Netflix’s ‘Wednesday’: Please Understand Luis Guzmán Is Perfect as Gomez Addams
The 90s films are not the source material.
When the trailer and promotional art for Netflix’s Wednesday hit the internet, people had a lot of words about the choice of Luis Guzmán as the patriarch of the Addams family. Many have compared Guzmán to the late Raul Julia, who played Gomez Addams in The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993).
When he first appeared in the original Charles Addams cartoons, Gomez Addams was a short, slightly pudgy man with bad dental hygiene. Yet, he was a funny man who loved his wife and could get up to hijinks. It wasn’t until the live-action adaptation in the ’60s, with John Astin (Sean Astin’s dad), that he became a more “traditionally” attractive figure.
That was carried on with Raul Julia but also brought attention to the fact that Gomez has some sort of Spanish background (that Fester doesn’t have, but we have long made peace with this franchise being weird). Julia and Anjelica Huston as Morticia also had very intense sexual chemistry that was leaned into, which exists in all incarnations of the couple but was most explicit there.
When it comes to the new comparisons, both Julia and Guzmán are Puerto Rican actors. Still, Julia is taller and lighter-skinned than Guzmán, which makes comparing them frustrating and problematic. But also, there is this projection of needing Gomez to be traditionally attractive to be seen as desirable in the first place. How much Gomez loves and unconditionally adores Morticia has always made the relationship interesting and beautiful, not his physical looks. As someone who has seen the first episode of Wednesday thus far, he nails that perfectly because he’s a great actor.
Not to mention, Guzmán himself is a talented actor and has shown range since the 1970s. The fact that people look at him and dismiss him in this role is gross. Tim Burton is having one of the first projects he’s done with multiple people of color as leads, and yet, rather than addressing that, we are talking about Guzmán’s looks—which, again, are canonically perfect to the source material.
(featured image: Netflix)
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