Jenna Ortega is revealing her secret to an unnerving stare.
The actress stars as Wednesday Addams in the Netflix “Addams Family” spin-off series “Wednesday” as the titular goth girl. The teen girl is well known for her thousand-yard stare, and Ortega says she developed a technique for channeling that unnerving look.
“It was something that Tim [Burton] and I established very early on: she doesn’t blink. He likes when I tilt my chin down and look through my eyebrows,” she explained during her appearance on “Today with Hoda and Jenna”. “Kind of a Kubrick stare. Then I relax all the muscles in my face.”
She then demonstrated her unblinking stare for the hosts, adding that, “you move your eyebrows and that’s pretty much all your reaction.”
As for the secret behind keeping that stare, Ortega said she made good use of other people’s takes.
“I think I got kind of annoying about it on set, to be honest – because I would have to restart a take if I, sometimes you started crying [because of] the Romanian winter, there was wind in my face,” she recalled. “I learned to blink on other people’s lines.”
The show was shot in Romania, which Ortega called an “insane” experience.
“It was insane. I had never been to that side of the world and the crew – some of the most delightful people I met in my entire life and it was perfect because we did a lot of exterior shots,” said the actress. “Shot at castles and stuff like that, so it fit the gothic atmosphere.”
“Wednesday” is available now for streaming on Netflix.