Some of the actors from “Wednesday” (Addams), the first original Netflix series filmed in Romania, answered HotNews.ro’s questions about their experience in our country and how the filming went.
The actors from “Wednesday”, the Addams Family series filmed in RomaniaPhoto: Image Press Agency / dpa USA / Profimedia Images
“I have never been to Romania before. It was an area of the world that I was always intrigued by and when Tim [Burton] he told me about the quality of the craft, the craftsmen, the artists, the painters, the sculptors there and all the people working on the set…it certainly did not disappoint. The work was truly exceptional,” says Gwendoline Christie.
The British actress who recently played the role of Lucifer Morningstar in the series The Sandman broadcast by Netflix, she plays Larissa Weems, the director of the Nevermore Academy where Wednesday studies and a former rival of Morticia Addams, played by the iconic Catherine Zeta-Jones who turned 53 just one day after the American streaming company announced in the month September when the new series based on the Addams family will launch.
Christie, one of the hottest names in Hollywood after playing Brienne of Tarth in the original series game of thronesshe is also delighted to work with the film crew from Romania.
“I had a lot of fun and laughed with them all and felt incredible warmth from the team,” she emphasized at a virtual press conference attended by HotNews.ro.
I also asked her about what impressed her the most in Romania:
“Nothing prepared me for the fabulous beauty of the Carpathian Mountains. They had an almost hallucinatory effect when we drove there to shoot at one of the magnificent castles and it was autumn and the leaves were changing color and it was just the most beautiful experience (…) I think what’s wonderful for our viewers is that they will see landscapes that they may not have seen before. And not only will they appreciate the beauty of Romania, but they will also have a completely new experience regarding the world of the Addams family”.
Gwendoline Christie in “Wednesday” (PHOTO: Netflix / Backgrid UK / Profimedia Images)
Stereotypical or not, the actors in the Netflix series were impressed by Romanian hospitality
The Canadian actor Percy Hynes White also spoke about how well the foreign actors felt in the company of the team from Romania (Edge of Winter, A Christmas Horror Story), who plays Xavier Thorpe, one of Wednesday’s classmates at Nevermore Academy and one of the most popular students there until the new student appears on the scene (his role reminded me a bit of Draco Malfoy from the movies Harry Potter).
“I think I was shocked by how nice and welcoming our whole team was. They were different to a lot of other film crews, they were really friendly and kind and always on the go. Like, they were always there for whatever you needed and everyone was supportive. You don’t see that in North America very often,” he says.
“I’d like to add to that that the people I worked with were so resilient especially as things got tougher as we got closer to the end of filming and everyone came together to help with the situation in Ukraine and you could see how much soul there was on the film crew,” pointed out Joy Sunday, who plays Bianca Barclay, the “queen” of Nevermore Academy before Wednesday arrives at the school.
And since we mentioned her, Jenna Ortega, who plays Wednesday Addams around whom the series revolves, says that she felt very well with us:
“I met some of my favorite people on this planet there. I think the people there are amazing and it’s really beautiful and the place where our school is (No. Nevermore Academy) is cool because we filmed in real castles and one of the places we went to was Sinaia and everything looked Photoshopped. I couldn’t even believe it and it fit very, very well with the aesthetic of the series so it was very appropriate.”
“I really didn’t know much about Romania, I never expected to film there and that’s why it was such a pleasant surprise. All I knew about it was maybe the Dracula connection and the castles and stuff like that,” she added.
Jenna Ortega is the new Wednesday Addams (PHOTO: Image Press Agency / dpa USA / Profimedia Images)
The cold in Romania and the impressions of Tim Burton
We also asked Ortega about the less pleasant things during filming and what she found more difficult, given that many of the scenes were shot in autumn and winter in castles without central heating.
“I’m a Southern California girl so as soon as the temperature hits 23C I’m cold, so I think filming in the winter wearing certain outfits. I remember there was a day when Wednesday has a vision outside. That day it was snowing, it was raining on stage so we had a rain machine and she has a vision and it’s so powerful that it kind of knocks her out and she’s lying on the floor and I’m wearing layers upon layers upon layers of clothes.”
“I’m really really cold but I can’t shiver or move or anything and it was so cold outside that by the time the rain hit me it was turning to ice. They were like small pieces of hail but I wasn’t allowed to move or flinch,” she said.
The director Tim Burton spoke about the filming in Romania in an exclusive interview given to urban.ro earlier in November.
“I filmed in studios near Bucharest, but also in Sinaia in the train station, and in the forests near the capital. Bucharest is a city that has many things to offer, we used beautiful locations, the Writers’ House which is a very special place, there is a very interesting mix of things and places there”.
The Romanian film industry, involved in the production of the “Wednesday” series
The iconic director also said that filming in Romania was like “a new experience” for him, reporting that “I grew up watching movies with monsters, with the vibe created by what Transylvania meant, the Carpathian Mountains and Dracula stories and, to come and experience it all first hand, it’s something memorable.”
by the way Wednesday it is not only the first original Netflix series filmed in Romania, but also the first series directed and produced by Burton, over 200 people working on the construction of the film sets and an important part of the Romanian cinema industry in terms of production, lighting, image, sound and the rest of the departments related to the technique of filming..
Among the Romanian actors in the film are George Burcea who is the butler Lurch, Cezar Grumăzescu, who plays the trainer Vlad of the Nevermore school and the magician Victor Dorobanțu who can never be seen in the series because he is The Thing, the “Hand” of the Addams family and Wednesday’s best friend.
“We filmed together a lot but at the same time not really. He’s a magician and used to do magic tricks for me sometimes. He was a real team player and it was so weird because he couldn’t really hear anyone because of his mask and we couldn’t hear him,” Jenna Ortega said about working with Dorobanțu.
“Victor was cast as an actor, he’s not just a hand for me. He is a complete character (…) It was wonderful that we found him exactly as I imagined The Thing to be and that he was right there next to us, in Romania”, Tim Burton also stated for urban.ro about the role to Dorobanțu in the series, which will appear in all episodes.
You can read more about the role of Romanians in making the Wednesday series on urban.ro.
As always, you can find more new information from the world of movies and series, as well as other interesting news, in this weekend’s Nerd Alert column: