Netflix’s newest smash hit show Wednesday has viewers obsessed, but one detail that you might not have picked up on just yet is exactly how they managed to get one thing named Thing in the show…
To get you caught up, the new 8-part series follows Wednesday Addams (played by The Fallout‘s Jenna Ortega) and her experience in starting at a new school called Nevermore Academy, after she was expelled from her old one. From there, all manner of chaos ensues, and it is truly brilliant.
The Tim Burton-directed show features a truly all-star cast, with the legendary Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia, Luis Guzmán as Gomez and Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie as Principal Larissa Weems. Christina Ricci, who played Wednesday in the 1991 Addams family movie, also stars as a teacher. However, for lots of fans, the character that really stole the show was a simple hand named Thing, who is always there to keep a watch on Wednesday at the request of her parents.
You might have assumed that Thing was all done via CGI, or some other form of magic animation, but no the iconic hand was actually played by a real actor. Yep, you read that right — an actual full-bodied human. Specifically, a Romanian illusionist and magician named Victor Dorobantu. It turns out the show is his first acting credit too!
So, the next question on the list is exactly how did the producers manage to make a full-on person become Wednesday’s handy companion? Well, turns out it was all thanks to a full-body blue suit and some clever hiding tricks.
Ortega explained the process in more detail while speaking to Screen Rant: “Tim wanted it to be an actual actor like they did in the 90s films, so it was this magician named Victor.
“He would wear a full blue suit, and he would hide behind walls and underneath beds. Then they built this prosthetic on top of his hand so that it looked like a wrist knob, and he would walk around.
“Tim really liked his mannerisms, and he would spend hours in hair and makeup every day just getting that hand on. Then we’d shoot some stuff with him, and other times we would shoot with absolutely nothing there.
She went on to explain the realities of filming alongside Dorobantu.
“We’d shoot with the stand-in hand there; never did the tennis ball. I was either working with an actor and responding to him or I was looking at nothing, and then at the end of every take, we would have to bring in these gray and silver balls and a color chart so that they could add CGI.”
When it came to how Dorobantu followed a script, the method was a little unorthodox.
Ortega explained: “It was so funny, because the Thing language was just made up on the day. Every day we’d show up and go, ‘Ahhh…’ [hand motions] ‘That looks right. I feel like I kind of know what he’s saying.’”