Jenna Ortega describes her horrific filming schedule for Netflix’s Wednesday, which often left her exhausted, crying, and frustrated.
Netflix‘s Wednesday is a chart-topping cultural milestone. However, greatness often comes at a cost, and in the case of Wednesday, the filming schedule brought the star of the series, Jenna Ortega, through the emotional wringer. At a Netflix-hosted Q&A panel in Hollywood on Thursday, Ortega detailed the distressing details about her filming schedule for Wednesday and how the routine sent her into hysterics.
“It was show up to set two hours early, do that 12-14 hour day, then go home and then get on a Zoom and have whatever lesson that I had. Or show up to my apartment, my cello teacher was already waiting for me,” Ortega recalled. “It was just constantly going, and if you could on a weekend, if we weren’t shooting the sixth day that week, it was ‘All right, well then, we’ll get your lessons in on that day.’”
As demanding as that sounds, it gets worse. To play Wednesday, Ortega engaged with cello and fencing lessons between shoots. Imagine filming for 12-14 hours straight, only to go “home” and find your music or fencing teacher waiting to run drills. Ortega started these lessons before shooting and kept them going during the 8-month filming process. Ortega noted that the “Paint it Black” cello sequence was challenging to master. The piece is supposed to be performed by two musicians, not one. Ortega had to learn both parts, switching instructors from one filming location to the next.
“I did not get any sleep. I pulled my hair out,” Ortega said. “There’s so many FaceTime calls that my dad answered of me hysterically crying.” While director and executive producer Tim Burton encouraged her from the sidelines, Ortega became obsessed with perfecting the cello sequence. “I didn’t know where my hands were even supposed to go and then I had to make two cellos come out of one cello, which was ridiculous,” Ortega said.
Near the end, time became an overwhelming factor in completing the show. Father Time started breathing down Ortega’s neck. Meanwhile, she’s doing her best to slay every scene. “We started running out of time because Wednesday’s in pretty much every scene,” Ortega said. “They had to start using stunt doubles or occasionally cello doubles if they didn’t have time to get hands, but I was very adamant about being as well prepared as possible because I wanted them to be able to use myself, because that’s so much more believable if you could see your face.”
The popularity of Tim Burton’s Wednesday is nothing short of sensational. If you dabble in social media spaces, you’re likely aware of the show going viral thanks partly to a dance routine choreographed by Ortega. Everyone and their grandmother (literally) were busy recreating the scene where Wednesday dances to a cover of the song “Goo Goo Muck” by The Cramps. In the scene, Wednesday shimmies and shuffles on the dancefloor, evoking the character’s history of cutting a rug on screens large and small. While Wednesday is often defined by her love of all things dark and dreary, she never misses an opportunity to set the dancefloor on fire. It also helps that Wednesday is an outstanding series and a return to form for Tim Burton. The show combines the director’s spooky sensibilities with a murder mystery set in a school for gifted teens.
A second season of the series is already in the works. I certainly hope Ortega is up to the task and that Netflix takes precautions not to run the star of the show as ragged as they did the first time.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/wednesday-jenna-ortega-schedule/