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Jenna Ortega on ‘Wednesday,’ Latina Representation, and More at NYCC

Jenna Ortega stars as Wednesday Addams in the new Netflix series, Wednesday, which is set to premiere on November 23. This year, at New York Comic Con, I had the privilege of speaking with the actress during a roundtable interview!

The series is a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy. Wednesday’s attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago — all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore.

Courtesy of Netflix

To begin, I asked Ortega about introducing this iconic character to a new generation and having Wednesday be portrayed explicitly as Latina in the series.

“I mean, I think it’s a really beautiful thing. I personally cannot think of a Latin character that exists today that has the platform or reach that someone like Wednesday Addams does. So I think it’s really wonderful because Netflix made it a priority to cast a Latina and I think that’s really great because she’s never been shown in that light before and it’s also not necessarily incorrect, she’s a comic book strip character,” she expressed. “Why we’re so picky or finicky about certain race or whatever, I think that’s people’s personal issues that they just need to get through and push through because it is an option. It’s always an option and if you could take that route and give a voice, give visibility to young people out there who see themselves pursuing careers in this industry or are complete freaks, we should do that. Every freak’s voice should be heard and they come in all different kinds of colors.”

We also had the opportunity to discuss the fan support she continues to receive for all of her work as well as the excitement for her to take on this role.

“It’s so endearing and so sweet, and honestly makes me feel good. I had no connection to this industry, I have no idea what I’m doing,” the actress expressed to me. “It was just a passion of mine and for people to be supportive and encouraging of that is so, so beautiful and I’m very privileged in that way because it’s a very strange life that I’ve lived so far. I’m a very, very lucky girl and I think that I’m aware of what I have, I’m aware of the position that I’ve been put in, and I would love to give that same support or same respect to anybody who’s interested in this sort of thing and ultimately, with a character like this, you just want to do her justice and if anything, I just want people to understand how much I care.”

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