Jenna Ortega says it was important to portray Wednesday Addams as a Latina character

26 August 2022, 14:27 | Updated: 26 November 2022, 18:32

By Katie Louise Smith

"Wednesday is technically a Latina character and that's never been represented."

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Now, I don't know about you but Netflix's Wednesday? It's a banger. From the casting (Jenna Ortega! Catherine Zeta-Jones! Gwendoline Christie!) to Tim Burton directing? The supporting characters? That twist ending!?

Jenna Ortega (You, Scream) plays the titular role in the series, which follows a teenage Wednesday as she transfers to the Nevermore Academy and finds herself tangled up in a supernatural murder mystery involving her parents and several students from the school.

Ahead of the show's launch on Netflix, Jenna has now explained why it was important to her to portray her own version of Wednesday differently than the others we've seen in the past – and why she thought it was important to portray the character as Latina.

READ MORE: The first trailer for Netflix’s Wednesday is here and I'm already obsessed

Jenna Ortega explains why it was important to portray Wednesday as a Latina character
Jenna Ortega explains why it was important to portray Wednesday as a Latina character. Picture: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection/Alamy Live News, Netflix

In a clip shared by Netflix, Jenna speaks about how she's gone about making her Wednesday different from all the other performances of the gloomy teenage icon (including Christina Ricci's legendary version).

"It was really important to me that I did something different, even though she's been done so flawlessly in the past," Jenna teased. "She's a bit more socially awkward. There's a confidence there but it's more concealed."

"I was honestly so nervous to do this part because I want to do her justice."

On top of that, Jenna also expressed how important its been to make sure her version of Wednesday is portrayed as a Latina character – something which has not been present in previous iterations of the character.

"Wednesday is technically a Latina character and that's never been represented," Jenna explained in the behind-the-scenes video. "So for me, any time that I have an opportunity to represent my community, I want that to be seen."

In another interview with NME, Jenna also thanked Netflix for embracing a Hispanic Wednesday.

"It was also really wonderful to make her Hispanic. I think that was a really cool decision on Netflix’s part and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to [give something back to] young girls that look like me because it was definitely harder growing up [without so many on-screen role models]."

Luis Guzmán, Jenna Ortega and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Netflix's Wednesday
Luis Guzmán, Jenna Ortega and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Netflix's Wednesday. Picture: Netflix

In previous versions of The Addams Family, Wednesday's father Gomez Addams has Castilian-Spanish origins. Seeing as Netflix's Wednesday is an adaptation, the family ancestry in this version reflects the actors portraying the characters.

Jenna's real life parents are of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent, while Luis Guzmán, who plays Gomez, is from Puerto Rico.

Read more about Wednesday here:

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