Jenna Ortega Thinks We Need More Weird Stories Like ‘Beetlejuice’ (2024)

What did you mean when you said the episodes are more like movies?

I mean, in the first season we had episodes that really stood out visually, like the dance episode was a really big one for people, and that setting was very particular and it felt like Prom Night, a little bit, or Carrie. Every episode [of season two] that I’ve read so far is like that. It just stands out on its own as a very memorable scene or bit or setting, which I think is what I’m most excited for, because to pull that off for eight episodes is, I think, really incredible and really lucky.

You’d been working for a long time before things really took off.

I have been doing this for 12 years. It’s weird to look back on all the experiences that I’ve had doing the job that I do. And then to be here now is…I don’t know, I feel like it’s some sort of sick prank.

You must have vivid memories of your early years, auditioning and trying to get roles.

I wanted to start when I was six. But I didn’t actually start until I was 10. There’s a lot of things that I’ve done in my career that I used to say I wanted to do, or dreamed about doing. I’m definitely a perfectionist, but I also think that that comes with never being satisfied or never being able to stop and slow down and appreciate what’s been going on or what I’ve seen. The last few months I’ve been able to reflect on the fact that a lot of the things that I wanted to do when I was younger, including work with Tim Burton, have happened. I almost didn’t realize it because I was so focused on the work and had tunnel vision.

Does it still live up to what you imagined?

To still enjoy the job just as much 12 years later—even seeing all of the ugly and wonderful and extreme—I think is pretty cool. I made this decision when I was 10, so I’m living off of a 10-year-old’s choices.

See the 2024 Hollywood Portfolio

Anything you wish you’d done differently?

I’m very much a people pleaser. I like to say that I’m not anymore—but I am. I wish that I felt that I was a bit more in control of my experiences. When I was younger, I was just so happy to be a part of the conversation that I wasn’t really playing it in a strategic way. Not that it has to be. I wish that maybe I had felt more autonomy in who I was from a younger age. I think I’ve definitely fallen into patterns of taking myself too seriously or not being able to create much balance in my life.

Balance in what way?

When I was younger, I wasn’t thinking about sleepovers and friends and proms. It was always, “What am I going to do next? How am I going to get this job? What meeting should I take?” It was work and school and sleep and repeat. So it’s been funny as I’ve gotten older to realize, “Huh, yeah, you do need your hands in other bowls and you do need to take a step and a breather.” I’m glad that I realize that now, but it’s strange to have not really had that experience or been eager for that experience when I was younger.

It’s important to have connections back to reality.

Definitely. Everything that’s happened—it almost feels like another person that people are talking about. I don’t feel attached to my name at all, or people’s perception of my name. I have conversations with people all the time about the position that I’m in now and everything that’s happening, but nothing in my personal life has really changed or been altered in any way. It almost doesn’t sound real. I just feel very detached from the whole thing, which maybe helps as well. But at the same time, it’s kind of scary. I don’t know how people do it. I feel like there’s probably some handbook out there that just was never handed to me.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. For fashion and beauty details, go to

Jenna Ortega Thinks We Need More Weird Stories Like ‘Beetlejuice’ (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanael Baumbach

Last Updated:

Views: 6419

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanael Baumbach

Birthday: 1998-12-02

Address: Apt. 829 751 Glover View, West Orlando, IN 22436

Phone: +901025288581

Job: Internal IT Coordinator

Hobby: Gunsmithing, Motor sports, Flying, Skiing, Hooping, Lego building, Ice skating

Introduction: My name is Nathanael Baumbach, I am a fantastic, nice, victorious, brave, healthy, cute, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.