Jenna Ortega says she is “obsessed with her work” and happily single.
The Scream VI and Wednesday star spoke about her disdain for relationships — and her fascination with gore — in an interview with Elle for the cover of their April 2023 issue.
“I hate being goo-goo gaga over a boy,” Ortega, 20, shared in the piece. “I think it’s secretly a pride thing. It’s a problem with a lot of female characters, that a lot of them are guy-oriented or what they’re expressing or emoting is based on a guy’s position and a guy’s story.”
“Maybe I am too obsessed with my work, but the idea of relationships stresses me out,” she shared of her thoughts on dating. “And also being that vulnerable with someone and having to get to know someone that well and having someone see you for all that you are …. my brain knows that I don’t need to think about that right now.”
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Last year, Ortega’s already established career skyrocketed after starring in the title role of Netflix’s 2022 Wednesday series, inspired by the famed Addams Family franchise. The former Disney star has also played alongside Penn Badgley in season 2 of Netflix’s hit serial killer series, You, and starred as Young Jane in Jane the Virgin (2014-2019) for 30 episodes.
As for how she tackled her return to Scream VI after joining the cult horror series’ fifth installment, Ortega — who attended the film’s NYC premiere on Monday — noted her excitement for gore. “I have so much respect for the franchise that I didn’t want to do it wrong,” she said. “I wanted to do it justice, but I also didn’t want to be ripping anybody off.”
“I’m definitely the actress who’s like, ‘More blood.’ If I’m going to speak up about anything, or put my two cents in about anything,” Ortega added, noting she prefers a scene “be as crimson as possible.”
Despite the California native’s now legendary goth image and queen of cool, Ortega admitted that she does feel intense pressure to not let anyone down personally or professionally.
“I am so fearful of disappointing the people in my life, or even people in public,” she said. “I want to live up to people’s expectations, which is something that I need to get over, but I’m also scared that, I don’t know, maybe someone will get to know me too well and realize that I’m not all that.”
“The kind words that I hear that they say about me through other people are unbelievable to me, she added. “I feel like just the people in my life see me in a way that I don’t really see myself.”
In December, Ortega opened up to PEOPLE about her darkness, sharing how she has always been compared to Wednesday Addams. “People have been telling me I look like her since I was six years old,” the actress said of the spinoff from the 1960s TV show and 1990s movies. “And I have a pretty dark sense of humor!”
As similar as she may be to her iconic character, Ortega says there were some different quirks she had to learn (besides epic dance moves). “I had to do things a bit different with my physicality and the way I carried myself. She almost has a social awkwardness,” Ortega said. “So when she does toxic, manipulative things, you know it’s not coming out of malicious intent.”
Though the TV and film star has been keeping her creative options open, she said has been naturally gravitating toward similar roles.
“I never want to be pigeonholed, but I have immense respect for the horror genre,” continued Ortega, who also starred in X, Insidious: Chapter Two prior to the Scream films. “It’s incredibly hard for me to turn down a good horror script and I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of it in recent years.”
As for what’s next? “I don’t know what the future holds,” she said. “I feel like I won’t know it until I see it!”