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Jenna Ortega reveals the proudest moment of her career so far

The past two years have been rather momentous for Jenna Ortega. The 20-year-old actor has already earned her first Golden Globe nomination for her role as the eponymous protagonist in Netflix’s coming-of-age comedy horror Wednesday, a project which became one of the streaming service’s most popular shows.

Her portrayal of the iconic Addams Family character is just one of several horror-based roles Ortega undertook in 2022, cementing her as one of cinema’s newest scream queens. At the beginning of the year, she played a leading role in Scream, the fifth instalment in the beloved slasher series. A few months later, she featured in the Foo Fighters-led horror Studio 666 and starred as one of the lead cast members in Ti West’s gory 1970s homage X, which has already developed a cult following.

However, the actor began her career as a child, securing an agent at the age of six after her mother posted a video of her performing a dramatic monologue on Facebook. Ortega received her acting debut in 2012 with an episode of Rob before landing minor roles in movies such as Iron Man 3 and Insidious: Chapter 2. Between 2014 and 2019, Ortega received recognition for her performance as young Jane on the popular CW series Jane the Virgin. Meanwhile, she secured leading roles in children’s shows such as Stuck in the Middle and Richie Rich.

However, in 2018, she began transitioning into adult roles, starring in the successful Netflix series You and the streamer’s horror-comedy movie The Babysitter: Killer Queen. Following Ortega’s mainstream breakthrough, the actor appeared on Deadline‘s 20 Questions podcast to reflect on her recent success.

On the podcast, Ortega reflected on the proudest moment of her career so far. Although the actor has recently worked on a series of impressive projects, including some of 2022’s most beloved horrors, Ortega picked her lesser-known 2021 film The Fallout as one of her proudest achievements. Directed by Megan Park, the film stars Ortega as a high school student struggling to cope with her trauma in the aftermath of a school shooting.

She explained that it’s a “really important one for me. I haven’t seen the film, actually, but it really meant a lot to me. It was the first time I was leading a film, and it’s about a very timely matter – it’s a really sensitive topic, and I wanted to do it justice. You never really know with something like that, because it’s not necessarily your story to tell.”

She described working on the film as “one of the greatest actor-director experiences that I’ve ever had. Megan Park let me do whatever, and a lot of the film was improvised, which was really, really encouraging and interesting for me.” Furthermore, Ortega met “one of my greatest friends, [co-star] Maddie Ziegler. I remember us both going into it nervous, and I feel like we came out of the film […] much stronger and much closer.” She continued, “I miss that character. I think she’s something that I try to carry with me as much as possible. I wish I was a little bit more like her at times.”

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