“It’s crazy because it was my first day with COVID so it was awful to film. I woke up and – it’s weird, I never get sick, and when I do, it’s not very bad.”
In “Woe is the Night,” the fourth episode of Netflix’s latest smash-hit series “Wednesday,” star Jenna Ortega birthed the latest dance craze with a scene in which she boogies down to “Goo Goo Muck” by The Cramps. But while the scene has since gone viral on TikTok, filming it was a terrible experience for Ortega, who tested positive for COVID almost immediately afterwards.
In an interview with NME released ahead of the whole sensation, Ortega said that she woke up the day the scene was filmed feeling extremely sick. Production had her shoot the see while awaiting her COVID results.
“It’s crazy because it was my first day with COVID so it was awful to film,” Ortega said. “I woke up and – it’s weird, I never get sick, and when I do, it’s not very bad – I had the body aches. I felt like I’d been hit by a car and that a little goblin had been let loose in my throat and was scratching the walls of my esophagus. They were giving me medicine between takes because we were waiting on the positive result.”
Ultimately that positive result materialized, and Ortega quarantined until she tested negative. In her interview with NME, Ortega said she asked to redo the scene — which she choreographed herself — after she recovered, but the production schedule was too tight. “Wednesday” viewers see the take from when she was sick.
According to NME, “Wednesday” production company MGM told the publication that “strict COVID protocols were followed and once the positive test was confirmed production removed Jenna from set.” IndieWire reached out to MGM for this story but we did not immediately hear back.
With “Wednesday” going gangbusters, the NME story has resurfaced, and users on social media are criticizing how MGM handled the filming of the scene with a sick Ortega and a pending COVID test.
In addition to Ortega, “Wednesday” stars Gwendoline Christie, Jamie McShane, Percy Hynes White, Hunter Doohan, Emma Myers, Joy Sunday, Naomi J Ogawa, Moosa Mostafa, Georgie Farmer, Riki Lindhome, and Christina Ricci. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar are the showrunners and executive produce with Tim Burton, 1.21 Entertainment’s Steve Stark and Andrew Mittman, Tee and Charles Addams Foundation’s Kevin Miserocchi, Glickmania’s Jonathan Glickman and Kayla Alpert, Gail Berman, Tommy Harper, and Kevin Lafferty. Burton directed four of the first season’s eight episodes.
Read IndieWire’s interview with “Wednesday” costume designer Colleen Atwood about the dress featured during the dance scene.