Jenna Ortega explains why she “can’t watch” herself on screen

Wednesday star Jenna Ortega has revealed that she “can’t watch” herself on screen.

In a new interview, the 21-year-old actress said she wouldn’t be able to move forward with her career if she spent too much time focusing on things she doesn’t like about a particular scene.

Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar magazine’s December/January issue, in recognition of her receiving the Breakthrough award at the Women of the Year Awards 2023, Ortega said: “I can’t watch my work, as I know I won’t be able to push forward and continue to grow as an actor if I cling on to certain things.


“A lot of people in my profession can probably relate to this: when you do a take you don’t like, you go to bed kicking yourself. But ultimately, all I can do is be vulnerable and honest when the camera’s on, and then I have to move on and let it go.”

The actress said that she’s keen to take control of her career and is desperate to be able to make mistakes so she can learn from them.

“I want to be able to really orchestrate my own future and make more specific, precise moves,” she said. “I’ve even begged a little bit to be allowed to make a mistake. Because how can I learn if I don’t do that for myself?

“I can’t be scared of the fact that I might fall on my face. But it’s hard to do that when so many people are watching.”

Jenna Ortega
Jenna Ortega. CREDIT: Getty

Ortega added that she has learnt to keep her own anxiety at bay by realising that she isn’t the only one who is “naturally terrified” of making mistakes, and that even the most successful people can sometimes struggle.


She said: “What helps me sleep at night is knowing that everybody – no matter how successful or hard-working, is flying by the seat of their pants. Nobody knows what’s going on. Everybody’s doing something for the first time. Somebody does not have one up on you. Nobody is below you.

“We’re all on a level playing field because we’re all just naturally terrified.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Ortega shared that she once wanted to dye her hair blonde so she would look like Cinderella. However, she soon came to realise that by being herself, she would become a far more powerful role model.

She said: “I thought, ‘I don’t want other young girls to look up at the screen and feel like they have to change their appearance to be deemed beautiful or worthy’.”

Ortega is next set to appear in the Paramount+ thriller Finestkind, which recently released its first official trailer. She’ll also reprise her role as Wednesday Addams for a second season of Netflix‘s Wednesday.

Elsewhere, it was recently confirmed that Ortega will be appearing in an upcoming sequel to the 1988 film Beetlejuice.

As confirmed by Warner Bros. last month, the forthcoming film — titled Beetlejuice 2 — will also star Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder, and is set to arrive in cinemas on September 6, 2024.