How to Get Cast on ‘Wednesday’

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Photo Source: Vlad Cioplea/Netflix

They’re creepy and they’re kooky; but perhaps no Addams is spookier 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 Broadway 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. In January 2023, Netflix announced that the show was renewed for a second season

Season 1 was an awards darling, netting multiple Emmy nods—plus four wins in the technical categories—including for outstanding comedy series and lead actress in a comedy for star Jenna Ortega.

Want to land a role on “Wednesday”? From audition advice to open casting calls, here’s everything you need to know.

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What is “Wednesday” about?

The Netflix series was created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (“The Shannara Chronicles,” “Smallville”), and the bulk of Season 1 was directed by none other than Tim Burton.

“Wednesday” focuses on the titular teen’s (Jenna Ortega) 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 discovered her latent psychic abilities and butted heads with her classmates and faculty members. She also set out to get to the bottom of a series of mysterious supernatural murders—and wound up at the center of a love triangle.

In an interview with Variety, Ortega discussed the darker turn the show will take on Season 2. “It’s still coming together, but we’ve decided we want to lean into the horror more,” she said. “Because it is so lighthearted, and a show like this with vampires and werewolves and superpowers, you don’t want to take yourself too seriously. We’re ditching any romantic love interest for Wednesday, which is really great. We’re going to get bolder, more dark.”

The actor, who’s made a name for herself in horror films like “Scream,” “X,” and “The Babysitter: Killer Queen,” earned Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award nods for her performance on Season 1. She’s also signed on as a producer on the second season, allowing her to have more creative control over Wednesday’s character development.  

“We had already been throwing out so many ideas, and I’m somebody who’s very hands on. I want to know what’s going on,” she told Variety. “And with a character like Wednesday, who is so beloved and such a legend, I just really didn’t want to get her wrong. So I try to have as many conversations as possible. On set, with the writers and Tim, we all would get together and decide: ‘OK, what works and what doesn’t?’ It was naturally already very collaborative. And I’m just so curious. I want to see the outfits, new characters that are coming in, and scripts, and they were gracious enough to let me put the producer hat on.”

Who’s in the cast of “Wednesday”?

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

Rest assured, some familiar faces will be back for Season 2. Netflix announced in May 2024 that Ortega will lead the series again, joined by Myers, Sunday, Mostafa, Farmer, and Dorobantu. Zeta-Jones, Guzmán, Ordonez, and Unati Lewis-Nyawo are also returning as series regulars, with McShane and Armisen making guest appearances again. Hynes White will not be returning due to sexual assault allegations against him

“Wednesday” Season 2 is also adding some new faces, with Steve Buscemi playing the principal of Nevermore. His character is assuming the position following (spoiler alert!) the death of Gwendoline Christie’s character on the Season 1 finale. Along with Buscemi, Billie Piper, Evie Templeton, Owen Painter, and Noah Taylor are also joining Season 2 as series regulars with some new guest stars, such as Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Lumley, Thandiwe Newton, Frances O’Connor, Haley Joel Osment, Heather Matarazzo, and Joonas Suotamo.

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Who’s the casting director for “Wednesday”?

Florina Fernandes, Sophie Holland, and John Papsidera put together the Season 1 ensemble. Papsidera told us that television casting differs from film casting, as 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.”

Papsidera has some assurances for actors in his audition room. “I hope that they 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. 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,” he continued. “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.”

Wednesday

How does the casting process work for “Wednesday”?

In an interview on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Luis Guzmán said that Burton specifically sought him out to play Addams patriarch Gomez. The character has previously been portrayed John Astin on the “Addams Family” TV series (1964), Raul Julia in Barry Sonnenfeld’s “The Addams Family” (1991) and “Addams Family Values” (1993), and Oscar Isaac in ​​Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon’s animated movie (2019).

“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 recalled. “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, alright; let’s do it!’ ”

Finding the right actor to play Wednesday, however, was much more intensive. “It’s always a little bit daunting when you start a process with such a legacy and storied roles around it,” Papsidera told CNN. The team wanted a Latina actor for the character, since her father is Hispanic. (Guzmán is Puerto Rican, the late Julia was Puerto Rican, and Isaac 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 showed up 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.”

Gough and Millar, however, wanted to explore all their options before landing on their lead. But following an exhaustive search, it became clear to them that Ortega was the right actor for the job.

“The lead of any show becomes your collaborator in the show—they just do,” Gough told IndieWire. “It’s just inevitable. And this character, there’s a precision to it. There’s a precision to Jenna’s performance; there’s a precision to how the character’s written; there’s a precision to what Tim does. And we all had many conversations about it, because you’re just trying to make sure you’re landing the plane on a very small aircraft carrier in a very big ocean.”

Burton agreed that Ortega was the perfect choice. “No matter how good the writing was, without the right Wednesday, the show wouldn’t really exist,” the director told Netflix Queue. “I can’t imagine any other Wednesday. She’s like a silent movie actress in the sense that she’s able to convey things without words.”

WednesdayVlad Cioplea/Netflix

When does filming for “Wednesday” Season 2 start?

According to Netflix, production for “Wednesday” Season 2 is now underway in Ireland. The streamer shared the news on May 7 with a teaser video that included a slew of new cast members (mentioned above) and Season 2’s premiere title, “Here We Woe Again.” Per the teaser, the premiere is written by Gough and Millar, and directed by Tim Burton

If the upcoming installment follows the same timeline as the prior season, filming could take up to six months—meaning Season 2 won’t premiere on Netflix until early 2025, at best.

Where can you find “Wednesday” casting calls?

In late March 2024, Geek Ireland reported that Celtic Casting posted a call for background actors to appear “on the second season of a U.S. hit TV show” that could very likely be “Wednesday.”

The notice calls for ethnically diverse adults and teens with “unique looks, quirky styles, [and] edgy traits,” as well as twins and triplets. To apply, you must be a resident of Ireland who has availability between the end of April and November.

As of now, there are no open casting calls for the series. However, we expect that to change now that Season 2 is in production.

While you’re waiting for more news, keep an eye on this list of open casting calls for networks like HBO and Prime Video, and check out our in-depth guide to getting cast on a Netflix show for more audition advice.

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What are the best audition tips for landing a role on “Wednesday”?

Be self-assured in 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] makes it work.”

Don’t try to be impressive; just be yourself. According to Holland, many hopefuls enter the room with the intention of making a big splash. But just being your authentic self can leave a 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 out what you’re good at. Christina Ricci, who co-stars on “Wednesday,” will always be synonymous with the character thanks to her hilariously deadpan turn in the 1990s “Addams” films, which helped launch her career. And 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,” she told us. “But also, find the thing that you do that’s special, and do that thing. 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.”

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