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Why Jenna Ortega Was ‘Very Confused Emotionally’ by the Success of Netflix’s ‘Wednesday’

Why Jenna Ortega Was Very Confused by the Success of Netflixs Wednesday
Vlad Cioplea/Netflix

Nowadays, Jenna Ortega is known for playing Wednesday Addams — but the massive success of the Netflix series is still sinking in.

“I didn’t know what to say or do,” Ortega, 21, told Vanity Fair in a Wednesday, February 21, interview about adjusting to her new level of fame. “I just became very confused emotionally.”

She continued, “I have been doing this for 12 years. It’s weird to look back on all the experiences that I’ve had doing the job that I do. And then to be here now is … I don’t know, I feel like it’s some sort of sick prank.”

Although her recent shot to stardom has been overwhelming, finding success with her acting is something Ortega has craved since she was just a kid. One of her dreams included working alongside Tim Burton, who serves as director and executive producer of Wednesday.

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“I wanted to start [acting] when I was six,” she revealed. “But I didn’t actually start until I was 10. There’s a lot of things that I’ve done in my career that I used to say I wanted to do, or dreamed about doing. I’m definitely a perfectionist, but I also think that that comes with never being satisfied or never being able to stop and slow down and appreciate what’s been going on or what I’ve seen.”

Ortega noted that the last few months have allowed her to “reflect on the fact that a lot of the things that I wanted to do when I was younger, including work with Tim Burton, have happened,” adding, “I almost didn’t realize it because I was so focused on the work and had tunnel vision.”

For Ortega, the A-list level of success almost feels like an out of body experience.

“Everything that’s happened — it almost feels like another person that people are talking about,” she said. “I don’t feel attached to my name at all, or people’s perception of my name.”

While her career has skyrocketed, Ortega maintains that her personal life has stayed the same.

“It almost doesn’t sound real. I just feel very detached from the whole thing,” she explained. “Which maybe helps as well. But at the same time, it’s kind of scary. I don’t know how people do it. I feel like there’s probably some handbook out there that just was never handed to me.”

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Ortega broke onto the scene in 2016 as Harley Diaz in the hit Disney Channel sitcom Stuck in the Middle, which lasted until 2018. After that, she was in a handful of other projects, like The CW’s Jane the Virgin and the American psychological thriller You. She’s also appeared in Yes Day, The Fallout and most recently, the cult franchise Scream.

This fall, Ortega will be teaming up with Burton, 65, for Beetlejuice 2. She will play Astrid, the daughter of Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder). The movie will hit theaters on September 6, 2024.

Despite the industry’s downsides, Ortega told the outlet that she loves being an actress.

“To still enjoy the job just as much 12 years later — even seeing all of the ugly and wonderful and extreme — I think is pretty cool,” she said. “I made this decision when I was 10, so I’m living off of a 10-year-old’s choices.”

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