Christina Ricci played the eldest Addams child in the movies from the nineties, so it didn’t surprise many that she made an appearance as Wednesday’s botany teacher and dorm mom. However, she wasn’t originally going to be part of the cast.
The actress Thora Birch was in the role, and more than half of the show had been filmed before Birch had to drop out due to a family illness. Ricci expressed interest, and the show jumped at the chance, even if it did mean they would have to reshoot a number of scenes. It’s a nice detail to include, though it almost didn’t happen.
Principal Weems Is Based on a Horror Classic
When you watched “Wednesday,” you might have been put off by the blonde and coiffed Principal Larissa Weems, played by Gwendoline Christie. She seems to come off as a little evil, but her look and overall design come from another piece of classic horror fiction.
Tippi Hedren, the heroine of the thrilling Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds,” has a very similar style, including her hairdo and outfit. It's an easy detail to miss, but once you notice it, the similarities are too apparent not to keep picking up on. The characters themselves are not all that similar, but their looks are.
Going Truly Bald
It seems more than one actor for Uncle Fester decided to go all the way to portray the character as accurately as possible. Jackie Coogan shaved his hair off to get the role for the sixties television show, and Fred Armisen shaved his head to make the character look as real as possible for the Netflix “Wednesday” adaptation.
He could have easily worn a bald cap and gotten the makeup team to get it perfect, but he wanted to do it the real way. It doesn't really seem to make much difference in the show, but it's nice to see someone going all-in to play a character.
There's Only One Wednesday Here
Despite one of the earlier Wednesday Addams, Christina Ricci, being part of the show, Jenna Ortega tried to keep away from the elder actress. You'd assume that Ricci had plenty of pointers for Ortega ready to go, but they hardly spoke at all.
Jenna wanted her interpretation to be her own, uncolored by the way Ricci did it about thirty years ago. It's a bit of an odd move since most young actors and actresses love to learn from the more experienced among them, but Ortega seems to have done things the right way here. She's a real trailblazer for her age.
One of the Small Ones
The character of Lurch is seen in the new “Wednesday” show, and just like always, he plays the family's tall, creepy butler. Built to resemble Frankenstein's monster, the character is often the tallest member of the family, and it's the same way in the new Netflix show.
However, George Burcea, the character's actor, is the shortest to ever play the character, at a tiny six-foot-three in height. While this only extends to live-action adaptations (Jim Cummings, at five-foot-eight, provided the animated voice), it's still astounding. Other actors include Ted Cassidy (6' 9”), John DeSantis (6' 9”), and Carel Struycken, a staggering seven feet tall.