Wednesday’s Jenna Ortega Details Just How Hard Shooting The Netflix Hit Was: ‘I Pulled My Hair Out.’

Jenna Ortega in Wednesday
(Image credit: Netflix)

In an era of television where streaming has actually made it somewhat difficult to know what shows are true hits and what are not, Wednesday was that rare show for which there was no doubt. The show was an incredible success, setting viewing records for Netflix and becoming one of the most talked about shows on social media. But that level of success did not come without some extremely hard work from star Jenna Ortega, who apparently worked at a near-constant pace to get everything done.

Since the show is called Wednesday, and the title character is in nearly every scene of every episode, simply shooting the show was a lot of work for Ortega, to be sure, but it was more than that. She tells Variety that at various points the near-constant pace got to her, leading to emotional calls to her father when the pressure got to be too much. Ortega said…

I did not get any sleep. I pulled my hair out. There’s so many FaceTime calls that my dad answered of me hysterically crying.

The star of any series or film is going to have a lot of work ahead of them when they take on that big role, but for Jenna Ortega, it wasn’t simply the performance that pushed her so hard. The actress says that she was committed to doing as much of what Wednesday needed to do on screen as possible, which meant that she started both fencing and cello lessons prior to production getting underway. There was also probably dance practice, of course.

The “Paint it Black” cello sequence was particularly grueling for Ortega, which is apparently what led to the previously mentioned hair pulling. Eventually, the production started running out of time, so doubles were used in place of Ortega occasionally, but if you can see Jenna Ortega playing the cello, she's really the one playing.

Her additional lessons continued as filming was underway, which for her meant that even when she had a break from the set, she still didn’t actually get a break. Ortega continued…

It was show up to set two hours early, do that 12-14 hour day, then go home and then get on a Zoom and have whatever lesson that I had. Or show up to my apartment, my cello teacher was already waiting for me. 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.’

Maybe the reason that it took longer than expected to get a confirmation on Wednesday Season 2 was that Ortega wasn’t sure she wanted to go through all that again. Season 2 of Wednesday is happening, (check out what we know about the second season here) so whatever that might entail for Wednesday, and therefore for Jenna Ortega, hopefully, it won’t be quite as endless for her. Everybody else gets to enjoy Wednesday, it would be nice if she could too. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.