SNL: Jenna Ortega returns to her horror roots in Exorcist parody sketch

Jenna Ortega paid homage to her horror movie roots while making her Saturday Night Live debut.

The 20-year-old Wednesday star hosted Saturday’s (11 March) episode of the sketch show, during which she appeared in a sketch based on the horror film The Exorcism.

In it, a family calls for a priest to visit their daughter (Ortega) in the middle of the night, after she has been possessed by the devil.

Writhing in her bed, Ortega speaks in a distorted voice as she tells the priest that he’s going to “rot in hell”.

However, the family are then interrupted by their neighbour, teacher Mrs Shaw (Ego Nwodim) who has come by to complain about the noise and ends up helping out with the exorcism.

“I’m getting my sleep tonight,” she tells the screaming Ortega. “You don’t scare me sweetie… Use your words.”

When Ortega starts levitating, Nwodim comments: “Where is she going?”

“You’re going to hell, you stupid wh***,” Ortega’s character tells her, with Nwodim replying: “Stupid what now? Oh honey, you’re going to have to do much better than that. Yesterday a third grader called me a ‘used-up skank’. What else you got?”

“You’re an ugly, um,” Ortega continues, struggling to come up with another insult, leading to Nwodim telling her to “sit your a** down” as her bed returns to its normal level.

Viewers praised Ortega for her performance, with one fan writing: “She didn’t break character once! Such a professional.”

“She can play every role perfectly,” another comment read, while one viewer joked: “And here I thought Jenna already covered all forms of horror.”

Ortega can currently be seen in Scream VI, having previously appeared in horror films Scream and X.

Ortega was praised for her performance in the sketch (NBC)
Ortega was praised for her performance in the sketch (NBC)

Last week, Ortega opened up about putting her “foot down” while working on Wednesday and asking for changes to the script in a way that was “almost unprofessional”.

“When I first signed onto the show, I didn’t have all the scripts. I thought it was going to be a lot darker,” she said. “It wasn’t… I didn’t know what the tone was, or what the score would sound like.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had to put my foot down more on a set in a way that I had to on Wednesday,” she added.

In an interview with The Times, Ortega also explained she “appreciates my solitude” when asked whether she was currently dating anyone.

Since was released on Netflix in November, Wednesday has become the streamer’s second biggest English-language series ever.