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  • “Wednesday” star Jenna Ortega says she spent two days without sleep planning her viral dance scene.
  • The actor said that he choreographed the dance and did extensive research for it.
  • Inspiration for the dance included archival footage of goth teenagers dancing in clubs in the 1980s.

Jenna Ortega’s iconic dance on “Wednesday” was entirely her own choreography, and it took her 48 hours without sleep to pull it off, she said during a recent late-night talk show interview.

Since its debut on Netflix in November, “Wednesday” has been a hit with younger audiences. It beat Stranger Things as the most-watched English-language TV series, with more than 400 million hours, according to The Independent.

A good part of that popularity is due to Ortega’s casting as Wednesday’s title character, as well as the dance he performs in the show’s fourth episode, Insider previously reported.

But behind the scenes, a lot of thought went into the unique performance, according to Ortega. During an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” Ortega said he refused to work with a choreographer on the dance and spent days planning it on his own before it was shot.

“I’m not a dancer,” Ortega said. “I haven’t slept in two days, I’ve been watching videos of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Denis Levant on Beau Travail.

Another source of inspiration for the dance set to The Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck” was archival footage of goth kids dancing in clubs in the 1980s, Ortega says.

The young actor said he only turned his attention to the dance after director Tim Burton reminded him that it was preparing for the shooting schedule.

“He came to my trailer about two days before we shot and said, ‘Hey Jenna, so I know you said you wanted to do it yourself,'” she said. “He said. “I know you got it, you worked on it, I’m not even worried about it. I trust you”:

Jenna Ortega is dancing "Wednesday"

Jenna Ortega was sick with COVID in “Wednesday”.


Ortega said he told Burton everything was fine, but said he hadn’t prepared for it at all because of his busy filming schedule. “That week I was practicing cello, that week I was practicing fencing,” he said. “I was kicking myself, I felt so stupid.”

In early December, the actor revealed he was sick with COVID while filming the scene. The star told NME he contracted the virus during production.

“It was my first day with COVID, so it was scary filming. Yeah, I woke up and it’s weird, I never get sick and when I do it’s not that bad, I had body aches,” Ortega said. “I felt like I had 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 during the break.”

Ortega also stated that at that moment he did not give a positive result of the test, which is why he was still allowed on the set.


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