They’re creepy and they’re kooky; but perhaps no Addams is creepier than Morticia and Gomez’s eldest daughter, Wednesday. So it’s no surprise that she’s become the center of a wildly popular streaming series. Based on the beloved “Addams Family” characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938—and subsequently the subjects of multiple TV series and movies, as well as a musical—Netflix’s “Wednesday” focuses on the teen years of the family’s “little black cloud.” And viewers can’t get enough of the show; Deadline reported that the series broke the streamer’s record when it debuted on Nov. 23, 2022, logging 341.23 million viewing hours in its first week alone. Now, the show is returning for a second season.
Want to land a role on “Wednesday”? From audition advice to open casting calls, here’s everything you need to know.
- What is “Wednesday” about?
- Who’s in the cast of “Wednesday”?
- How does the casting process work for “Wednesday”?
- When does filming for “Wednesday” Season 2 start?
- Where can you find “Wednesday” casting calls and auditions?
- Who is the casting director for “Wednesday”?
- What are the best audition tips for landing a role on “Wednesday”?
The Netflix series focuses on Wednesday Addams’ time at her mother Morticia’s (Catherine Zeta-Jones) alma mater, the Nevermore Academy. Having been kicked out of her previous school for dumping live piranhas into the pool as revenge against the water polo team, Wednesday reluctantly enrolls at Nevermore, a private institution for so-called “outcasts” (including the likes of werewolves, gorgons, and vampires) in Jericho, Vermont.
On Season 1, Wednesday discovers her latent psychic abilities and butts heads with her classmates and faculty members. She also sets out to get to the bottom of a series of mysterious supernatural murders—and becomes the center of a teenage love triangle. Plot details have yet to be revealed for the show’s second season.
Jenna Ortega, who has made a name for herself in the horror genre in films like “Scream,” “X,” and “The Babysitter: Killer Queen,” plays the title character—and her performance has already earned her SAG Award and Golden Globe nominations. “Wednesday” was created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (“The Shannara Chronicles,” “Smallville”), and the bulk of Season 1 is directed by none other than Tim Burton.
The Season 1 ensemble includes:
- Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams/Goody Addams
- Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Addams
- Luis Guzmán as Gomez Addams
- Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley Addams
- Gwendoline Christie as Principal Larissa Weems
- Riki Lindhome as Dr. Valerie Kinbott
- Jamie McShane as Sheriff Donovan Galpin
- Hunter Doohan as Tyler Galpin
- Percy Hynes White as Xavier Thorpe
- Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair
- Moosa Mostafa as Eugene Ottinger
- Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay
- Georgie Farmer as Ajax Petropolus
- Naomi J. Ogawa as Yoko Tanaka
- Christina Ricci as Marilyn Thornhill
- Fred Armisen as Uncle Fester
- Johnna Dias-Watson as Divina
- Victor Dorobantu as Thing
- Calum Ross as Rowan Laslow
In an interview on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Luis Guzmán said that Burton specifically sought him out to play Gomez Addams, who has previously been portrayed by the likes of by John Astin (in the 1964 “Addams Family” TV series) and Raul Julia (in Barry Sonnenfeld’s film “The Addams Family” and its 1993 sequel).
“I was actually in Cardiff, Wales, and I got a phone call saying, ‘Tim Burton wants to speak to you.’ [I replied,] ‘Tim Burton? Yeah!’ ” Guzmán said. “So we Zoomed the next day, and he said, ‘Hey, man, we’re doing this thing about the Addams Family.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, wow. Cool!’ I don’t know what’s going to happen next. And he said, ‘I’d love for you to play Gomez.' And I go, ‘For real? Really? OK, all right; let’s do it!’ ”
Finding the right actor to play Wednesday, however, was a much more intensive process. Co-casting director John Papsidera told CNN, “It’s always a little bit daunting when you start a process with such a legacy and storied roles around it.” The team wanted a Latina actor to play Wednesday, since her father, Gomez, is Hispanic. (the late Julia was Puerto Rican; and Oscar Isaac, who voiced the character in the 2019 animated film, is Guatemalan Cuban.)
When the casting team met Ortega, who is of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent, they knew they had found their Wednesday. It didn’t hurt that the actor came to her audition covered in fake blood and gore, having come straight from the set of Ti West’s slasher film “X.”
“I had talked about Jenna a lot in going into [the casting process],” Papsidera said. “It’s also a thin world of girls that can be number one on the call sheet and handle the pressure of that, and is also accomplished in her own right. When you start to talk about a young Latina actress, she rises to the top of the heap.”
On Jan. 6, the Hollywood Reporter dropped the news that Netflix renewed the series for a second season. The streamer released a video announcement the same day featuring a voiceover from Ortega in character as Wednesday. There’s currently no start date for filming on Season 2, but keep an eye on our casting calls page for the latest updates.
Currently, no audition notices have been posted. In the meantime, keep an eye on this “Wednesday”-inspired roundup of gigs that are casting now, as well as this list of open casting calls for other streamers like HBO Max and Prime Video. You can also check out our in-depth guide to getting cast on a Netflix show.
Florina Fernandes, Sophie Holland, and Papsidera put together the Season 1 ensemble. Papsidera told us that television casting differs from film casting, as a lot more people tend to be involved. “Nine writer-producers on a TV show—and a studio and network—is just a very different process. It’s a necessary evil,” he said.
If you do find yourself in the room for a “Wednesday” audition, Papsidera has some advice. “I hope [actors] feel like they [have] a space and a moment to share a bit of their soul. I think that is what my job is, and everybody who works with me tries to create a space where that can happen,” he told us. “We really respect actors, and we want them to be able to feel like when they walk into the building—and then, specifically, into the audition room—they have freedom to do the best work they can. That’s always the goal. I think you do that by making it a safe space and by being helpful and collaborative and present. It’s a big thing for me to feel like we show up for actors. That’s the least that they can expect, and we try to get the best out of them by having someone participate in that.”
- Be self-assured when you walk into the room. While nerves are unavoidable, Papsidera favors performers who are sure of themselves. He said that he looks for “an actor who approaches [the audition] with a certain amount of confidence, and they do something that is not even bold or outrageous as a choice—but they have a confidence [that] what makes it work.”
- Don’t try to be memorable; just be you. According to Holland, many hopefuls enter the room with the intention of making a big splash. But often, just being yourself can leave a long-lasting impression. “Come into the room and understand that it’s a collaboration between a casting director and the actor…. We want to work together on something that you bring ideas to that are well–thought out and well-prepared and excavated—that you’ve really thought about what you want to bring to that character,” she said. “The thing about casting directors is that we have incredible memories. Four years down the line, we will remember you when something comes up, and we’ll bring you in. But actively trying to be memorable is counterproductive; you don’t want to be remembered for the wrong reasons!”
- Figure what you’re good at. Ortega may be the latest actor to play Wednesday Addams, but Christina Ricci (who also co-stars on the series) will always be synonymous with the character; her deadpan turn in the 1990s “Addams Family” movies came to define her early career. Now that she’s spent decades in the industry, the actor speaks from experience. “I would give this advice to anybody, really, starting in pretty much any field—and certainly in an artistic field: You should always be open to constructive criticism; but also, find the thing that you do that’s special and do that thing,” she told us. “No matter how strange the thing is that you’re good at, if you’re the only person who does that, and does it beautifully…. Play to your strengths, even if they’re not popular at the time.”