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In a video posted on the Still Watching Netflix YouTube channel, Tom Turnbull, the VFX Supervisor for Wednesday, said director Tim Burton wanted an actor or performer to play Thing.
“We set out to find us an actor who could do the part,” said Turnbull. “Somebody who had the right look to the hands, who had nimble fingers, was able to do all of these moves. Also, they had to be young enough and supple enough to fit in very awkward situations.” The team chose Dorobantu, who started his career as a magician, for the job.
Thing has been a staple in the Addams Family since the 1930s when the character was created by Charles Addams, with roles in several Addams Family series and spinoffs since then.
“It’s pretty hard to create from start to end,” Dorobantu said. “Even the way he talks, it’s pretty hard to find movements that can express feelings.”
Turnbull explained that Jenna Ortega, who plays Wednesday, got comfortable very quickly talking to a hand. “It honestly wasn’t difficult at all,” the actress said. “It was more so difficult where if I had to interact with him, and I had to pretend he was there and hold nothing.”
The challenges came later on when they had to edit all of Dorobantu’s body out of scenes, except for his hand. Turnbull said they would have to use CGI for some scenes or make adjustments to sets to make it work.
“Well, you’ve got a hand on set, and he’s acting,” the VFX supervisor added. “Normally, when you talk about a paint-out in visual effects, ‘Oh yeah, a paint-out is easy.’ But we’re painting out 90 percent of the human being that’s dominating the shot and keeping the 10 percent that’s the hand, it’s actually very hard to do. So, there’s a lot that goes into doing it.”
Wednesday has amounted to quite the popularity on the streamer and social media since its release.
The mystery-comedy was the first English-language series to top 400 million viewing hours in a week on Netflix. Wednesday was also No. 3, only 12 days into its release, in the streamer’s all-time ranking of English-language series with 752.52 million hours viewed.
On social media, Wednesday-related searches on TikTok were in the billions, and the series’ soundtrack topped the iTunes soundtrack chart.
Watch the BTS video of Thing in Wednesday below.
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