Plenty was going on with the choice of casting for the character who will be the main focus of the upcoming Netflix show ” Wednesday.” As well as an actress who could play the creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky, this role of the raven-haired, pigtail-braided Wednesday Addams was to be given to a promising young actress who was able to rise to the occasion of portraying an iconic character from an iconic film.
“It’s always a bit intimidating when you begin the process of casting with so many historical and long-running roles,” casting director John Papsidera spoke in a conversation with CNN.
Wednesday TV series 2022
The show brings back an Addams Family world based on the cartoons created by Charles Addams and first shown on screen in the famous 1960s sitcom in black and white, later in the adored late 90s movies. The show is based on the popular early 90s film by Barry Sonnenfeld. In the new front, Wednesday is a student in a boarding school known as”the Nevermore Academy, where all manner of weird and outcasts can wander around in freedom.
Suppose you expect a witty repetition from “The Addams Family” – complete with the theme tune that has a double-snap beware. It’s a “teen-centric dark comedy” according to producers Al Gough and Miles Millar. It’s not a reboot. Instead, it is a more in-depth study and celebration of an incredibly macabre and sharp-as-a-razor elder sibling of the Addams family.
In search of their ideal Wednesday, Gough and Millar collaborated with casting directors Papsidera and Sophie Holland, among others. They wrote via email to CNN that it “was always our goal to select a Latina actress” for the role as they wanted to pay tribute to Gomez Addams’s culture. The character of the patriarch of the family, Gomez, was played in the 1960s by White actor John Astin in the “Addams Family” sitcom of the 1960s, and he was played in the role of Puerto Rican actor Raul Julia in the Sonnenfeld films. In “Wednesday,” Gomez is played by veteran actor Luis Guzman, also from Puerto Rico.
The role of Wednesday’s daughter ended up going to teenage it-girl Jenna Ortega (“Scream,” “You,” “X”), who is an actress of Mexican as well as Puerto Rican descent. Gough and MillarMillar realized they had found their Wednesday as quickly as they had got to know Ortega, the actress, as they described her.
When I started using (the casting method), I talked about Jenna a lot, Papsidera recalled of Ortega. “Women who can be at the top of the audition list, handle pressure, and be successful on their own are incredibly rare. She is able to stand out when you start talking about a talented Latina actor.
Millar and Gough claimed that the show hired a Mexican expert in the field to “help make sure that the show’s scripts were based on Jenna’s unique background.”
“This generation is focused on authenticity. We took great care in all aspects of this casting procedure,” the showrunners added. “We wanted to ensure that the Students attending Nevermore Academy were truly reflective of the current American society. This isn’t just about the series regulars, but also about the quality in casting throughout the whole series, which includes background characters.”
Another feat scored by the casting team in the episode “Wednesday” was the opportunity to secure the actress Christina Ricci, who played her character in Sonnenfeld’s films for a long time, with the lesser part as Marilyn Thornhill. The casting team almost missed the opportunity because of Ricci’s busy timetable and dedication to the cult Showtime show “Yellowjackets.”
“It was an superb long game played with Christina,” Papsidera said. “We have always had conversations about her since the beginning. It wasn’t until the end of her schedule started to open up and then we shifted and Tim HTML0(Burton the director on “Wednesday”) called on the phone to talk to her, and everything worked out.”
Ricci, as well as Burton, who marks his first venture into producing a TV show in the new series, were previously co-producing”Sleepy Hollow” in 1999 “Sleepy Hollow.”
“I think the idea to work alongside Tim once more was the most significant benefit of this camp,” Papsidera said of finding the veteran actor. “I also believe she had the concept of being part of something she is passionate about, making it a special experience for all involved.”
“Wednesday” doesn’t waste any time slyly recognizing Ricci’s contribution to the character. Without going into detail, the first episode features an ensemble of characters dressed as pilgrims who are met with an “HTML0” unfortunate fate. This brings back the memorable scene in Ricci’s amazing scenes of Thanksgiving in the 1993 film “Addams Family Values.”
“There’s some sort of serendipity that runs through the entire series in this manner,” Holland added, getting Ricci. It seems as though everything was thrown together at the last minute or even when we were looking for something and were thinking, “We can’t find this, or we’re unable to locate this. Then something would click in the right spot. The whole thing will be clear once you’ve watched the entire thing is that it all is a bit like a Rubik’s Cube.”
“Wednesday” is also “Wednesday” also stars Gwendoline Christie, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Gwendoline Christie, and Joy Sunday, among others.
With the guidance of Burton, the casting team, Papsidera stated, had a clear idea of the characters and the show.
“If there was anything to be said about that, it’s because that’s where we all began and concluded our conversations in terms of what Tim observed and the people Tim felt attracted to in these character types,” Papsidera said.
Entering such a well-established world, the aim was to “try to rethink the way things are done without losing the essence that it was built on,” he added.
Holland stated that she would like to “fulfill all the needs and desires of everyone” and provide “proper attention to the work we do” about the franchise.
“You are looking for an essence to what these original characters were however you’d like to do to do it in a different manner. That’s why it’s always a challenge and the reward once you achieve it,” Papsidera said.
“Wednesday” can be streamed right now on Netflix.