Just like in the 90s, ‘the hand’ was brought to life by a real-life actor. On the Netflix series of the same name, “Thing,” Wednesday’s right hand “man” is a real hand, not CGI. You might be surprised to find that, in the age of computer-generated imagery, the actor who moved around on Wednesday’s set was truly an actor.
On November 23, The Addams Family spin-off, starring Jenna Ortega, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzman, and Victor Dorobantu as Thing, was released on Netflix.
In an interview with Screen Rant, the 20-year-old Wednesday Addams actor explained Dorobantu was picked to play the role as Tim Burton wanted Thing to be portrayed like in the 90s movies and he had to dress in a blue screen suit and just have his hand, along with a prosthetic, shown.
“But Tim wanted it to be an actual actor like they did in the 90s films, so it was this magician named Victor [Dorobantu],” Ortega said, “He would wear a full blue suit, and he would hide behind walls and underneath beds.”
She then explained Dorobantu wore a prosthetic on top of his hand “so that it looked like a wrist knob, and he would walk around.”
Victor auditioned for the role just like any other actor on the show, and was chosen by showrunners Al Gough and Miles Millar, as well as director/executive producer Tim Burton.
“Thing is so unique to the Addams Family that we thought we couldn’t have an Addams version of the world you’re exploring [without] Thing in there. It’s easy to write it on the page. To actually translate that on the screen, we found an actor who’s a close hand magician,” Al Gough told Variety.
According to Ortega, there was more than just slipping the prosthetic on and heading to the set – it would take Dorobantu “hours” to get ready.
“Tim really liked his mannerisms, and he would spend hours in hair and makeup every day just getting that hand on,” she explained.
“Then we’d shoot some stuff with him, and other times we would shoot with absolutely nothing there. 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. Those scenes always took longer because of that.”
Dorobantu was not only in charge of bringing the iconic hand to life in the show, but also of how the character communicated with others. Even though it may seem quite choreographed while watching the character interact with Wednesday and Enid, the former Scream actor claimed that it simply wasn’t that organized.
She said: “It was so funny because the Thing language was just made up on the day. Every day we’d show up and go, Ahhh…That looks right. I feel like I kind of know what he’s saying.’”
Below are additional BTS images of Victor as “Thing” in tight blue screen suit: