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16 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Jenna Ortega That You Probably Didn't Know, But Definitely Should

BuzzFeed
BuzzFeed
 2022-11-29

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It's no surprise that Jenna Ortega has taken Hollywood by storm with her now-giant list of credits. Just this year alone, with her work in Scream 5 and X, she's quickly become one of my new favorite scream queens.

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Michael Tullberg / FilmMagic / Getty

But what truly blew my mind was her stellar portrayal of Wednesday Addams in the new Netflix series Wednesday .

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She's sooooooOOo freaking good in it, you guys!

Netflix

To celebrate her already-iconic performance, here are 16 facts you probably never knew about her:

1. Jenna was born Sept. 27, 2002 and is a Libra.

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She also shared that she doesn't know much about astrology, but she does know that Libras are very indecisive, and she agrees.

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2. She just turned 20 years old but has been steadily working in Hollywood for the last decade. She was only 10 when she had her first role as a guest star on the 2012 series Rob .

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She's also best known for her roles on Jane the Virgin, You Season 2, Yes Day, and Stuck in the Middle .

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3. She's of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent, and her maternal great-grandma emigrated from a small ranch near Sinaloa, Mexico.

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In an essay for PopSugar, she wrote , "I am 75 percent Mexican and 25 percent Puerto Rican. My great-grandma on my mother's side migrated from a small ranch near Sinaloa, Mexico. She came to the United States as an illegal immigrant in hopes to make a better life for her four daughters."

Rich Polk / Getty Images for MTV

4. She was first discovered when she was just 9 years old. Jenna's mom posted a video of her reciting a monologue on Facebook, and it got the attention of a family friend who knew a casting agent.

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She told Tamron Hall she didn't even know her mom posted the video and that it was only meant for close friends to see. "She posted it just as a joke for inside friends because her friends on Facebook knew that I was very dramatic."

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5. She went to public school in California up until she was cast in Stuck in the Middle on Disney Channel. Then, for most of high school, she was homeschooled. She even went to a prom thrown by Disney, where she met stars from other shows.

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She told Jimmy Kimmel , "I think they're trying to make us feel normal, but it's just really awkward because you don't know these kids and their parents are there. It's a really sweet thing on Disney's part, but it is a bit odd."

Disney Channel

6. Jenna started off acting in commercials for brands like Colgate and Old Navy. One year, she accidentally became a "McDonald's Girl" after three different casting directors put her in consecutive ads for the fast-food company.

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Colgate / Facebook: watch

7. She's a big fan of all things spooky and gravitates toward darker scripts because of "some invisible string" that connects her to them.

She told the Face , "I love things that are a bit off-putting, things when the closer you look, really aren’t that pretty. I love things that are disturbing." She added, “There’s some invisible string that’s connected to serial killers, monsters, creatures, and myself. No matter where I go.”

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8. She even used to perform autopsies on already dead animals when she was younger.

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9. All her life she's been compared to Wednesday Addams because of her dry sense of humor. She added , "I don't think people can tell when I'm being serious or when I'm being sarcastic."

She said, "I didn't think it was that bad until we were on set sometimes, and Tim [Burton] might say, 'Oh, that was...dark.'"

@jennaortega / instagram.com

10. She and Maddie Ziegler, who she starred alongside in The Fallout , are very close friends, and she even considers them "the same person in different fonts."

“She's one of my greatest friends ever. She was somebody that I instantly clicked with.”

@jennaortega / instagram.com

11. She actually showed up to her Wednesday audition covered in blood — both fake and real. She explained that she auditioned for Tim Burton over Zoom, right after filming her character's death scene in X . While she was covered in fake blood for the scene, she also wore a prosthetic that left an actual cut on her chin.

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During her Wired Autocomplete Interview she said, "When I met with Tim Burton for Wednesday , I had stage blood and glycerin sweat in my hair and a massive cut on my face and had been up for over 24 hours. I got on Zoom, and he actually laughed. It made me laugh. I thought it was endearing."

A24

12. Jenna didn't want to do an impression of Christina Ricci's portrayal of Wednesday from the '90s films, and they never even spoke about Christina having played the role before.

Jenna explained, "I think maybe one time on the last week of shooting I made a reference to her Wednesday. But I think that we both were able to appreciate the fact that they were gonna be different. I didn't wanna knock her off, and I didn't wanna be doing some impression of her. I think it was really important that we just kept our ideas separate."

@jennaortega / instagram.com

13. She's only the second actor from the Scream movie franchise to actually be a teenager while playing a teenager in the movie.

Emma Roberts was the first, and she was 19 while filming Scream 4 .

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14. She's a massive chocolate lover , and her go-to ice cream flavors are chocolate fudge brownie and chocolate chip cookie dough.

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Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

15. She previously lent her voice to Isabel on Disney's animated series Elena of Avalor , the series that introduced the brand's first Latina princess .

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Disney

16. And finally, she once pranked a friend by taking their deodorant and replacing it with butter — her friend never found out it was Jenna who did it.

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Rodin Eckenroth / WireImage / Getty

If you haven't already, be sure to check Jenna out in Wednesday , which is streaming on Netflix now!

Watch Once Upon A Time In Londongrad from BuzzFeed Studios, a new true crime docuseries based on the explosive BuzzFeed News investigation, now streaming on Peacock.

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