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Jenna Ortega Shot An Entire Take Of Wednesday Without Blinking Once

Wednesday Addams is the type of character that allows a young actress to sink into angsty rebellion with a touch of darkly funny comedy thrown in. The Netflix series "Wednesday" will take a more authentic approach to the character as well as cartoonist Charles Addams' original interpretations of "The Addams Family" he first developed for The New Yorker back in the 1930s (per Vanity Fair). Jenna Ortega will portray the title role in the new show, with Luis Guzman and Catherine Zeta-Jones portraying her parents Gomez and Morticia, and Isaac Ordonez on board as her younger brother Pugsley Addams.

Jenna Ortega's dark humor may suit her well for a role that prefers despair and melancholy over comedy and friendship. The fact that Christina Ricci –- the previous live-action creator of Wednesday's signature gloomy persona — is also in the series further highlights the character's murky presence and dingy disposition even more. But "Wednesday" is Ortega's chance to bring the character to life for a new generation. In fact, her commitment to her craft saw the actress go so far as to shoot entire takes without blinking to give Wednesday a sinister stare.

Tim Burton encouraged Jenna Ortega to limit her blinking when in character as Wednesday Addams

In an interview with Teen Vogue in promotion for "Wednesday," Jenna Ortega briefly spoke about her physical commitment to bringing the title character to life. The actress shared, "At some point during the first couple of weeks of shooting, I did a take where I did not blink at all. And Tim [Burton] said, 'I don't want you to blink anymore...'" She then highlighted how the request served the purpose of crafting Wednesday's strange aura. "So that's another thing too, where it's just weird mannerisms. We try to incorporate things like that," she added.

This was likely all part of the intense training Ortega underwent to prepare herself for the challenges of such a popular part. Much of her prep work involved adopting a signature walk for Wednesday in addition to learning how to play the cello and attending fencing lessons during the work week during her free time. The refraining from blinking was likely intentional on producer Tim Burton's part in helping the actress fashion the character. In August 2022, the filmmaker told Netflix, "She's like a silent movie actress in the sense where she's able to convey things without words – and to see the inner life and subtleties was very exciting..." He then shared how the crew was lucky to have Ortega playing the part.

The actress modeled Wednesday's gaze on the intense 'Kubrick stare'

American filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was responsible for creating some of the most memorable film images of all time, many of which came to be known as the "Kubrick stare," where actors would gaze menacingly into the camera. Malcolm McDowell in 1971's "A Clockwork Orange," brought the recurring trend into focus and the signature stare was also immortalized by Jack Nicholson in the director's horror epic "The Shining." The eerie deep focus look situated straight into the eyes and soul of the audience by the performer was also one of the inspirations Jenna Ortega used when creating Wednesday's leering glare in "Wednesday."

The actress told Teen Vogue, "The thing about the blinking is, I didn't realize that I was doing it. It just kind of happened because every time we started to take, I would reset my face. I would drop all the muscles in my face like the Kubrick stare where I stared through my eyebrows. It's just a bit intimidating. I think something like that is not blinking..." She then spoke about how her gazes into the camera struck a creative chord with Burton. 

Ortega has certainly dug deep into film history to find her references.