Jenna Ortega wishes her generation was better represented in stories: ‘We can be smart’

Jenna Ortega had a bone to pick while appearing on the wing interview show “Hot Ones” in an episode that dropped on Thursday. When asked by host Sean Evans if there is a Gen Z trope or teenage stereotype seen on TV that gets under her skin, the 20-year-old actor said she feels like “it’s always the bratty teen, bad mouth teen or a lot of times unintelligent, which I don’t think is true.”

Ortega noted that she looks “a bit younger,” so she has played a teenager in most roles over the last decade. Perhaps the most well-known teen Ortega has portrayed is the deadpan Wednesday Addams in Netflix’s hit “Wednesday” series, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe earlier this year. Before “Wednesday,” she starred in the Disney Channel series “Stuck in the Middle” as Harley Diaz, a teenager navigating life as a middle child. That show ran from 2016 until 2018.

Ortega is also a final girl in one of the biggest teen-centric franchises in recent Hollywood memory, having appeared in last year’s “Scream” and soon to return in this month’s “Scream VI” co-starring Hayden Panettiere, Melissa Barrera, and OG ’90s “Scream” queen Courteney Cox. With all her experience playing various teen roles, Ortega said on “Hot Ones” that she wishes her generation was “given a bit more credit.”

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