Jenna Ortega Had COVID-19 When She Shot That “Wednesday” Dance Scene

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet over the past few weeks, then you’re probably aware of Netflix’s latest hit, Wednesday.

The eight-episode series is one The Addams Family spinoff and stars 20-year-old Jenna Ortega as the titular character, Wednesday Addams.

And there is one scene in particular that has driven social media wild, with viewers mesmerized by Wednesday’s moves at her school dance.

In episode 4, the character shocks her date, Tyler, when she performs an attention-grabbing routine to “Goo Goo Muck” by the Cramps while her face remains completely dead.

Before long, people recreated the dance in TikTok videos, though many users have created their own iteration with Lady Gaga’s “Bloody Mary.”

Jenna has previously admitted that she didn’t expect the scene to become as popular as it did, even saying she had felt “uneasy” because she had put the moves together herself.

“I actually felt really insecure about this,” she said in a behind-the-scenes video. “I choreographed it myself, and I think it’s very clear that I’m not a dancer or a choreographer.”

Jenna also opened up about her experience shooting the dance in a new interview with NME, revealing that she actually had COVID-19 during filming.

People have been left horrified after Jenna admitted she was allowed to film while waiting for her test results after waking up with symptoms of the virus.

“It’s crazy because it was my first day with COVID, so it was horrible to film,” Jenna explained.

She recounted her symptoms: “I woke up and – it’s weird, I never get sick, and when I do it’s not too bad – I had body aches. I felt like I’d been hit by a car, and that a little goblin had been let loose in my throat and was scratching the walls of my esophagus.”

“They gave me medicine between treatments because we were waiting for the positive result,” Jenna added. “I asked to redo it, but we didn’t have time. I think I probably could have done it a little better.”

Netflix confirmed Jenna’s story and added in response, “Strict COVID protocols were followed and once the positive test was confirmed, production removed Jenna from the set.”

But many have criticized the producers and series director Tim Burton for letting Jenna work when she was so unwell.

In addition to the fact that she should have been given time to rest, it has been pointed out that COVID-19 is highly contagious and that Jenna being on stage put everyone else at risk.

One person discussing the situation in a Reddit forum said, “It’s not even a single shot, it was literally a whole dance club scene with a lot of people involved. I don’t blame Jenna for informing them in time, but I think it was highly irresponsible of the makers to continue filming, especially since it involved a crowd.”

Another agreed: “It’s such a failure of those responsible and so disrespectful to anyone on set who is high risk or lives with someone who is.”

Another wrote: “This is irresponsible practice for such a large production. Anyone even remotely symptomatic is supposed to be kept off set until the test comes back with a result. I’m sure she tested positive on set as this caused spread to other cast members, crew as well as background artists. I would be so upset if I was on this show!”

And there was widespread agreement that Jenna was not to blame for the situation, with one user summarizing: “Jenna the employee is not responsible, Netflix, the producers and Burton would be.”

But some took issue with the way Jenna told the story, arguing that it was a representation of “grinding culture.”

“I don’t blame Jenna for working while Covid+ bc, as others have said, I doubt she has the power to go against Netflix/Burton. But I do slightly raise an eyebrow at how she’s telling this story, as if it’s a good anecdote about how tough/dedicated she is and not framing it as how fucked up the situation was,” someone commented.

“Yes, social media loves to push this grind culture. It’s very toxic. Working yourself to death is not a flex,” agreed another.

Jenna previously revealed that she had been studying archive footage of goth dancers in 80s clubs to perfect her dance routine, as well as analyzing Lisa Loring, who played Wednesday in the 1960s TV series.

Thanks to Siouxsie Sioux, Bob Fosse’s Rich Man’s Frug, Lisa Loring, Lene Lovich, Denis Lavant and archival footage of goths dancing in clubs in the 80s. helped me with this one.

Twitter: @jennaortega


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