Thing is loyal and serves only the Addams family to the extent of his abilities of being a hand. But see, Thing is not just a hand in real life. Wednesday star Jenna Ortega breaks down how Thing was created, along with how the team invented a language for Thing to use in the show.
Speaking with ScreenRant, Ortega reveals that Thing is more than ‘just’ a thing. Thing is an actor slash magician named Victor Dorobantu, whom Tim Burton hired, as Ortega mentions that the director wants to replicate what they did in the 90s, which is hiring an actual actor instead of merely relying on the magic of CGI. Read her full story below:
“It was so funny, because the Thing language was just made up on the day,” the actress says, “Every day, we’d show up and go, ‘Ahhh…’ [hand motions] ‘That looks right. I feel like I kind of know what he’s saying.’ But Tim wanted it to be an actual actor like they did in the 90s films.”
Ortega continues on to describe what it was like working interchangeably between Dorobantu in a full blue suit ready for CGI, while also having to hide his body behind walls and underneath beds to maintain the illusion.
“He would wear a full blue suit, and he would hide behind walls and underneath beds. Then they built this prosthetic on top of his hand so that it looked like a wrist knob, and he would walk around. Tim really liked his mannerisms, and he would spend hours in hair and makeup every day just getting that hand on.”
The actress adds how much more CGI materials were needed when shooting Thing’s scenes with Wednesday. Apparently, it was always those scenes that took the longest to film.
“Then we’d shoot some stuff with him, and other times, we would shoot with absolutely nothing there. We’d shoot with the stand-in hand there; never did the tennis ball. I was either working with an actor and responding to him or I was looking at nothing, and then at the end of every take, we would have to bring in these gray and silver balls and a color chart so that they could add CGI. Those scenes always took longer because of that.”
What do you think of the Wednesday team’s strategy for Thing? I’d say it’s a pretty authentic method in bringing Thing into life onto the screen. Here’s to seeing more of Dorobantu’s prosthetic hand in its following seasons.
All episodes of Wednesday Season 1 are available to stream on Netflix.