Jenna Ortega She recently made headlines for being very honest about her work experience on the set of the hit Netflix series Wednesday And she’s been completely open about her relationship with director Tim Burton, the show’s writers, and Wednesday’s character herself. At first glance, Ortega’s complaints echo the experiences of a novice actor working on student films, so it’s interesting to hear such a generic story from one of the biggest shows of the past year.
Many seem to disagree with Ortega’s behavior and comments afterward. Television writer and producer Stephen DeKnight decried the way she handled the situation, claiming that “[actors] You don’t have the full picture (in TV) of where the story is going and why a few lines are needed for the whole to make sense. But the young actress admits it was unprofessional, and though her comments may hurt Burton or the writers, her experience on set speaks to the actors’ general struggle to gain agency and form over the characters they portray.
We no longer live in a time when directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick can disrespect or demoralize their actors, so it’s a relief to see young stars like Ortega finding their voice in an industry designed to tune you in.
Ortega’s experience on set
while in a group Wednesday, Gina Ortega mentioned several instances in which she disagreed with the writers and directors about Wednesday’s portrayal and her eventual character throughout the show. In her interview with Ex Wednesday Actress Christina Ricci, Ortega cites the show’s use of “multiple directors” as a point of contention, saying “everyone wanted different things from her.” [Wednesday]. While praising and admiring Tim Burton, Ortega showed his frustration with the inherently fragmented nature of television production. Given that she’s looking for a more consistent creative vision, it makes sense why she disagreed with some decisions about her character on Wednesday.
A series of disagreements during filming led Ortega to take his liberty by changing the script and the sentiment of the dialogue. This is what most people like DeKnight would consider unprofessional behavior. According to Hitchcock and Kubrick’s, the actors are mere pawns in the whim of the director’s demands, and speaking out against that is disrespectful to the process. However, Ortega exclaimed,[t]There were a lot of fights like that because I felt like people didn’t always trust me when I was making my way.” “Too many cooks in the kitchen” sounds very true in this scenario and is ultimately at the root of the conflict.
Although it can lead to positive results, the collaborative nature of film and television often calls for creative differences over character details and story elements. Particularly in television, having so many writers and directors with contradictory ideas can overwhelm and stifle an actor’s creative process. As with Ortega, the actor is often left with no choice but to take the decision into their own hands. Whether or not it’s appropriate for Ortega to publicly disclose this kind of information, it opens up a conversation about actors and their roles as authors in the filmmaking process.
Acting and writing
Ortega’s experience recalls the French New Wave and its rumors Author’s theory, which makes the director the driving creative force and the main author of the film. However, when it comes to TV shows like Wednesday that use multiple directors, the creative vision can be muddled with inconsistent approaches to story, character, and visual design. Which puts the idea of authorship into question: in presenting an example WednesdayWho bears responsibility as author?
With so many different writers and directors helming this project, Jenna Ortega remains the single, consistent voice behind the show’s titular character. It makes sense that she’s so protective and specific about who her character is and what she’s doing in the story. Actors tend to develop closer relationships with their characters, than any writer or director can usually, because they spend more time developing and formulating character behavior. Ortega’s eagerness to speak for her character represents the intimate bond she established with Wednesday’s character.
The actors are already given a special sense of casting on their characters through the costume and hairstyle. Ortega remembers Burton including Wednesday’s character design, namely the iconic bangs set. The best creative choices are shown in this sense of collaboration between the actor and the director.
With Ortega vocal about her time on the shoot Wednesday, we gain an insider’s view of the mechanics of the film’s shooting. Her powerful voice asks us to challenge our preconceived notions about character creation, and the role actors play in the creative process.