Strange? Checked. Nuts? Definitely. Mysterious? Highly. Creepy? Exactly. Wednesday took Netflix and the world of streaming by storm, showing the Addams family everyone knows, loves, but fears in an even darker light. Jenna Ortega shines in the title role, bringing the sarcastic heroine to life with her unblinking eyes, gothic style and deadpan demeanor. No wonder the 20-year-old actress received a Golden Globe nomination for her work. Throw in the genius of director Tim Burton, secondary characters played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie and Wednesday from the original Addams Family Christina Ricci and the result is sheer TV magic. In this review, we will tell you who was behind the Thing, how the Wednesday dance that became viral was invented, and why Ortega appeared at Burton's audition covered in fake blood.
This is one of the most watched Netflix series ever.
Viewers have spent a billion hours on "Wednesday", and this is just one month from the date of the premiere. The series ranked second in the ranking of the most successful English-language TV shows on the streaming service.
Filming took place in Romania.
The local architecture, landscape and climate allowed the film crew to capture the gothic spirit that was so necessary in the project. The Nevermore Academy was set in the Cantacuzino castle, while the rest was filmed in historic locations such as the houses of Monteoru and Niculescu-Dorobantu, the Botanical Garden in Bucharest and the famous Gara Regala railway station.
This was Tim Burton's third attempt at making a TV series about the Addams Family.
In 1991, the famous director was offered to lead the filming of the film "The Addams Family", but he turned down the offer because of his work on the film "Batman Returns". Two decades later, he signed on to produce and write an animated film that never saw the light of day.
Jenna Ortega came to the audition with fake bruises.
While filming the horror film X (2022), the actress received a call from Tim Burton to discuss a possible collaboration on Wednesday. "I was wearing blood makeup with a big cut on my cheek and glycerine in my hair and I didn't sleep for over a day," the actress told WIRED. “I got a call on Zoom and Tim laughed when he saw me. I laughed too. That was cute".
She came up with the choreography for the dance that went viral on social media.
TikTok users were captivated by Wednesday's energetic dance, chanting it and starting a new trend. It even featured Lady Gaga. In preparation for her "big outing," Ortega watched archival footage from dance clubs in the 80s.
Ortega contracted the coronavirus before filming the dance scene.
The management of the filming process of "Wednesday" came under a barrage of criticism after one of Ortega's interviews. In it, she revealed that she was told to film even though she felt sick. "They gave me medicine between takes when we were waiting for test results," she told NME. Having received a positive verdict, MGM immediately suspended Jenna from work.
Tim Burton decided that Wednesday shouldn't blink.
The actress and director agreed on this from the very beginning. "If I blinked, we had to do another take, so you just start crying," she explained to TODAY.
Burton wanted the Thing to be played by a real person.
"During our first phone call, Tim wanted an actor, a performer, to play the Thing," said VFX administrator Tom Turnbull. Magician Victor Dorobantu dressed in full blue so his body image could be edited in the montage.
Monster Hyde was also played by an actor.
Daniel Himschut brought the creepy Hyde to life on screen. The stuntman moved on stilts and crutches, imitating the chilling movements of the monster, then computer graphics artists worked with the footage.
For the role of Wednesday, Jenna Ortega cut her bangs.
The actress took a big risk, but, as it turned out, justified. “We tried silver strands. Short tiny braids. Long, thick braids," she told Teen Vogue. “And then I said to the hairdresser…” Listen, maybe we should just cut my hair? And he: “Are you sure?”, I: “If we have time to grow them, we have time to grow them. Let's just see." And then Burton liked my image.
She also learned to play the cello.
"I started working on the cello two months before filming began," the star told WIRED. “Maybe I’m not doing very well right now, simply because I work a lot away from home.” But Jenna decided not to give up lessons on the instrument. "That's what I want to keep doing."
And learned to fence.
The duel between Wednesday and Bianca Barclay (Joy Sunday) is nothing short of epic. "Honestly, I was so nervous about this role because I wanted to give it credit," Ortega told Netflix. “So I attended fencing lessons twice a week.”
Catherine Zeta-Jones spent a lot of time on makeup.
“We worked together to create this (modern) Morticia,” makeup and hair designer Tara McDonald told BuzzFeed. From her hair extensions (Zeta-Jones brought her personal ones to the shoot) to covering her body with a light foundation, the entire transformation took two and a half hours.
Hitchcock's films inspired the creators to create the image of Principal Weems.
“I bought a vintage poster of Tippi Hedren in The Birds. And showed it to Gwendolyn. "That's how you're supposed to look and she's like, 'I love that,'" costume designer Colleen Atwood told Variety. "Headmistress Weems is a failure in her own right, but in a different version from Wednesday."
The large-scale bloody scene had to be re-shot several times.
Make-up artists and stylists promised that the scene would be filmed in one go, but it was harder to do than to say. After each attempt, they had to wipe the bloodstains from the actors and change the wigs.