Children’s tantrums are not all the same. If there is a moral in the true tale we are about to tell, this is it. Because if it hadn’t been for all those “Mom, I want…” and “Dad, I want…”, today we wouldn’t have lost our heads for a TV series and its protagonist. That is for Wednesday And Jenna Ortega.
Jenna Ortega as Dakota Fanning
We could start with a classic Once Upon a Time. And we wouldn’t go wrong. Because the story of how Jenna Ortega became an actress has all the ingredients of a modern fairy tale. Which begins in 2008 in the Californian desert of the Coachella Valley. When a 6-year-old girl sees another girl like her on TV. And she decides to become “the Puerto Rican version”.
The little girl of the screen is Dakota Fanningwho is acting alongside Denzel Washington in the movie Man on Fire – The fire of revenge (2004) by Tony Scott. The one in front of the television is little Jenna Ortega. From that moment, not a day goes by without Jenna praying, begging and asking her parents to make her an actress.
The scene at mom – this is how the future Wednesday’s acting career was born
“The answer was always: hell, no!” the 20-year-old star now recalls. Which has never lacked perseverance. Until, exasperated, mom Natalie gives her a book of monologues bought at the bookstore. Hoping, thus, to make her fourth child stop with this continuous whim. “Come on, she plays this,” she told her.
And Jenna took her at her word. “I gave her a dramatic monologue. Where I was crying hysterically and all. She didn’t understand. She didn’t know how, why I was doing it. Where did all that hysteria come from. Or what I was talking about.’ In front of her worried and incredulous face of her mother, little Jenna – who was 7 or 8 at the time – wiped away her tears with her hand. She looked at her and said, “This piece comes from the book of monologues you gave me. I did what you told me to do.”
Jenna Ortega’s first performance in a video on Facebook
Wednesday: photos, characters and videos from Tim Burton’s Netflix TV series
Natalie asked her daughter to repeat the performance. She filmed it and posted the video of her on her Facebook profile. With a caption: “My little drama queen». Do you want to see it? Here it is.
“It was a joke with her friends: they knew I was melodramatic,” says the young protagonist. But among these friends there was also a friend of a casting director. That she, as soon as she saw the amazing performance of the little girl, she immediately wanted to know.
The result was the start of a promising career. She was born on TV with several commercials. Including that of a toothpaste (which you can always find in the video above, at minute 3 and 22) in 2013.
10 years later we are here to celebrate the promising career of a young star. Capable of captivating a difficult one like Tim Burton (who, even, fixed her hair on set!), and look forward to the second season of Wednesday.