She was always clear that her destiny was to be an actress. Jenna Ortega (Coachella, California, 20 years old) is a woman with clear ideas, who does not shy away from answering any of the questions in this interview, not even the most political ones. Perhaps that certainty was what encouraged Tim Burton to choose her as the absolute protagonist of Wednesday , the new Netflix series that marks the television debut of the prestigious director. In this spin-off of The Addams Family , which premiered with great success a few days ago and which has already made Tim Burton a trending topicIn Spain, her interpretation makes the viewer forget that there were other actresses before her, such as Christina Ricci, who also got into the skin of the only daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams. A character that joins other roles in horror films such as Scream 5 and The babysitter: killer queen , which have earned this petite woman with Puerto Rican and Mexican roots the label of the new scream queen.
What is it like working under Tim Burton?
Wonderful. He’s so nice… He’s good, funny and very normal. Really very normal. He was always asking me questions about how I felt, how I wanted to do certain things. He is a director who has highly valued what I thought, what I had to say. You don’t always find this when you’re working, especially when you’re shooting with big, popular people like him. It has been very special.
Wednesday was a pivotal character for Christina Ricci. Have you felt a lot of pressure when interpreting it?
Yes, a lot of pressure, especially since Christina’s performance was so powerful. Her Wednesday lives on today. For many people, the first image that comes to mind when they think of the character is her. Her work was so beautiful and powerful that it was crucial to me that viewers continue to recognize her character, but at the same time I strove to bring other nuances to her. My Wednesday I think she has another light and getting it was complicated.
How is that new light on Wednesday 2022?
She has interests like playing the cello and a certain social conscience. She makes mistakes and hurts other people’s feelings too, but not always on purpose. In reality, she is just being honest and doesn’t understand how that honesty affects others so much. I’ve tried not to make this character just come from a place of hate.
Did you get any advice from Christina Ricci?
We have been together on the recording set and yet we have not talked about the character. I reckon she didn’t want to get into my head and I didn’t want to act like the fan that I am. We were in another atmosphere, at another time, and I think neither of us benefited from talking about it.
In his filmography there is a large list of works in horror films. Do you feel comfortable in the genre?
I’ve always been a fan of horror movies, but they’re also the most fun sets to work on. Every person who works in horror – whether he’s doing gore and dirt for the scenes, special effects or script – is there strictly because he loves the genre. In this type of cinema, things are not taken too seriously because what we want is for the viewer to have a good time. It is pure entertainment. We know that the person we just beheaded wouldn’t have his head fall to the ground like that in reality, but it’s pure show. We want to offer the viewer instant satisfaction.
He started working on this when he was only 10 years old. How did her interest in acting come about?
It took me a long time to convince my parents that I was serious. I was six years old when I saw Vengeance Fire , with Dakota Fanning and Denzel Washington. My parents came back from work and I told them: “I want to be an actress”. I worked hard and never changed my mind. I am very glad that I have been so persistent because I feel very lucky to have a job that I love. I still get a little nervous every day before going to the shoot.
Why did it cost you to convince your parents?
The truth is that my family had no connection to the Hollywood industry. The chances of getting there are so slim, there are so many people trying… At first they didn’t have much faith. They had grown up watching child stars choose unhealthy paths. They didn’t think it was a sure thing. They held on to the thought that it would only be a phase.
Have they changed their mind?
Yes, although they are concerned that I am a public person. They are concerned about my privacy. I have very cautious parents. But they do now have faith, they support my career and they understand that I can earn a very good living with it.
Jenna Ortega upon arrival at the 2022 MTV Movie Awards.
You are a very brave character in social networks. I have seen how he uses them, for example, to defend the reproductive rights of women.
The abortion issue in America is incredibly frustrating, especially since there were women fighting for the same thing 50 years ago. That fight led to game-changing progress that saved many lives. At a time like the present it is not necessarily about the fetus… It is about controlling ourselves. It is an attempt to make us less than what we are. And it’s incredibly daunting, frustrating, annoying, and dangerous. I think we are dealing with a health issue. It is very difficult to witness what we are seeing, but I can also say that my generation, Generation Z, the most open to date, is very active and we do not shut up. I know that as long as we stay focused working on the fight we can make change and ensure the safety of women who cannot afford pregnancy.
In her previous work, The Fallout , she played a teenager living with the trauma of having survived a shooting. After this experience, does she have any hope that action will be taken on gun control, one of the great debates in the United States?
It is heartbreaking that children have to go to school every day in fear. I would love to see any change. It is frustrating to see how enamored the United States is with its weapons and how fond it is of them. We are facing an epidemic and it is terrifying to witness it. I wish there was something else I could say or do to change that, but what I can assure you is that I’m going to keep fighting and pushing for what I believe in and enforcing gun control and working to make public spaces safe again. . I believe that change could only be achieved if we all commit to speaking up. My generation needs to do everything they can to be registered to vote. We can’t give that up. And we can’t easily forget either. I have the feeling that sometimes we get very scared at first, but then we forget and move on to something else. This is not something we can forget about.