If you’re listening Wednesday, Netflix’s new mystery adventure series focused on the most deadpan and hilarious member of the Addams Family during his teenage years, and thinking hmm, this lead actress looks awfully familiar, well, you’re probably onto something. Actress Jenna Ortega stars on Wednesday and, at just 20, she already has a decade of experience in the film and television industry. She also established herself in 2022 in a company often occupied by Jamie Lee Curtis and Neve Campbell: she became a scream queen.
“I like blood and guts”, she Told rotten tomatoes in a past interview. “I like to run for my life.” That makes sense, given that one of his very first parts was a small role in director James Wan Insidious: Chapter 2. Ortega’s turn Wednesday (where she works with another iconic director with gothic sensibilities in Tim Burton), however, is a far cry from some of the small roles she played as a child; she carries the show, stirring up a murder mystery, new character relationships, and, believe it or not, even a bit of emotional growth along the way.
Ortega, who was named “The Next Big Thing” by The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, appeared in five feature films released in 2022 in addition to Wednesday. And it comes after appearing, in recent years, in projects like season 2 of Netflix’s stalker thriller You and horror sequel The babysitter: Killer Queen. So if you feel like you see her everywhere, you don’t need to have your eyes checked. Below, we have a few more things to know about the star who blew up in 2022.
Play Wednesday Addams in Wednesday was Jenna Ortega’s most intense role to date
Ortega, who landed the role in May 2021says she’s long been compared to Wednesday – so it was probably nice to be the first to portray the macabre character (who first appeared in a New Yorker cartoon in 1938) in his teens. “I’ve been compared to Wednesday all my life in terms of sarcasm and dry humor, so it’s oddly appropriate,” she said. Rotten tomatoes.
She was also nervous about translating the character, who is often seen as a young girl, in her teenage years. “Some of her tough ways might seem hilarious when she’s younger, but as you get older, how well can you get away with it? Or how do you keep that at the forefront of her personality without people liking her or don’t like it? find it boring?” she wondered in THR piece, where she also detailed the physical transformation of cutting her hair and completely changing her mannerisms and speaking cadence. “I’m just trying to balance that… I’ve never felt so much pressure at work, and I’m trying to keep my cool.”
She owns horror in 2022, appearing in Scream, X, and more
Anyone who has ever seen a long-term (and extremely cohesive!) Scream the franchise knows that showing up in the movie’s opening scene is a major (and, usually, extremely dangerous) event. task. Ever since Drew Barrymore passed the test in Wes Craven’s original in 1996, it’s been a tradition for the franchise to open the film with a moment of intense and gruesome tension.
Jenna Ortega kicked off her massive horror year with that same honor in 2022 Scream, where she became [SPOILER ALERT!] the first character to survive such an encounter. “It’s the best experience I’ve ever had on set,” she said. THR when discussing the movie earlier this year. “We’re just trying to expand the world and introduce it to an audience that may not be so familiar, and also provide new excitement and a new look at the original characters for fans of the franchise.”
But that was not all. Ortega continued to appear in major roles in the real-life horror of The consequences (about the aftermath of a school shooting), director Ti West’s X (giving off a really great horror scream along the way), and the horror/thriller/satire American Carnage (which deals with immigration, among other things). She also appeared in a smaller role in the horror film Foo Fighters Workshop 666which is just fun.
Her breakthrough came in a Disney Channel series, and her first movie was in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
A few Disney properties mark defining moments for Ortega; she rose to prominence as the lead on the Disney Channel sitcom stuck in the middle, and her first film role was actually a tiny role – which she shot at just 10 years old – in iron man 3 (although she said in a recent WIRED interview that his first film was After the wordsreleased two years later in 2015).
If you remember the winding plot of this film, [again, sorry, spoiler alert] the Vice President of the United States of America turned out to be corrupt and worked with the villainous Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) to obtain what was essentially a regenerative drug that could help cure his daughter’s disability – Ortega played the girl in just a few brief moments.
She remains reserved and busy, with Cry 6 and more on the horizon.
In addition to one potential season 2 of Wednesday and the following Scream sequel (to be released next March), Ortega is also in production on two other films: the detective film finestland, where she will play alongside Ben Foster, rings of power star Ismael Cruz Cordova, and Tommy Lee Jones, and Miller’s daughter, a dramatic comedy in which she will co-star with Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverit’s Martin Freeman.
Evan is the cultural editor of Men’s Health, with bookmarks in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine and VICE. He likes weird movies, watches too much TV, and listens to music more often than he does.