Jenna Ortega revealed the rigor of her “Wednesday” filming schedule in a Thursday interview.
The 20-year-old actress spoke at a Netflix-hosted Q&A panel in Hollywood, explaining how she quickly learned several eccentric skills to embody Wednesday Addams. From fencing to speaking German to canoeing to playing cello, Ortega intensely trained any time she could, according to Variety.
“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.”
She arrived on set two hours early, and filming lasted for 12-14 hours per day. After returning to her apartment, Ortega’s cello teacher was already waiting for her lesson. (RELATED: Lisa Loreing, Original Wednesday Addams, Dead At 64)
“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,’” Ortega said.
The actress was a fledgling at fencing and did not start cello lessons until a couple months prior to the eight-month shoot in Romania. Traveling abroad required her to switch cello teachers, making the “Paint It Black” sequence difficult to master.
Executive producer Tim Burton assured Ortega not to worry, but the “Wednesday” actress pressured herself not to disappoint cellists watching the show. She wanted to be in as many scenes as possible, admitting that she had COVID-19 while filming the viral dance scene in the episode “Woe What A Night,” according to Buzzfeed.
“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,” Ortega said.
Netflix’s “Wednesday” broke the record previously held by “Stranger Things” Season 4 for most hours viewed in a week for an English-language TV series.
The popular series was officially renewed for its second season in January. Its release date remains unknown.