Jenna Ortega is everyone’s new favorite anti-hero and also a rising fashion icon


Let’s be honest, Jenna Ortega nailed her role as Wednesday Addam.

Netflix’s macabre comedy spinoff of The Addams Family debuted at number one immediately after its release on Wednesday. The series, starring Jenna Ortega, follows the titular Addams daughter after her sadistic antics (such as dropping bags of piranhas in a swimming pool full of her brother’s bullies) land her in Nevermore, a boarding school for gifted outcasts (werewolves, sirens, gorgons, you name it) that is plagued by a serial killer monster.

Wednesday is directed by multi-award winner Tim Burton and stars a star-studded cast that includes series regulars Catherine Zeta-Jones as the vampy matriarch Morticia, Luis Guzmán as Gomez, and the sentient hand Thing (Victor Dorobantu). It also introduces an expanded cast of oddballs and oddities, including Gwendoline Christie as Principal Larissa Weems, Riki Lindhome as Valerie Kinbott, and Christina Ricci as Nevermore professor Marilyn Thornhill, the original Wednesday. Ricci’s return to The Addams Family universe comes after she popularized the sardonic teen as a young actor in the 1991 and 1993 film adaptations of the original comic.

“I think it’s really nice for them to be seen in a positive, disturbing light,” Ortega says of playing the oddball character in a roundtable interview with Vogue. The beloved antihero with a biting tongue is even more of a troublemaker in this comedic murder mystery spinoff, though she now goes to therapy, solves crimes, and may even consider a romantic interest. Maybe. She’s also a major fashion darling.

Everyone’s new favorite anti-hero is also a rising fashion icon.

Wednesday’s severe braided pigtails and black schoolgirl dress combo became so synonymous with her character in the original ’90s film that it’s difficult to imagine her in anything else. Wednesday, on the other hand, explores an even chicer take on her goth persona over the course of the show’s eight episodes. Her classic black schoolgirl dress is given a modern update with much pointier collars from the very first scene. Alaïa is behind her Rave’N Dance prom gown.

Ortega believes that Wednesday’s (all-black) wardrobe plays an important role in the show. “[Fashion is] a big deal because the show is actually very colorful,” the actor explains. “It’s nice because it creates a stronger contrast between Wednesday and the rest of the characters.”

Jenna Ortega

Wednesday. (L to R) Moosa Mostafa as Eugene Otinger, Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Naomi j Ogawa as Yoko Tanaka, Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay in episode 3 of Wednesday. Cr. © 2022

Wednesday’s severe appearance also aided the You and Jane the Virgin alum’s transition into the role. “When you’re getting ready to play a character, hair, makeup, and costume are all very important. When done correctly, it makes it so much easier to do your job because you truly feel like your character and are in their shoes.”

Fortunately, the cast was in the capable hands of Colleen Atwood, the four-time Oscar winner, and frequent Burton collaborator. The two directors have collaborated on over ten films. It includes Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, for which Atwood won an Academy Award. Ortega has nothing but praise for Atwood, exclaiming, “She’s a Hollywood legend.”

Christie Plays her role Perfectly

Christie, who plays Principal Weems, a Nevermore alum-turned-headmistress, praises Atwood as well. “You have the opportunity to work with the legendary Colleen Atwood, so you have someone who is a genius costume designer and can look at you and see what suits you best,” she tells the press at a press conference. “I felt as if my body was truly celebrated, and that my creative ideas were completely respected.” “I had a fantastic time on set.”

Christie, who plays Principal Weems, a Nevermore alum-turned-headmistress, praises Atwood as well. “You have the opportunity to work with the legendary Colleen Atwood, so you have someone who is a genius costume designer and can look at you and see what suits you best,” she tells the press at a press conference. “I felt as if my body was truly celebrated, and that my creative ideas were completely respected.” “I had a fantastic time on set.”

Gwendoline Christie

Wednesday. Gwendoline Christie as Larissa Weems in episode 3 of Wednesday. Cr. Vlad Cioplea/Netflix © 2022

Christie starred as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones before moving on to roles in Star Wars and Netflix’s The Sandman. She has experience working on projects that are already part of the pop culture canon. And she understands the importance of fashion. Burton, she claims, was also cooperative in that regard, asking for her opinion on her styling. “He wants to know what you think, how you perceive the character, and how you want to appear,” she explains.

Beauty Ideas on Set of Wednesday

Aside from fashion, the show features a variety of beauty ideas to draw inspiration. It includes Principal Weems’ striking matte red lips, Enid’s (Wednesday’s roommate) rainbow hair, and nails. And Wednesday’s berry lips (her signature pout is MAC’s lip liner in Nightmoth). And it’s all thanks to Tara McDonald, the show’s hair and makeup artist who is also responsible for the character’s infamous braids.

Fortunately, Jenna Ortega didn’t think the costumes—or the deadpan expression—were too far out. “I feel like [Wednesday and I] already like similar things,” Ortega says. Color, she says, “paints” her, just like her goth character.

Wednesday’s black nail polish, however, is something new in Ortega’s beauty arsenal. That she inherited directly from her on-screen teenage counterpart. “I never used to wear nail polish,” she says. But now I have the impression that my nails are always painted black.”

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