A Hollywood writer-producer has called actress Jenna Ortega “overbearing” and “beyond toxic” after she spoke on a podcast against the writers of the Netflix blockbuster on Wednesday.
Steven DeKnight, whose writing credits include Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Daredevil and the Starz series Spartacus, said he thought Ortega’s comments were unprofessional.
The 20-year-old star of The Addams Family spin-off said she was not happy with the writers’ work.
Ortega said nothing about Wednesday’s character “made sense to her,” and she had to step in to correct the “arc” of the story.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had to stomp on a set the way I had to on ‘Wednesday,'” he said, on a March 6 episode of the Dax Shepard podcast.
Jenna Ortega is seen recording a March 6 episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast
Ortega, 20, told Shepard that he had problems with much of the writing on the show.
DeKnight said it was inappropriate for Ortega to speak about script discussions, saying she “publicly shit” on the writers and producers.
“Love talking to actors about their lines/stories,” he tweeted.
“But by the nature of the beast, they don’t have the full picture (on TV) of where the story is going and why it takes a few lines to make it all make sense.
‘She’s young, so maybe she doesn’t know any better (but she should).
“You should also ask yourself how you would feel if the showrunners gave an interview and talked about how difficult it was and refused to interpret the material.”
He added: ‘This kind of statement is beyond the law and toxic. I love your job, but life is too short to deal with people like that in business.
Ortega told Shepard that he had trouble working with the script team on Wednesday.
Steven DeKnight, a writer and producer, took issue with Ortega’s comments.
Ortega told Shepard: “When I read the entire series, I realized, ‘Oh, this is for younger audiences.’
“When I first signed up for the show, I didn’t have all the scripts. I thought it was going to be much darker. It wasn’t… I didn’t know what the key was, or what the score would sound like.
She said that the story lines did not appeal to her.
‘Being in a love triangle? It did not make sense.
‘There was a line about a dress she has to wear to a school dance and she’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, I love it. Ugh, I can’t believe she said that. I literally hate myself.
‘I had to go, ‘No.’
“There were times on that set where I even got almost unprofessional in a sense where I just started to switch lines.”
Ortega said that while they were filming, she would change the lines without telling anyone in advance.
His improvisation surprised the crew.
“The script supervisor thought I was on to something, and then I had to sit down with the writers, and they’d say, ‘Wait, what happened to the scene?’
And he would have to go and explain why he couldn’t go do certain things.
He said that he changed the script because he was concerned that it would be “boring” and not resonate with audiences.
In particular, I wanted Wednesday to be nicer and less bad.
“You can’t lead a story and not have an emotional arc because then it’s boring and nobody likes you,” he said.
“When you’re little and you say very morbid and offensive things, it’s funny and endearing. But then you become a teenager and it’s disgusting and you know it. There is less excuse.
Ortega has not responded to DeKnight’s criticism until days after he appeared on the Saturday Night Live podcast.
Ortega dances like Wednesday in the hit Netflix series, which will return for a second season
The 20-year-old actress has previously spoken out to criticize the directors and production team.
He has previously criticized the show’s crew, saying in October that one of the directors, Tim Burton, “didn’t want me to have any expression or emotion at all” when he was playing on Wednesday, something he fought against.
“He wanted a flat surface, which I understand,” she said, speaking to Christina Ricci, who played earlier on Wednesday, for Interview magazine.
“It’s funny and it’s great, except when you’re trying to move a plot forward and Wednesday is in every scene.
“There were a lot of battles like that because I felt like people didn’t always trust me when I was creating my path in terms of, ‘Okay, this is her arc. This is where she gets excited.
‘I was completely lost and confused. I usually have no problem using my voice, but when you’re in it, I only remember feeling defeated after the first month.
He also criticized the decision to have multiple directors.
“There have never been so many cooks in the kitchen,” Ortega said of the series.
I was completely lost and confused.
The series was Netflix’s second biggest English-language hit, behind only Stranger Things.