Monsters and spirits weren’t the only things lurking behind the scenes in Netflix’s morbid horror-comedy “Wednesday.” As Jenna Ortega traversed the lands of Nevermore in her oxford rig – solving puzzles, decoding ciphers and coming face to face with supernatural villains eager to initiate her demise – an unseen being crawled nearby. Crouching on the floor in a head-to-toe VFX costume, professional illusionist and actor Victor Dorobantu swooped in alongside Ortega as Thing, a disembodied human hand and longtime member of the Addams Family. .
In behind-the-scenes photographs shared by the streaming platform on Nov. 27, Dorobantu can be seen contorting in awkward positions to be part of the scenes, directed by Tim Burton, Gandja Monteiro and James Marshall. Sometimes he crabbed behind Ortega as she delivered on a grisly Wednesday. In other photos, he slid under desks to put his hand through holes dug especially for Thing, laid flat on the ground, knelt in the brush of the dark forest and even dipped underwater during filming.
“The thing was created from scratch.”
“The whole process was very difficult. Thing was created from scratch,” Dorobantu said in a joint red carpet interview with Gayety and Pride, adding that Thing’s personality came to life through a combination of ” gestures, body language, morse code”. “We just improvised and tried to make it natural.”
As for making his hand look like the living dead, Dorobantu actually wore a full prosthetic with elaborate stitching. “It was so funny, because the Thing language was invented that very day,” Ortega told Screen Rant. “Tim [Burton] wanted it to be an actual actor like they did in the 90s movies so it was this magician named Victor [Dorobantu]. He would wear a blue suit and hide behind walls and under beds. Then they built this prosthesis on top of his hand to look like a wrist button, and he was walking around. Tim really liked his manners, and he spent hours doing his hair and makeup every day just to get his hands on it.”
“Wednesday” was Dorobantu’s first major Hollywood project, a show he’s proud to be a part of with such an iconic cast and crew. After booking the role, the actor shared his gratitude on Instagram. “I can’t describe how happy I am,” he wrote in September 2021. “Dreams really do come true.”
Check out the behind-the-scenes photos of the magician during the scheduled “Wednesday.”