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Jenna Ortega Is All Grown-Up In Miller’s Girl

It’s hard not to picture Jenna Ortega as child star or Wednesday Addams, right?

The shorty above is from earlier this month at the Palm Springs International Film Festival where Ortega’s latest movie, Miller’s Girl, premiered.

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Martin Freeman as Jonathan Miller in Miller’s Girl. Photo Credit: Zac Popik

In it, she plays Cairo Sweet, a college student who is a gifted writer. Her professor, Jonathan Miller, played by Martin Freeman (the UK version of The Office, The Hobbit franchise) assigns her to write a short story in the style of her favorite author. We can’t tell who this author is from the trailer but leaked script pages on Reddit tell us the story is decidedly … grown-up.

The Trailer


This, of course, turns into a power struggle where cigarettes are sexily smoked, tears fall, and accusations fly.

“It’s probably the most complex character that I’ve ever played and the material is a bit risky,” Ortega said in The 20 Questions On Deadline podcast.

Written and directed by Jade Halley Bartlett (who’s previously done some writing for the Marvel Cinematic Universe), the film seemingly perpetuates the all-too-familiar manipulative-and-seductive-young-woman-hapless-older-man dynamic. It’s touchy subject matter for 2024.

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However, Miller’s Girl is being billed as a “psychological thriller,” so maybe there will be a crazy twist? Those leaked script excerpts do point to some back-and-forth fantasy/reality switchbacks. Lionsgate Films also lists MeToo, A Call To Men, and The National Domestic Violence Hotline as resources at the end of the trailer.

Jenna Ortega as Cairo Sweet in Miller’s Girl. Photo Credit: Zac Popik
Jenna Ortega as Cairo Sweet in Miller’s Girl. Photo Credit: Zac Popik

So, could this be a breakout role for Ortega? The one where we finally stop remembering her as a Disney kid?

“Obviously as an artist, you wanna take risks and explore what that could be,” she told the audience at a Q&A panel at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

“I guess speaking from my perspective as a young person, it’s really, really easy, I’ve fallen into it as well, to, you know, put ourselves into situations, especially as young people, where we’re so excited to have found our new found independence and freedom, that voice we’re looking for … I think it’s also very, very smart and good to be aware that you’re not necessarily sure of who you are dealing with, you’re not sure if these people are able to reflect on their own past life choices and learn from their mistakes.”

Well put, Jenna. A very mature perspective.

Miller’s Girl is in theaters this Friday (January 26, 2024), get your tickets below!


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