Jenna Ortega Gets Honest About Why She Couldn’t Return To Netflix’s You For Season 4

Jenna Ortega as Ellie in You Season 2.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Jenna Ortega has become quite the star in the last year, primarily because of her viral performance in Wednesday, but also because she has appeared in other massive projects like Scream, X and the upcoming Scream VI. However, this expanding filmography and growing demand has made it hard for her to go back to the projects she did when she was coming up, like You. Many were hopeful the young actress would return as Ellie in Season 4 of Penn Badgley’s successful series, however, even though she was invited, she couldn’t come back. Now, the actress is getting honest about why she wasn’t able to return to You, and how she feels about potentially reprising her role. 

Ortega was confronted about not returning for You’s fourth season, and said she would have loved to, however, Wednesday got in the way. She explained her reasoning to ET, saying:

I was devastated. You’re talking about Sarah Gamble, love her, easily one of my favorite sets that I’ve ever, ever been on. I was so devastated when they reached out because I miss Ellie and I had been wanting to go back to Ellie for such a long time. But, I was in Romania, shooting Wednesday. I couldn’t travel back and forth with the pandemic and everything like that. When you’re committed to a show, there was just no way it could have worked out. But that one, bummed me out.

The actress was filming Wednesday all the way in Romania when she got the invite, and since that series was in the middle of production, she wasn't able to come back to the thriller series. You’s showrunner Sera Gamble explained how they had asked the actress to come back for Season 4, and why she couldn't return, telling IndieWire:

We wanted to bring Ellie back and we heard, ‘Oh, Jenna is doing some show.' It’s been just such a pleasure to see Jenna this year. We have ideas for Ellie if her schedule allows her to visit us again.

Based on how Ellie’s story in Season 2, it’s entirely plausible for her to come back on the show. Ortega appeared in You as one of Joe’s neighbors in Los Angeles. She lived with her older sister Deliah, and while Ellie was warned to stay away from Penn Badgley’s character, they developed a friendship. In the end, Ortega’s character is almost sexually assaulted by Henderson, and Joe saves her. He tells her to get out of town after Love kills Deliah, and he supports her by occasionally sending her money. 

So, it makes sense that Ellie could come back, and considering it’s one of the nicer relationships on the show, it would be nice to see Jenna Ortega return to the You cast. However, considering her demand, and her ever-growing resume, she might be all booked up for the foreseeable future.  

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Following the massive success of Wednesday, viral dance and fashion included, Ortega and co. will be returning for a second season of the Addams Family spin-off. On top of working on Season 2 of the Netflix hit, the actress has five other projects in the works, including the 2023 movie schedule’s Scream VI. It would be great if she could squeeze You into her busy schedule if it gets renewed for a fifth season, and with her love for the series and Ellie, it seems like she also wants to share the screen with Badgley again. 

While Ortega might not be in the next installment of You’s the fourth season when it drops on March 9, you will be able to catch her the next day when Scream VI hits theaters. You can also always go back and watch Jenna Ortega in You’s second season as well as the first season of Wednesday with a Netflix subscription.   

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.