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The Best Jenna Ortega Movies and TV Shows, Ranked

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in Wednesday

2022 has been the year of Jenna Ortega, but this young actress has been giving her all to roles in movies and TV shows for a full decade. If you love Ortega in Netflix’s new hit series Wednesday, there’s plenty more where that came from. So, let’s snap our fingers as we scream the praises of Jenna Ortega in our ranking of her best movies and TV shows.

9. Elena of Avalor

Obviously, this show is made for really little kids, but it should not be disregarded. Ortega gives a solid performance as Princess Isabel Castillo Flores, younger sister to Elena. The show does an excellent job of showing the relationship between two sisters who may not have a lot in common but still love and care for each other deeply.

8. Saving Flora

Saving Flora was limited by its small budget, but Ortega still put her all into the role, earning her a nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Feature at the 2018 Southampton International Film Festival. Essentially Free Willy with an elephant, Ortega plays a circus owner’s daughter who’s trying to save a retired elephant, even braving the wilderness to get her to a sanctuary. This film is especially fun to include because it also features Ortega’s future Scream co-star, David Arquette.

7. Yes Day

A kind of mid-tier Netflix comedy, but it’s another role that Ortega shines in, this time as a teenage daughter trying to assert her independence and making some poor decisions along the way. The scene where she’s alone at a concert and has an anxiety attack is especially relatable to anyone who’s ever bit off more than they could chew. Yes Day also earned Ortega another nomination for Best Actress – Feature Film at the 2021 Imagen Awards.

6. Jane the Virgin (2014-2019)

Most people first recognize Jenna from her role as young Jane Villanueva on Jane the Virgin, especially from the infamous flower scene, and for good reason: She manages to make the most of her usually limited screen time, and her performance makes it easy to see the thread running through all the episodes and how Jane’s past affects her present.

5. Stuck in the Middle (2016-2018)

“If my family was a week, I’d be Wednesday.” Holy foreshadowing, Batman! But in all seriousness, you can tell from the start that Jenna was a solid actress even from a young age. And she shines in Stuck in the Middle as Harley Diaz, teenage inventor and middle child. She won the 2018 Imagen award for Best Young Actor – Television for her work on this show and it’s well deserved.

4. The Fallout (2022)

In this poignant movie about the aftermath of a school shooting, Ortega has some truly heart-wrenching scenes as she tries to come to terms with what happened, and the fact that she and her friends are forever changed not only by this one event, but also by the cycle of abuse that re-traumatizes victims. She got two nominations for Best Actress from the Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Awards, and Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie from the International Online Cinema Awards.

3. X (2022)

Jenna’s face when her character realizes what kind of basement she’s in is the stuff of nightmares and has been used in almost every poster and promotion for X. Add the gut-churning scream to match and this movie has solidified Ortega as a young Scream Queen. While Mia Goth is the real star of the show, Jenna Ortega gives her a run for her money.

2. Scream (2022)

Tara Carpenter may very well be one of the characters who has physically gone through the most in a single movie, having survived three Ghostface confrontations and getting to join in on the climactic beatdown. While this movie was more about her older sister, Sam, I’m excited to see more of her character in the upcoming sequel. Also, her opening scene is the best since the original Scream, and earned Ortega an MTV movie award for “Most Frightened Performance.”

1. Wednesday (2022)

It has been a good year for Jenna Ortega and her most recent performance as Wednesday Addams has cemented her status as a Gen Z icon. Her Wednesday dance scene has already gone viral, and her portrayal has opened up interesting conversations about race, gender, and neurodiversity—in addition to the delightfully creepy and kooky Addams family antics.

What’s your favorite Jenna Ortega role? Comment below!

(featured image: Netflix)

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Kimberly Terasaki is a Creative Writing graduate, fanfiction author, and intersectional feminist. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan. She appreciates all constructive criticism and genuine discussion.