Talking with the real Adult Wednesday Addams. Yes, we’re obsessed with her.
When we last checked in with Adult Wednesday Addams and the web series’ genius star and creator, Melissa Hunter, Wednesday was just beginning to tackle life on her own in Los Angeles. The first season of this super-addictive web series was so successful Melissa was able to make a second season with a crowd-funded Kickstarter. And like any great show when it hits its stride, the second season is as good, if not better, than the first. The standout episode “Wednesday vs. Catcallers,” in which Wednesday drops some serious feminism on a group of majorly rude dudes, was one of my recent favorites, but all the new episodes have been a delight, and if you haven’t already watched them, then stop what you are doing and prepare to get educated on life, Wednesday Addams-style.
In time for this week’s season finale, I caught up with Melissa to do a little behind-the-scenes Q&A about some season two highlights, getting back into character, the incredible support and reaction from fans, and what’s next for our girl Wednesday:
Q. Were you surprised when “Wednesday vs. Catcallers” became one of the most-widely watched episodes? It was so popular, you were interviewed by a lot of different news outlets, including People and LA Weekly. In fact, I remember one day I was checking Tumblr and there were gifs of it all over my dashboard with tons of reblogs! Why do you think that episode in particular struck a chord with viewers?
A. I knew that one had the potential to spread beyond the normal Wednesday Addams fanbase since catcalling is such a hot-button issue. Ever since that New York catcalling video came out a few months ago, it seems that there are endless discussions on how to deal with street harassment. Getting harassed like that leaves a woman with such a helpless feeling, so I felt like Wednesday could serve as a female superhero of sorts. And I think that’s really satisfying to watch. It’s like wish fulfillment for every woman that’s felt violated by a dude like that. It’s pretty sweet justice.
Q. Is the short-form web series your ideal choice for telling Wednesday’s story or would you ever want to make it as a movie, a book, or a TV show?
A. I’ve talked about this a lot with my directing partner (Mike Bernstein). I’d love to make it as a feature. I think starting her off leaving the Addams Manor and seeing how she adjusts to the real world and the real world adjusts to her… that would be a fun feature arc. Almost like a macabre version of Elf.
Q. How many versions of that outfit do you have? Will we ever see variations on Wednesday’s dress?
A. Just the one! I got the dress custom made for the series. There are a lot of Wednesday-inspired dresses out there, but none of them had the severity I was looking for. I don’t know if she’ll ever stray from her uniform. I do like Wednesday’s bathing suit in Addams Family Values, so maybe she’ll have a beach day in Season 3? Time will tell!
Q. Has anyone recognized you on the street as Adult Wednesday Adams?
A. Yes! Which is always surprising since in real life I have short hair and bangs. But it’s always fun when someone approaches me. It’s not too frequent, so I think I’m just as excited as they are.
Q. What is the one Wednesday story you didn’t get to tell in season two that you’d love to tackle next?
A. I’d love to do a few episodes on a bigger scale (which would require a bigger budget). I really want to take Wednesday to some kind of sporting event. I think she’d really like hockey. I also have an idea for a funeral episode that I don’t want to spoil. But trust me, it’s fun. That’s Wednesday’s favorite place.
A. Yes, absolutely! It has been a really crazy time with the NBC show, but I feel like Wednesday is a part of me now, and there are so many more stories to tell. Once my directing partner and I have a window, we’ll raise money and make more.
Q. What are your favorite web series to watch right now, besides your own of course! (Although I will add that Melissa’s brilliant “Backseat Bitches” is another of my recent favorites, and I highly recommend you guys check it out).
A. My dear friend Megan Rosati created a beautiful web series called “52 Ways to Break Up” which is comprised of different vignettes about breakups and more specifically, the moment you know you have to break up. Each one feels like its own two or three minute indie film.
Q. Do you think you would be friends with your version of Wednesday in real life?
A. Absolutely. I think the fun of this series is finding the people she connects with in the “real world.” Her henchmen in the catcalling episode, her hair stylist and the boy she chains to the bed from Season 1 (who comes back this week!). I think people who are open to weirdness and to darkness — those are her allies.
But also, I’d never be in a room alone with her. You never know.
Q. What life lessons can we all learn from Wednesday Addams?
A. At the risk of sounding like a guidance counselor, my biggest takeaway from Wednesday is to stop caring about what people think of you. In such an approval-based modern world, it is so liberating to let go of the desire to be liked by everyone and be exactly who you are. Wednesday wins in every situation because she’s an outsider who isn’t trying to fit in. In fact, she uses people’s expectations of her against them, in order to get the edge.
I loved chatting with Melissa and learning more about her experience making Adult Wednesday Addams, as well as her — and Wednesday’s — outlook on the world. She’s right, we can learn a lot from this iconic character, and thanks to Melissa we’ll hopefully have many more chances to do so!
Check out episodes of season two and catch this week’s finale here.