Christina Ricci is featured on the cover and inside the October 2010 issue of BlackBook Magazine!

My obsession with Christina Ricci started well over a decade ago. What follows is a brief, incomplete, and admittedly twisted chronology: In September 2001, a 21-year-old Ricci premiered Prozac Nation, her first film as star and co-producer, at the Toronto International Film Festival. Eighteen at the time, I sat front row at the screening, gawking despite my better judgment. One year later, Ricci and the late Dennis Hopper appeared in “Two White Shirts,” a black-and-white Gap campaign directed by the Coen Brothers. I prowled the local mall late one night and hid behind a dumpster, waiting to steal a discarded poster. (I got one.) Also in 2002, Ricci starred in and produced Pumpkin, the bleakly hysterical story of Carolyn McDuffy, a sorority sister who falls in love with a mentally disabled man. That summer, I tended bar at an Irish pub that sold pizza, where one of the servers knew about my odd fascination. She gave me a Selfridges receipt she’d asked Ricci to sign for her friend, with whom she’d since lost touch. It stayed framed on my home office desk for the next few years, an orphaned, crumpled piece of paper that read, “Dear Phil—happy birthday!”

There were also collages put together from photographs of Ricci (made for me, but also by me); a cardboard cutout of her face glued to the end of a Popsicle stick; a VHS copy of her little-watched 1998 film, Desert Blue; framed photos from magazine editorials. And although it pains me to put this down on record, I even began to mimic the way she claps her hands, the tips of her fingers repelling one another while her palms slap together.

But Ricci, casually radiant at 30, doesn’t know any of this when she invites me into the passenger seat of her black Mercedes on a balmy August afternoon. We’re cruising through Los Angeles in search of a drive-thru, and despite her total disregard for traffic lights, and traffic for that matter, the journey is quite pleasant. Ricci needs a cigarette, but before she’ll take a Parliament from her pack, she needs a Diet Coke, which we find, along with two cherry cola slushies, at a gas station in Pasadena. When we get back into her car, drinks in hand, Ricci, wearing a black sleeveless dress and matching flats, apologizes. “Sorry,” she says, “but my car’s really dirty and it’s starting to smell like bad feet or ass crack. I don’t know what’s wrong with it!”

Passing a 24-hour gym, Ricci changes gears. “I’m obsessed with Pilates,” she says. “I wasn’t working this summer, so I was like, I’m going to be one of those women who doesn’t have a job and goes to seven exercise classes a day.” She lights a cigarette and then rolls down her car window.

Later that day, Ricci and I find ourselves in San Marino exploring the Huntington Library, a sprawling estate with lush grounds and an indoor exhibition entitled “The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs.” Although we’re here because Ricci loves home décor, the surrounding bellows and ebonized oak tables aren’t exactly begging for commentary, and we retreat to a tranquil Japanese garden.

“I guess I wasn’t in love with that stuff,” Ricci says, laughing. Over the next two days, however, she will reveal a laundry list of personal obsessions: crime novels (“I love crime so, so, so much”), walking, theories about Jack the Ripper, Red Bull, hair makeovers, Showgirls, the television show Wicked Attraction, and, perhaps most relevant to our discussion, Eric Bogosian, the actor with whom she co-stars in Time Stands Still on Broadway this month.

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