Jenna Ortega, lead of Netflix’s newest hit series Wednesday, has revealed the shocking news that she was sick with COVID during the filming of the series’ dance scene, which has gone down as one of the show’s most iconic scenes ever. But does Ortega’s diagnosis raise questions about whether or not COVID was a danger on set?
After premiering on Netflix on November 23rd, 2022, Wednesday became a smash hit almost immediately, gaining traction on TikTok and Twitter, among other social media sites. Jenna Ortega, known for her role in Netflix’s You, plays a teenage Wednesday Addams who was expelled from high school and enrolled in the mysterious Nevermore Academy, her mother’s alma mater.
At the school, Wednesday’s cold and sarcastic nature makes it understandably tough to fit in with her peers, who include her werewolf roommate Enid Sinclair, Xavier Thorpe (Percy Hayes White), siren Bianca Barclay (Joy Sunday), gorgon Ajax Petropolis (Georgie Farmer), and vampire Yoko Tanaka (Naomi Ogawa). But when Wednesday’s psychic abilities to see into the past mean she’s got to solve a murder mystery around the school, she’s forced to team up with her classmates whether any of them like it or not.
Jenna Ortega on the Set of ‘Wednesday’ Felt Like She Had Been ‘Hit By a Car’
In a now-viral scene from Wednesday episode 4, “Woe What a Night,” Wednesday asks Xavier to the academy’s Rave’N Dance and pulls off an amusing dance number to “Goo Goo Muck” by the Cramps, filled with arm-flailing that’s somehow graceful while holding her famous deadpan expression all the while.
Parody videos of the dance have blown up the Internet. Still, while discussing Wednesday’s behind-the-scenes workings, Jenna Ortega revealed that she was sick with COVID during the iconic scene.
“It’s crazy because it was my first day with Covid so it was awful to film,” Ortega said, according to Deadline. “Yeah, I woke up and – it’s weird, I never get sick and when I do it’s not very bad – I had the 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 were giving me medicine between takes because we were waiting on the positive result.”
Addressing the issue of Jenna Ortega’s illness, Wednesday producing studio MGM has assured NME and other press outlets that COVID-19 safety guidelines were, in fact, followed on the set of the Netflix show, including Ortega being removed from the set as soon as the positive result came back, despite her being the title character for the whole show – Ortega herself reportedly wanted to do a second dance on the dance scene, saying she “probably could have done it a little bit better,” but was unable to do so after being diagnosed.
Despite the recent backlash following the reveal of Ortega’s diagnosis, both the cast and crew of the show seem to be insisting that proper protocol was always being followed – of course, it’s impossible to know the truth, but it doesn’t seem likely that a Netflix heavy-hitter like Wednesday would want to endanger its own success right now.
Wednesday, starring Jenna Ortega, is currently available to stream on Netflix.