Despite one of the earlier Wednesday Addams, Christina Ricci, being part of the show, Jenna Ortega tried to keep away from the elder actress. You’d assume that Ricci had plenty of pointers for Ortega ready to go, but they hardly spoke at all.
Jenna wanted her interpretation to be her own, uncolored by the way Ricci did it about thirty years ago. It’s a bit of an odd move since most young actors and actresses love to learn from the more experienced among them, but Ortega seems to have done things the right way here. She’s a real trailblazer for her age.
Going Truly Bald
It seems more than one actor for Uncle Fester decided to go all the way to portray the character as accurately as possible. Jackie Coogan shaved his hair off to get the role for the sixties television show, and Fred Armisen shaved his head to make the character look as real as possible for the Netflix “Wednesday” adaptation.
He could have easily worn a bald cap and gotten the makeup team to get it perfect, but he wanted to do it the real way. It doesn't really seem to make much difference in the show, but it's nice to see someone going all-in to play a character.
Christina Ricci Wasn't Going to Be Part of the Cast
Christina Ricci played the eldest Addams child in the movies from the nineties, so it didn't surprise many that she made an appearance as Wednesday's botany teacher and dorm mom. However, she wasn't originally going to be part of the cast.
The actress Thora Birch was in the role, and more than half of the show had been filmed before Birch had to drop out due to a family illness. Ricci expressed interest, and the show jumped at the chance, even if it did mean they would have to reshoot a number of scenes. It's a nice detail to include, though it almost didn't happen.
One of the Small Ones
The character of Lurch is seen in the new “Wednesday” show, and just like always, he plays the family's tall, creepy butler. Built to resemble Frankenstein's monster, the character is often the tallest member of the family, and it's the same way in the new Netflix show.
However, George Burcea, the character's actor, is the shortest to ever play the character, at a tiny six-foot-three in height. While this only extends to live-action adaptations (Jim Cummings, at five-foot-eight, provided the animated voice), it's still astounding. Other actors include Ted Cassidy (6' 9”), John DeSantis (6' 9”), and Carel Struycken, a staggering seven feet tall.
Staring Is Caring
One detail that almost got into the show accidentally is the way that Wednesday stares at things. This method of staring has been around for some time and is even called the Kubrick stare since it so often appears in Stanley Kubrick's movies. Here's how to pull it off: tilt your head downward, eyes tilted up as if you're looking over a pair of glasses.
Ortega and Tim Burton chose it on purpose, but they never talked about not blinking. Still, Ortega did so many of the scenes without blinking that it became part of the character. Go back and check out the series again – seeing her blink is rare.