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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
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Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Jenna Ortega: A rising star

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GRAPHIC: GABRIELLA GUZZARDO ’23 /THE HAWK

Over the years, I’ve watched twenty-year-old Jenna Ortega blossom into the talented and dedicated actress she is today. The first time I saw Ortega on my TV, she was playing a quirky tween in the Disney sitcom, “Stuck in the Middle.” Not long after, she landed a supporting role in Netflix’s smash hit, “You,” and before I knew it, she was starring in Tim Burton’s Addams family spin-off, “Wednesday.” Ortega also has numerous other acting credits to her name, including “Scream” and “The Fallout.” 

I feel like I’ve grown up with Ortega. I watched her move from the light and love of the Disney Channel to darker, more thought-provoking television — at the same time I did. We evolved together, although we remained on different sides of the television screen. Through this evolution, one thought was always clear in my mind: this young woman is going to take over Hollywood one day. 

This thought was solidified watching her in “Wednesday” and learning about her dedication to her character. Ortega learned how to play the cello, took German lessons and studied 80s club Goth to play Wednesday Addams. Not only that, but she rarely blinked. Ortega said, “One time, I did a take where I didn’t blink at all. [Tim Burton] loved it so much that he gave me the note to not blink again. If I did blink, we’d restart the take.” 

Her commitment to her characters, combined with her raw acting talent, convinced me she is going to become a heavy-hitter in Hollywood, specifically in the horror/thriller category. Ortega is already known as a budding scream queen and has been open about her penchant for all things gory and disturbing. 

I can envision Ortega having a career such as that of Helena Bonham Carter or Christina Ricci, who co-starred alongside her in “Wednesday.” Ortega is undeniably a budding starlet and has the potential to become one of Hollywood’s greatest character-actors. Like I have been doing from the beginning of her career, I will be raptly following Ortega’s journey to see what else she has in store.  

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