With monsters, murder and mayhem rampant at Nevermore Academy, it was only fitting that Wednesday‘s titular character would receive a visit from her kooky Uncle Fester (played by Fred Armisen).
The electricity-wielding elder dropped by in Episode 7 to check up on his niece and lay low for a few days before his next “job” in Boston. According to Miles Millar, who serves as showrunner alongside Al Gough, there was only one actor in mind for the oddball role.
“What’s great about working with someone like Tim Burton is that you get your first choice,” Millar tells TVLine. “We always wanted Fred because he has the perfect look, but also, he brings such fun energy to the role. For us, he was always that first choice.”
Millar says he and Gough “couldn’t believe it” when Armisen agreed to take on the role, appearing in just one episode this season. But doing so came with its own set of challenges since filming took place in Romania.
“It’s OK for the cast to be there for eight months, but [booking] guest stars was more challenging,” Millar explains. The Wednesday boss shares that Armisen was “all in” for the role and “so excited to do it,” even shaving his head for the one-off appearance.
Armisen revealed to Vanity Fair that he opted for the big chop instead of wearing a bald cap for a more realistic look.
“They really did such a great job with the makeup and everything. I had no eyebrows. It was prosthetics over my eyebrows to give me that look,” he said. “But I think that bald caps don’t look great all the time, so I was hoping to just make it that much more convincing.”
Armisen is in great company. Christopher Lloyd also shaved his head to portray Uncle Fester in 1991’s The Addams Family and its sequel Addams Family Values.