Home Entertainment Jenna Ortega Got Cast in ‘Finestkind’ Before Her Viral ‘Wednesday’ Moment

Jenna Ortega Got Cast in ‘Finestkind’ Before Her Viral ‘Wednesday’ Moment

by smbpapon22P

The Big Picture

  • Jenna Ortega’s career quickly skyrocketed after her roles in popular TV shows like You and Wednesday and her performance in Wednesday.
  • Ortega’s audition for Finestkind happened while she was filming Wednesday, before she became a global superstar, and the directors had no idea of her future success.
  • Ortega’s involvement in other projects like Scream, The Fallout, and Wednesday helped convince the studio that she was the right choice for Finestkind, and her career has exceeded expectations.

One of the most highly sought-after young stars in Hollywood, it seems like Jenna Ortega’s career exploded overnight. After jumping from the Disney Channel’s Stuck in the Middle to the second season of Netflix’s uber-popular Penn Badgley-led series You, Ortega fully made her way into the mainstream through her roles in The Fallout, Scream (2022), and X before stealing hearts around the world with her performance in Tim Burton’s The Addams Family off-shoot series, Wednesday. With a handful of other titles like Beetlejuice 2 and Death of a Unicorn on the way, Ortega will next be gracing our screens in the Brian Helgeland-directed and Gary Foster-produced crime thriller, Finestkind. In an interview with Collider’s Steve Weintraub ahead of the film’s world premiere at TIFF, Foster and Helgeland revealed how they came to collaborate with the world’s favorite goth.

As it would turn out, Helgeland and Foster first met Ortega face-to-face on a Zoom call while she was in Budapest filming Wednesday. With cameras still rolling, this was before the series had seen the light of day and would launch Ortega to the platform of global superstardom. “So, obviously, it’s The Addams Family, and it’s Tim Burton, but the viral dance was a glint in its father’s eye at that time, I guess is the best way to put it,” Helgeland said of where Ortega’s career was at during that remote audition. “She just seemed like the right person to play Mabel, but she was up-and-coming and all that. But yeah, we had no idea how it was gonna all blow up like that.”

While the backing of a Burton production centered around a batch of infamous IP certainly helped push Ortega into the role, Foster says that her other projects gave her that extra boost with the folks at the top. “I remember having a conversation with the studio and saying, ‘Look, she’s got Scream whatever-number coming out and then Wednesday, and The Fallout,’ which both of us thought was just an incredible film, and she gave a fabulous performance. One, Brian [Helgeland] has to believe that she’s right for the part, but two, from a commercial standpoint, you make a bet, and you hope that those films and the series, Wednesday, were gonna take off.” In a grand slam casting decision, Foster says it’s already “exceeded our even modest expectations” with Helgeland adding, “The short answer is we were lucky.”

Jenna Ortega and Aaron Stanford in a scene from Finestkind
Image via Paramount+

Who Else is in Finestkind?

Not the only star to grace the Paramount+ production, Ortega finds herself nestled alongside other names including Academy Award-winner Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive), Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma), and Toby Wallace (Babyteeth).

Finestkind arrives on Paramount+ later this year. As of right now, no trailer has been released. Look for our full conversation with Foster and Helgeland tomorrow.

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