Interview – Christina Ricci

Interview – Christina Ricci

They often say it is difficult for a child actor to sustain success into adulthood…well then ‘they’ never met Christina Ricci. First achieving stardom as an actress while very young with starring roles in such films as 1991’s The Addams Family, its sequel, 1993’s Addams Family Values, and 1995’s Casper, Ricci would soon become something of a teen icon. Known for being a diverse, unique talent, as time went by she would not skip a beat, going onto tackle roles in other big films such as 1999’s Sleepy Hollow, as well as 2003’s Monster.

Now all these years later she continues to light up big and small screens alike with unique character portrayals that truly set her apart from the rest. Always looking for a compelling new project to dig into, Ricci recently sat down to talk about her career, working on the new film Monstrous, plus a whole lot more. 

Cryptic Rock – You first attained success as an actress while only a child. Impressively you have continued to build on that success well into adulthood with an extremely diverse resume that continues to grow. Briefly tell us, how would you describe your career to this point?

Christina Ricci – Wow, my career and life are so enmeshed because I started so young. They both just feel the same, just a journey and a life. It feels like my career has evolved as I’ve growing up and as I’ve gotten older. I don’t know of any other way to really describe it other than that. 

Cryptic Rock – Well your career certainly has grown, and as mentioned, you have sustained an extremely diverse career. You worked in many different genres, but you have also done a lot of work within the Horror genre. Is it safe to say you that you are a fan and enjoy working within the Horror realm?

Christina Ricci – Yea, I like Horror, I like watching it. I don’t know that I specifically always look to work in that genre, but I do think that I response to a lot of the things that are typically found more in Horror and Sci-fi scripts. I like an interesting concept. I like a bit of style and things that you don’t find necessarily as often in straight forward Dramas or Comedies. 

Paramount Pictures

Universal Pictures

Cryptic Rock – Right. With Horror or Sci-fi there is a lot more you can expand upon because of the open imagination. 

Christina Ricci – Yes and I like for a film to have a concept. I don’t know how else to describe it, but I really do think I respond to the elements in a Horror script a little bit more. 

Cryptic Rock – Interesting to hear. As a viewer, it also appears you often gravitate toward period pieces as well. Do you also enjoy working in period pieces?

Christina Ricci – I do, I really like period pieces. I like all the elements of filmmaking. I like production design and photography. I like all of them to be interesting and have a concept behind them. If you are working on a period piece, that just influences everything. The creativity is a bit more focused, I think.

Cryptic Rock – And you really seem to shine in period pieces whether it be The Lizzie Borden Chronicles or Z: The Beginning of Everything. Let’s talk about Z: The Beginning of Everything for a minute. It was really a fantastic series. Do you wish that Z: The Beginning of Everything would have lasted a bit longer than it did?

Christina Ricci – Thank you. Yes, it would have been great. We had an exciting second season planned for Z: The Beginning of Everything, but things happened.

Paramount Pictures

Newmarket Films

Cryptic Rock – That is unfortunate but understandable. Which leads us to your most recent film, Monstrous. How did this one come about for you?

Christina Ricci – This was a script that was submitted to me. I read it and loved the idea that the horror in this case is coming from a real life horror that the character had gone through. I liked the idea that it was the manifestation of deep, deep pain.

Cryptic Rock – You can feel that. The film takes an interesting twist as well. Was that twist something that attracted you?

Christina Ricci – Yes and that is the reveal. That is the thing that reveals what is actually going on. It reveals the power of our psyches. 

Cryptic Rock – It certainly does. As you mentioned, the film plays on real life horror. We discover your character has experienced some serious trauma. It is very sad to watch…especially for a parent.

Christina Ricci – Yes, it is really heartbreaking. It was difficult to play for that reason as a well. As a mother I don’t want to actually imagine the loss of a child. It was very unpleasant and uncomfortable for me because of the story and me being a mom myself.

Cryptic Rock – That is where it hits you and you can feel that pain. Santino Barnard plays your son, Cody, in this film. He does a fantastic job with the character…so what was it like working with him?

Christina Ricci –It was great working with him. He is a total professional, incredibly talented, receptive to ideas, easy to work with, charming, and sweet. He was just great and so good in the movie.

Cryptic Rock – He really does a great job. Monstrous is also a bit of a period piece itself, taking place in the early ’60s. Beyond the clear trauma that surrounds your character, what was it like developing Laura?

Christina Ricci – It was fun. We did a take on the late ’50s/early ’60s theme because of the of reveal that happens later. She is not quite period correct, and it was fun to come up with that as well.

Screen Media

Cryptic Rock – Right and that makes it that much more interesting. With Monstrous complete, released in theaters, and now set for release on DVD/Blu-Ray July 5th, what else do you have coming up?

Christina Ricci –I just finished Wednesday for Netflix. I am not going to be doing anything else I think until we go back for a second season of Yellowjackets. So the next thing people will see me in will be Wednesday.

Cryptic Rock – That is something exciting to look forward to. As we spoke of, you have accumulated a very lengthy resume. How would you compare working in film vs television? Is there a difference for you? 

Christina Ricci – Yes, there is a big difference for me. TV is very different than film if you are only involved in a project as an actress. Being an actress on a TV show you quite often do not know where your character is going. You don’t know the full arch of the character the way you do when you are making a movie. You have to develop different skills. I think one of those is being able to play a character where you don’t necessarily know the parameters of what they are going to do.

I think sometimes, especially with a first season show, it could be difficult to find the character through the season. It is like acting in an in open-ended kind of way. That can be hard to wrap your head around, especially if  you have done it the other way for so long.

Cryptic Rock – That is interesting to hear. Once you get a show going, if you are fortunately enough to go beyond a first season, you can really get into a character, right?

Christina Ricci – Yes, I think for me a first season has always been finding the character. It has been about finding the limits, understand how far the writer is going to go, and where they are going to take it. You are trying to get to a place where you feel 100% confident about who that person is. I think that takes the first season…at least it does for me. (Laughs)

Cryptic Rock – Absolutely understandable. You have spend a good portion of time obviously in front of the camera, but you have also worked behind the scenes. Would you like to work behind the scenes more in the future.

Christina Ricci – Yes, I’ve been producing since I was nineteen. Like you said, I’ve produced various TV shows and I continue to do that. My production company has projects that we are pitching and developing. I spend a lot of time actually doing that.

Lifetime

Amazon

Cryptic Rock – That is great, hopefully we get to see more of them. One can imagine working behind the scenes has a different dynamic too for a creator.

Christina Ricci – It is, but I’ve spent so much time on sets my whole life. I very much understand at this point what everybody does on a production. I also understand the limits of different roles. It’s important to me to be as creatively involved as I can with as many projects as I can. I have a desire to be creative and I am going to continue doing it.

Cryptic Rock – It is also wonderful to have different outlets to create in as well. So here is a big question. From all your experiences, what would you say creatively some of the most important things you have learned to this point your career?

Christina Ricci – I think the most important thing that I have learned is to really try to divorce yourself from ego when you are making films and TV series. You have to always be sure the reason you are making a decision or arguing for a choice is the best thing for the project. You have to make sure it is not about any type of ego, power, control, or vanity.

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