MTV’s newest scream queen, Jenna Ortega, teases new Netflix series ‘Wednesday’

A woman holding an envelope and speaking into a microphone
“Scream” star Jenna Ortega accepts the award for most frightened performance at the 2022 MTV Movie and TV Awards in Santa Monica.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP)

Rising scream queen Jenna Ortega continues to establish herself as a mainstay of the horror genre while promoting multiple upcoming spooky projects.

Hot off Ortega’s victory for most frightened performance at Sunday’s MTV Movie and TV Awards, Netflix released a teaser trailer Monday for “Wednesday,” starring the 19-year-old performer as the titular goth teen from the “Addams Family” franchise.

Directed by horror veteran Tim Burton, the eight-part spinoff series will follow the brooding Wednesday Addams on a mission to solve a supernatural mystery from her parents’ past.


“I feel very lucky to have been able to portray Wednesday Addams as a teenager and to watch her go off in boarding school and insert herself in a place full of outcasts, where she still remains an outcast,” Ortega told Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet Sunday at the MTV Movie and TV Awards.

“Thing about Wednesday is we’ve never seen her onscreen for such a long period of time. She’s always been the one-line joke, and so it’s been really interesting ... creating a deeper emotional arc for her and giving her a bit more range than she has had previously.”

A girl with freckles and black braided pigtails wearing a collared dress
Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in “Wednesday.”
(Matthias Clamer / Netflix)

The young actor also expressed her admiration for Christina Ricci, who portrayed Wednesday in the 1991 cult classic “The Addams Family” and is set to appear in Netflix’s adaptation as well.

“I got to work with her, and I learned a lot from her,” Ortega added. “In my personal opinion, Wednesday will never get any better. ... I’ll do what I can ... to make sure I’m not ripping anybody else off ... but I have immense respect for her, and she will always be Wednesday in my eyes.”

Ahead of Sunday’s show, Ortega additionally teased her forthcoming turn in “Scream 6.” The “Elena of Avalor” alum made her “Scream” debut earlier this year as Tara Carpenter, the first target of the franchise’s masked serial killer, Ghostface, in the latest sequel.


“What I will say is: Ghostface gets a lot more intimidating” in “Scream 6,” Ortega told Entertainment Tonight.

“I just read part of the script, and it gets more and more gory. ... This is probably the most aggressive and violent version of Ghostface we’ve ever seen, which will be really fun to shoot.”

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Months after her winning turn in “Scream 5,” Ortega also starred in the Ti West slasher “X.”

“What I love about horror is that it’s pure entertainment,” Ortega told Entertainment Tonight.

“There’s a lot of pressure that’s released on set, and everybody’s there to give people a good time. ... You’re expressing yourself the best you possibly can be to give people that rush of adrenaline. And as somebody who loves horror and has been a fan for a very long time, that’s another part of it too. There’s a love behind it.”

A hooded figure wearing a ghost mask and brandishing a knife at a screaming girl
Ghostface, left, and Jenna Ortega in 2022’s “Scream.”
(Brownie Harris / Paramount Pictures / Spyglass Media Group)

In addition to the obligatory return of Ghostface, the sixth “Scream” installment will see Hayden Panettiere and Courteney Cox reprise their roles as final girl Kirby Reed and newscaster Gale Weathers, respectively.

“[Panettiere’s Kirby Reed] definitely has been one of my favorite characters in the ‘Scream’ franchise for a very long time,” Ortega said. “So the fact that her character gets to come back and redeem herself is really exciting.”

“Wednesday” is scheduled for release this year, and “Scream 6” is slated to open on March 31, 2023.