Jenna Ortega became a household name after nailing her role as the star of the hit Tim Burton series Wednesday. While playing Wednesday Addams is her biggest role yet, Jenna is no stranger to the limelight. The young actress has been working in the film industry since she was a child. She got her first big break when she snagged the lead role on the Disney Channel TV series Stuck in the Middle. Now, many years after removing herself from the company, Jenna has opened up about how difficult her experience working for the Walt Disney Company really was.
“Stuck in the Middle” Was Not an Easy Job
For many people, Stuck in the Middle was their first introduction to actress Jenna Ortega. The series, which premiered in February 2016, ran for three seasons on the Disney Channel. The show followed Jenna’s character, Harley Diaz, as she navigated the difficulties of being “stuck” as the middle child of seven. Harley invented gadgets to deal with her hectic family life.
The show was popular among fans, but behind the scenes, the environment was less than perfect. In a recent podcast interview on Armchair Expert, Jenna spoke out about the chaos that ensued with the cast while filming.
She explained, “Kids would randomly start fighting because their parents were fighting. So even though the kids had no problem with each other, because the parents did, they would side with one another. We had therapy sessions, like collectively, cast therapy sessions. They had to bring someone in because there were too many difficulties on set, and how were we going to get the family members to shoot with one another?”
Because the show features a family of seven children, there was a lot of involvement behind the scenes with everyone’s parents. At the time, Jenna Ortega was already a pretty established actress, but for many other Cast Members, this was their first big break.
Behind the Scenes Drama on the Disney Channel
Outside of acting, it is not normal for children to have full-time jobs. Jenna explains that working as the lead on a Disney Channel show was quite grueling. The show taped episodes at an incredibly fast pace, and Jenna was also expected to make public appearances. She explained, “…we were shooting two episodes a week, crazy, crazy hours. We were coming in on Saturdays and Sundays to bang out school hours so we could do less school during the week.”
While the work on the Disney Channel was undoubtedly brutal, it was definitely good training for the actress’s future career. Now, Jenna is a complete professional who can handle anything. She has been nominated for ‘best actor’ awards, is hosting Saturday Night Live, was a co-star to Penn Badgley on the TV show You, and is a staple of the Scream Franchise. Fans are confident that the difficulties of working on this Disney Channel Series have only made her stronger in the end.