Wednesday’s Jenna Ortega explains how she avoided ‘ripping off’ Christina Ricci’s Addams Family performance

Jenna Ortega, the star of Netflix’s Wednesday, has explained how she avoided “ripping off” Christina Ricci.

Ortega plays Wednesday Addams in the new series, adapted from the characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams.

The role was previously played by Ricci in two live-action films in the 1990s: The Addams Family and its sequel, Addams Family Values.

Wednesday has garnered mixed reviews from critics – including a critical two-star write up from The Independent’s Nick Hilton – but has been warmly received by viewers, with its Rotten Tomatoes score setting a milestone for Addams Family adaptations.

Ricci also appears in the series, playing one of Wednesday’s teachers.

In an interview with MTV News, Ortega revealed that she didn’t talk about the character with Ricci at all to make sure her own performance was distinct.

“I think when [Christina] was on set, neither one of us said ‘Wednesday’ once to each other,” she said. “I don’t think she wanted to get in the way of my performance and feel like she was overbearing.”

“I felt like I didn’t want to pull up something that she did 30 years ago,’ the X actor continued. “For the sake of my own benefit, but two, yeah, I didn’t want to rip her off and I didn’t want to be too much like her.”

In a separate interview with Sky News, Ortega expanded on her on-set relationship with Ricci.

Jenna Ortega and Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams (Netflix/Paramount)
Jenna Ortega and Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams (Netflix/Paramount)

“It was interesting for sure, especially because I know that people are automatically making the comparison. But I think what kind of put me at ease was how cool and respectful and how generous of an actress she is,” the 20-year-old actor said.

“I think we got along really well. And also, I kind of comfort myself in knowing that because they live in two completely different realities. They’re two completely different individuals.”

Ortega’s performance in the series was singled out for praise by viewers, who also hailed the “genius” casting of one particular supporting role.

Wednesday is available to stream on Netflix now.