At 19, actress of Mexican origin Jenna Ortega shows that it is possible to go from being a Disney star to an actress with great emotional depth in the film “The Fallout”, her first leading role in Hollywood.
And perhaps few more complicated roles to make that leap than in a dramatic film in which she plays Vada, a teenager who must overcome the emotional consequences of surviving a school shooting.
“It was a project that represented a great effort on my part on an emotional level. The effort exceeded the demands of the role of Vada, due to the importance that this story has for the students” of the United States, Ortega told Efe about her character.
“I have met the leaders of the student movement (for gun control) Fight For Our Lives) and I have great respect for the pain and trauma experienced by those who have lived or are around the victims of such an experience. terrible as a shooting in their places of study”, explained the actress.
Ortega, who became known as the protagonist of the Disney Channel series “Stuck in the Middle” and as the girl version of “Jane The Virgin,” stressed that she felt “a great responsibility when telling her stories.” .
At the same time, he was concerned that they thought he wanted to “steal the image of the victims”, so he stressed his “admiration, compassion and solidarity with the activists and all those directly or indirectly affected”.
“The Fallout”, which premieres this Thursday on HBO MAX, follows Vada through her life as a normal teenager who attends her high school like any other day until she gets trapped in a bathroom, where she hides from a gunman who murders to several of his companions.
It is precisely that scene, one of the initials in the film, that marks Ortega’s arrival at maturity, who becomes one and all of the thousands of faces that Americans have seen in those who have suffered similar situations.
A GENERATIONAL TRAUMA
“I accepted the role because I understand the importance of doing work as an actress that has a real impact on the community. At the same time, I have never done a character that was so painful. Although I have been one of the students who has been lucky enough not to live something like that, it’s a trauma of my generation and the previous one,” he said.
His main reference in terms of school shootings was the one that occurred on February 14, 2018 in the city of Parkland, Florida, where former high school student Marjorie Stoneman Douglas opened fire on his former classmates, killing 17 people, including adolescents and center staff.
The crime unleashed a series of demonstrations in favor of gun control in the United States, including a massive march in Washington. Despite the pressure, so far there have been no legislative changes in this regard at the national level.
“I went to the march on Washington and met the leaders of the movement. I talked to them. I’ve done mock shootings at my school. You’ve seen week after week, month after month, year after year, more and more similar cases. I think that there’s no one in the country who doesn’t live with it,” said the girl, who was just two years younger than some of the Parkland victims.
A TERRIFYING FUTURE
Vada’s terror and desolation in “The Fallout,” directed by director Megan Park, who had made her name directing music videos including Billie Eilish’s “Watch,” was the internalized version of the moments portrayed by Ortega. in this year’s version of “Scream,” where her character is relentlessly pursued by the killer.
“It’s not that I looked for it on purpose,” he laughs when he talks about “Scream” and the scary movies he’s been in and are coming out soon.
After “The Fallout”, Ortega filmed “Studio 666”, a horror and comedy film that accompanies the rock band The Foo Fighters in the recording of their tenth album. The premiere is scheduled for this February 22.
This year she can also be seen in “X,” where she stars as a young woman who arrives at a house to shoot an “adult” movie and is harassed by the strange old men who live in the house used as a location.
Currently, the artist is recording the series “The Adams Family”, where she plays the daughter of Homer and Morticia.