The young actress disclosed low expectations for the viral series and thought it would be less popular than it has become. She also shared that she had hoped the viral “Wednesday” dance she choreographed would go unnoticed among viewers.
Keep on reading to learn more.
Jenna Ortega Turned Down ‘Wednesday’ Multiple Times
Jenna Ortega became an international star and gained global recognition for portraying the lead character in the popular Netflix mystery series “Wednesday.” Her brilliant depiction of the titular character in the show spawned a viral dance trend and earned her Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations. The show has now been renewed for a second season.
However, despite the show’s success, Ortega initially hesitated to sign on to another television project. She revealed to the Times of London that she turned down the role multiple times due to concerns about it interfering with her movie career.
“I got the email, passed on it,” she explained per Insider. “I have done so much TV in my life. All I’ve ever wanted to do is film. When I first started acting, I didn’t want to say nobody believed in me, but at the same time, nobody believed in me. You have to prove yourself. It’s only in the last three or four years that I’ve been able to start going up for film.”
Ortega added that she was “scared that signing on to another television show, could prevent me from doing other jobs I wanted and cared about.”
Despite her reservations, the actress eventually agreed to join the cast due to the involvement of Tim Burton, the renowned director of classic films such as “Beetlejuice” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
“The only reason I went back is because Tim is such a legend, and we just happened to get along very well.,” she explained. However, even after considering the offer, Ortega still had some doubts and declined the role a few more times before ultimately accepting it.
‘I Thought It Wasn’t Going To Be Watched’
The “Stuck In The Middle” alum also revealed that she had low expectations for the success of “Wednesday.”
Ortega disclosed that while filming the series in Romania, she and her co-stars sometimes discussed their expectations for the show’s future, but they never delved too deeply into the topic. “The cast and I, I remember, we used to talk about it in Romania; we were like, ‘Hey, what do you think will happen with the show?” she said.
She admitted that she had believed the series might not be popular and would be more of a hidden gem for fans to discover, saying, “That was it, that was the most we ever really got into it. So I thought it wasn’t going to be watched. That it will be a nice little gem that someone finds.”
Jenna Ortega Hoped The ‘Wednesday’ Viral Dance Will Go Unnoticed
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In the interview with Times In London, Ortega shared that she had hoped the dance choreography filmed for the first season’s fourth episode would go unnoticed.
She shared that while the dance trend went viral with over 2 billion views on TikTok under the hashtag “#wednesdaydance” and major news outlets like The New York Times covering the trend, she feigned excitement and couldn’t bring herself to watch the dance.
“When they were telling me [it was going viral], I was trying to seem uplifted about it, like, ‘Oh, wow!’ But mentally, in my head, I was hoping people wouldn’t pay so much attention to that part,” she said per Insider. “It’s disorientating. I don’t think people are naturally designed to have that many eyes on them.”
Jenna Ortega ‘Felt Like A People’s Princess’
The former Disney actress admitted to feeling uncomfortable with the attention that comes with being a public figure.
Despite having some previous experience with fame, Ortega opened up on her early days in Hollywood with a sense of disorientation, feeling out of place and intimidated by the industry. “I used to do a Disney show when I was younger,” she noted.
“I was a little bit of a public figure, used to get recognized, or whatever. When I look back, I think I was so out of place. I didn’t understand where I was … and you start to see Hollywood for the first time, and it’s a bit intimidating, a bit off-putting.”
During her early days under public scrutiny, Ortega also described feeling like a “people’s princess” rather than like herself. “I felt like I was a people’s princess. I didn’t feel like myself. Then it started to slow down, and I lived a pretty normal life [until ‘Wednesday’].”