Jenna Ortega has starring roles on many of your favorite bingeable shows over the last decade, including You and Jane The Virgin, but her latest hit Wednesday is what helped launch her into viral fame. But before she was cast as the gothic daughter in Tim Burton’s adaptation, she initially turned it down in favor of her budding movie career.
Ortega recently told The Sunday Times that she wasn’t interested in the series at first. “I got the email, passed on it. I had done so much TV in my life, all I’ve ever wanted to do is film,” she explained, adding that she had already felt like she had done enough television roles. “When I first started acting, I don’t want to say nobody believed in me, but at the same time nobody believed in me. You have to prove yourself. It’s only in the last three or four years that I’ve been able to start going up for film.”
The actress had recently done a string of successful slasher movies, X and Scream, and she explained that she felt like being tied down to one show would cause her to miss out on other opportunities, like perhaps a buddy comedy with Aubrey Plaza? She added, “I was scared that by signing on to another television show it could prevent me from doing other jobs I really wanted and cared about.”
Despite not wanting to do yet another show, Ortega finally decided to take on the role in order to work with legendary director Tim Burton. “The only reason I went back is because Tim [Burton] is such a legend, and we just happened to get along very well. But even then I said, ‘Ah, no, I think I’m OK,’ a couple [more] times.” There are currently unconfirmed rumors that Ortega could end up in a Beetlejuice remake.
Ortega is definitely not the first actress to pass on a show at first due to fear of contractual obligations or even being typecast. Even though the actress has been on a hot streak since the show debuted, she might be a little over her Wednesday fame at the moment. Maybe she can head back to the You-niverse to shake things up a bit! We miss her there.