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Jenna Ortega opens up on growing up with Hollywood's pressure to 'look a certain way’

Emily Brown

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Jenna Ortega opens up on growing up with Hollywood's pressure to 'look a certain way’

Featured Image Credit: Marc Piasecki/WireImage/Getty / Eric McCandless/Disney Channel via Getty Images

Wednesday star Jenna Ortega has opened up about feeling the pressure of Hollywood at an early age.

You’ve most likely seen Ortega star as the quick-witted Wednesday Addams in Netflix’s hit show, but did you know the actor has been performing long before that?

Before the star became the lead for the Addams Family reboot, she took on a slew of roles starting at just nine years old.

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Now, the 21-year-old has reflected on those early beginnings in Hollywood and how they weren’t as glamorous as it may have seemed.

Ortega recently told Harper’s Bazaar that she struggled with feeling pressured to conform to the beauty standards of Hollywood.

Ortega said: “As a child actor, there are two jobs that you can get: you’re either the younger version of someone or you’re playing somebody’s daughter - and there were just not many leading Hispanic actors who I could be that for.

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Jenna Ortega will return for season two of Wednesday. Credit: Eric McCandless/Disney Channel via Getty Images
Jenna Ortega will return for season two of Wednesday. Credit: Eric McCandless/Disney Channel via Getty Images

"So a lot of the jobs that I was going for growing up would never work out, because I didn’t look [a certain] way.”

Ortega went on to share that she found this rejection ‘really hard’ and almost dyed her hair blonde as a result.

“I wanted to dye my hair blonde so that I would look like Cinderella,” she added.

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Ultimately, Ortega decided not to go blonde and stuck with her natural dark brown hair color.

Over time, she began to see the value in being herself and realized what a positive influence she could be on others.

“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',” the star said.

Ortega eventually landed larger roles in Disney’s Stuck in the Middle and Netflix’s You.

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Earlier this year, Ortega reprised her role as Tara Carpenter in the Scream franchise, where she plays the half-sister of Sam Carpenter and one of the main protagonists who gets targeted by Ghostface in the first two movies.

In the interview, Ortega also shared that she is interested in exploring opportunities behind the camera and how she can be creative outside of acting.

Jenna Ortega started acting at nine years old. Credit: Marc Piasecki/WireImage/Getty
Jenna Ortega started acting at nine years old. Credit: Marc Piasecki/WireImage/Getty

For season two of Wednesday, Ortega will not only act but also produce.

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"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."

Topics: Film & TV, Jenna Ortega, Celebrity, Film and TV

Emily Brown
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