Gothic giggles and glamour: A strikingly vampish Catherine Zeta-Jones lights up Wednesday, the wickedly funny new Addams Family spin-off series
With jet-black hair falling all the way down her back and a fitted ebony gown that seems to shimmer in the dark, Catherine Zeta-Jones oozes gothic glamour in Wednesday, the latest spooky comedy series based on the creepy Addams Family.
The Oscar-winning actress steals her scenes as matriarch Morticia, but insists the show is really about the title character. ‘Jenna Ortega is brilliant as the Addams’s daughter Wednesday,’ says Catherine. ‘The character has a wonderfully dry sense of humour, and Jenna brings her own inherently dry sense of humour to the part.’
Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia with Luis Guzmán as Gomez in the latest spooky comedy series based on the Addams Family
California-born Stuck In The Middle star Jenna, 19, recognises the role is the biggest opportunity of her career so far and pulled out all the stops.
‘I took fencing and cello lessons when I found out Wednesday does both at school, and I thought her walk was important too,’ says Jenna. ‘I wanted her to be assertive in the way she moves, so I spent months perfecting it, to the point where it became second nature.’
Wednesday and other key members of the Addams family – Morticia, her husband Gomez and son Pugsley – first appeared as a cartoon in a US magazine in the 30s before making it to the screen.
A 60s TV series proved a hit, as did 1991 movie The Addams Family in which Christina Ricci played Wednesday.
Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in Wednesday. The new eight-part series is set both in the family’s spooky mansion and at the Nevermore Academy where Wednesday is now studying
The new eight-part series is set both in the family’s spooky mansion and at the Nevermore Academy where Wednesday is now studying after an unfortunate incident at her previous school.
‘She was expelled after dropping piranhas into the water polo pool while the senior guys were playing,’ says Jenna.
Game Of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie is cast as Nevermore’s headteacher Larissa Weems, and the accent is as much on comedy as it is on horror.
‘You must be the self-appointed Queen Bee,’ Wednesday tells one classmate. ‘But do you know the interesting thing about bees? When you pull out their stingers they drop dead.’ She’s also trying to thwart a killing spree that’s terrorised the town.
The show is directed by Tim Burton, the king of weird and wonderful, who believes viewers will be bewitched by Jenna’s performance.
‘The way she conveys things without words puts me in mind of a brilliant silent movie actress,’ says Tim. ‘Wednesday is very much her own person, who sees things in black and white – mainly black!
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