Exclusive: Jenna Ortega shares how Wednesday’s creative team made up Thing’s language and mannerisms, explaining that they were invented on the spot.
Wednesday‘s Jenna Ortega reveals how Thing’s language was established by the show’s creative team. Last week saw the highly anticipated premiere of Wednesday, Netflix’s new Addams Family spinoff series. Starring Jenna Ortega as the titular character, the show finds Wednesday enrolling in the mysterious Nevermore Academy and getting caught up in various mysteries. While Wednesday features a few appearances from prominent Addams Family characters, like Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez (Luis Guzmán), their roles are kept relatively small. The exception here is Thing, the family’s disembodied hand, who takes on the part of Wednesday’s silent sidekick as she navigates boarding school.
Ortega now shares how the Wednesday creative team designed Thing’s physical language on set. Throughout the series, Thing communicates with Wednesday using gestures and movements to convey thoughts and emotions. According to Ortega in an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, actor and magician Victor Dorobantu, who portrays the sentient hand in the series, worked with the team during filming to come up with the mannerisms on the spot. She also elaborates on the whole process of creating the special effect, explaining:
It was so funny, because the Thing language was just made up on the day. Every day we’d show up and go, “Ahhh…” [hand motions] “That looks right. I feel like I kind of know what he’s saying.” But Tim wanted it to be an actual actor like they did in the 90s films, so it was this magician named Victor [Dorobantu]. He would wear a full blue suit, and he would hide behind walls and underneath beds. Then they built this prosthetic on top of his hand so that it looked like a wrist knob, and he would walk around. Tim really liked his mannerisms, and he would spend hours in hair and makeup every day just getting that hand on. Then we’d shoot some stuff with him, and other times we would shoot with absolutely nothing there. We’d shoot with the stand-in hand there; never did the tennis ball. I was either working with an actor and responding to him or I was looking at nothing, and then at the end of every take, we would have to bring in these gray and silver balls and a color chart so that they could add CGI. Those scenes always took longer because of that.
How Addams Family Members Can Be More Prevalent In Wednesday Season 2
Though a second season has yet to be confirmed, Wednesday season 1 has already received generally positive reviews, which bodes well for the show’s future. The Wednesday showrunners have confirmed they have multiple seasons planned in case they get the greenlight, so the series could have a long run ahead. While Thing was prominently featured throughout Wednesday season 1, season 2 could be an opportunity to shine more of a spotlight on the rest of the Addams family. Since season 1 ended with Wednesday getting expelled from Nevermore Academy, the door is now open for a new setting or backdrop to Wednesday’s adventures in season 2, which could possibly feature more of the Addams family homestead.
Another potential avenue for Wednesday season 2 is a deeper exploration of the character’s new powers. In season 1, Principal Weems (Gwendoline Christie) reveals to Wednesday that the visions she has started experiencing have been passed onto her by her mother, Morticia. Wednesday’s visions are a new addition to the character in this version, and a season 2 could use this ability to focus more on her family ties and how Morticia’s and Wednesday’s shared powers will play into the younger Addams’ fate.
Wednesday has received a lot of attention so far, breaking records on Netflix by surpassing Stranger Things season 4 for most hours watched in a week. Audiences may be eager to see more of Zeta-Jones, Guzmán, and Fred Armisen as Uncle Fester, while some viewers may have also felt the absence of the family favorite, Cousin Itt. With a wealth of preexisting material in addition to the new world Wednesday season 1 has already built, the possibilities are endless for bringing in more classic Addams Family characters for a potential season 2.