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HomeBEAUTYHow Playing Wednesday Addams Changed Jenna Ortega's Beauty Routines — Interview

How Playing Wednesday Addams Changed Jenna Ortega’s Beauty Routines — Interview


A child actor with a list of credits as long as both her arms, 19-year-old Jenna Ortega appears in The Fallout, a widely praised and sadly topical drama about the aftermath of a school shooting to be released on HBO Max January 27. After a turn in an update of the horror classic Scream, she will play the delightfully dark Wednesday Addams in an upcoming Tim Burton series. What makeup wisdom did she glean on all those sets? We asked.

When I first started acting at 10 or 11, I was only allowed to do commercials. My team told me, “We don’t know what you’re capable of, so do commercials first and see how well you do.” With a lot of commercials, because they tend to be low-budget, you do your own hair, you do your own makeup. So there were three years of my life when I only wore two buns in my hair — two buns with matching bows. The first two or three projects I’m in, I have those buns and those bows and no makeup.

When you’re a young actor, you don’t get very glammed up. Except, I remember the first time I had a photo shoot when somebody did actual makeup on me. The makeup artist told me that it looked like I had a dirty face because of my freckles. I just thought, Oh, I don’t know how to take that. I also remember glitter being everywhere.

I’ve always been somebody who wants to have my hands in all of the baskets, and I would go through these obsessive periods when I was younger. Like, I wanted to be the first female president or an astronaut, so I learned as much as I possibly could about those topics until I was over it. When I was around 13 or 14, I started getting on more and more sets and getting more makeup put on my face. My hair started to get a bit damaged from the heat they were putting on it. So I got into the habit of bringing this little notebook around sets and asking hair and makeup artists, “Hey, what do you think would benefit my skin the most?” Or “How should I pick this makeup shade?” I’d try to find their interviews online to take in as much information as possible. I’m not saying I wanted to be perfect, but at the time, becoming a teenager and growing up in the age of social media became a lot to take in. But I thought, “Maybe if I just take the best care of myself and do the best I possibly can, I’ll feel a bit better.”

One of the main challenges I’ve had balancing my work life and my personal life is I never felt like I really assimilated very well into either one. One time, there was a frog dissection at my school that I missed and I was crushed, heartbroken. One time, I was trying to get my good friend voted to be the queen of the school dance. She won, but I couldn’t be there to see it happen. There are little things like that, but there are also really sweet things. I’ve been very lucky to be surrounded by a lot of amazing people. I’m initially from the Coachella Valley. My friends, family, everyone I really know is still there.



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