Jenna Ortega Had COVID While Filming Her Viral Dance Scene in ‘Wednesday’: ‘It Was Awful’

Jenna Ortega has been going viral recently for her creepy and kooky dance moves in a scene from Netflix’s new smash hit series Wednesday, but as it turns out, she was feeling altogether ooky while shooting it.


In an interview with NME published in November, a couple weeks before Wednesday arrived on the streaming platform, Ortega revealed that she was sick with COVID-19 during filming for the now famous scene. During a school dance at Nevermore Academy, the You alum, as Wednesday Addams, dances oddly to The Cramps‘ 1981 single “Goo Goo Muck,” which has been experiencing a boost in streams since the series premiered.

“I choreographed that myself!” Ortega old the publication. “I’m not a dancer and I’m sure that’s obvious. I’d gotten the song about a week before and I just pulled from whatever I could… it’s crazy because it was my first day with COVID so it was awful to film.”

“Yeah, I woke up and – it’s weird, I never get sick and when I do it’s not very bad – I had the body aches,” she continued. “I felt like I’d been hit by a car and that a little goblin had been let loose in my throat and was scratching the walls of my esophagus. They were giving me medicine between takes because we were waiting on the positive result.”

According to a statement given to the publication by MGM, Wednesday‘s production company, “strict COVID protocols were followed and once the positive test was confirmed production removed Jenna from set.”

Not only is “Goo Goo Muck” going through a resurgence thanks to the dance scene, but so is Lady Gaga‘s “Bloody Mary” — not that it was featured at any point in the show, which broke Stranger Things‘ season four record for most hours viewed in a week for a Netflix English-language series. In a trend as spontaneous and unpredictable as can only be started on TikTok, users on the app have been recreating Ortega’s dance moves to a sped-up version of the 2011 track, farming millions of views and newfound recognition for the Born This Way deep cut.

Gaga herself took notice of the trend, tweeting: “Slay Wednesday! You’re welcome at Haus of Gaga anytime (and bring Thing with you, we love paws around here).”

Even though the dance scene has since exploded into Twitter and TikTok fame, Ortega confessed that she originally wasn’t completely happy with it. “I asked to redo it but we didn’t have time,” she told NME. “I think I probably could have done it a bit better…”

Hannah Dailey