Jenna Ortega Gets Her Thrills From Radiohead and ‘Paris, Texas’


2. Wim Wenders’s “Paris, Texas” The first time I watched “Paris, Texas” was the first time I was emotional over a film. It’s just aching with vulnerability. I haven’t seen a lot of slow-burn movies, so I wasn’t expecting it to be as heartbreaking as it was. It doesn’t explain itself too much. You follow Travis [Harry Dean Stanton], and you slowly peel back the layers. Every time I watch it, I forget where I am.

3. Avocado rolls I went vegetarian, and any time people asked me what my favorite food was, I’m so indecisive I couldn’t give them an answer. So I would say, “Oh, I love avocados.” And people would say, “But that’s not a meal.” Well, I love sushi and I love avocados, and now it’s my go-to. You know how kids always go with chicken tenders and French fries? Those are my chicken tenders and French fries.

4. My Sony headphones I just got them. They’re noise canceling. The sound is amazing. I never have to talk to people when they’re on because they’re big and bulky. I’ve been called “perpetual headphone head” by multiple people because I always have them around my neck. I could not imagine walking around life all day without some sort of background music. Even just feeling the weight of the headphones on my chest brings me some sort of relief.

5. Mathieu Kassovitz’s “La Haine” If I were ever going to direct something, it would have to be similar to this. You feel like you know the characters. It exudes life. It’s three boys in Paris talking about police brutality and the struggles they go through in their days. Something that strikes me about this film is that it’ll always be relevant. That’s kind of unfortunate, but I think that there’s something meaningful about that because of how much energy it has.

6. Radiohead’s “OK Computer” I was shooting a film called “X” in New Zealand, and I became really, really close friends with Jim, one of the P.A.s [production assistants] on set, who was a huge Radiohead fan. Jim had said that his favorite album was “OK Computer,” and he explained to me the impact that it had on him as a kid growing up. And it became pretty much the only thing I listened to. I was out of the country by myself for the very first time. I had just turned 18 so had that newfound independence. You’re slowly becoming an adult and the world becomes scarier, to be so far from home and learning to do things on my own. So I think because I’m so nostalgic for that time in my life, that album will forever hold immense significance.

7. Driving I couldn’t sleep because of the time difference going from Eastern Europe to the West Coast of the U.S. So I was going out every night and driving, and I realized that’s probably when I’m happiest. I’m not talking to anybody. I’m focused. I can roll down the window and taste outside. It’s a freedom that I wish I could experience all the time. That’s another thing, too: You capture some insane views. You become very observant because there’s nothing else to do, especially when you have nowhere really to go.