

But despite her fatigue and appearance, Ortega obviously nailed her audition. While speaking with Netflix, the actor shared that Burton was amused by her appearance. “I think it made Tim laugh,” she shared. Furthermore, her lack of sleep helped her to trust her instincts and “wing it.” Over the course of 20 minutes, she performed two scenes for Burton. One scene involved giving Thing a verbal dressing down. The other was the sentimental moment that Wednesday shared with her younger brother, Pugsley, as they threw grenades into a pond.

The actor couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with Burton and bring an iconic character to life

In addition to Ortega performing sides, she and Burton also talked about their respective visions for Wednesday. After the short call concluded, a few months passed before Ortega officially signed on to the cast. Not only did negotiations have to commence, but the 20-year-old also wanted to make sure that she was completely sure about her decision. Ultimately, however, she knew she had to be a part of the Netflix show.


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“When you’re approached with a character like this, and a director like this, and a story like this, it’s very compelling,” Ortega explained about Wednesday. “You don’t know when you’re going to get the opportunity to do something like that again. I knew that I just had to take it.”