04 Apr 2014Webmiss
Christina Ricci, best known for her early role as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family, has made a long career out of playing dark characters. â€œI think unhappy, complex people make the most interesting characters to play,â€ Ricci said.
In her latest film, Ricci plays Lizzie Borden, the woman infamously acquitted of the murder of both her father and stepmother in the 1980s. Lizzie Borden Took an Ax originally aired on Lifetime earlier this year and is coming out on DVD Tuesday, April 8.
During a recent chat with the 34-year-old actress, Ricci discussed the fascination around Lizzie Borden, growing up in front of the camera and why she canâ€™t wait for Game of Thrones to come back on TV.
Why do you think thereâ€™s such a fascination around Lizzie Bordenâ€™s story?
Well, it was one of the first real tabloid, sensational trials in our country. So I think it left an impact, definitely, because it was such a huge scandal at the time. And also, she was found not guilty. Everyone sort of had the impression that she was guilty, but the fact that she went free led to the story having a certain amount of infamy.
What do you think would happen if this story took place today?
[Laughs] I donâ€™t know, I canâ€™t remember all of the specifics. I would imagine they would have been able to gather more evidence to exactly who committed these crimes, and if it was indeed her, I think the evidence would have been damning and would have led to her conviction.
In the movie Lizzie kills one of her parents in the nude. How did you prepare for the nude scenes?
Well, they werenâ€™t going to show anything [laughs], so I wasnâ€™t too worried about it. Also, itâ€™s not really a movie about how good you look, so I didnâ€™t really think about it.
Was your preparation for the role more psychological thenâ€”getting into Lizzie Bordenâ€™s mind?
Yeah, I spent most of my time on this movie figuring out where she would have been. Sheâ€™s a very deceptive character and thereâ€™s so many layers, itâ€™s natural to look for what your characterâ€™s truth is. But with her, thereâ€™s layer upon layer of deception: the truth sheâ€™s trying to convince people of, that she maybe knows, maybe sheâ€™s one of those people whoâ€™s able to convince herself. Thereâ€™s so much ambiguity to the character that I spent most of my time sort of grappling with those sort of questions on a scene-by-scene basis.
Youâ€™ve taken a lot of dark roles throughout your career, what draws you to them?
I think that unhappyâ€”dare I say unhappy?â€”complex people make the most interesting characters to play. Theyâ€™re the most proactive people; theyâ€™re the people who get themselves into the most trouble. Happy, settled, contented people donâ€™t really do much. They donâ€™t have a lot of motivation to go out. A lot of stuff doesnâ€™t happen. I think [dark roles] provide the stories. They end up in the most interesting situations for a character, at least for me.
Youâ€™ve been acting since you were a child. What was it like growing up in front of the camera?
You know, it was a very different time than it is now. I was able to sort of have my life feel like I wasnâ€™t any different than anyone else. I didnâ€™t open up magazines and see myself in pictures on the street and there was no internet when I was younger, so it was very different. I look at kids who are growing up today and I just canâ€™t imagine what that feels like. So for me, it just felt like anyone elseâ€™s childhood really. I know it was vastly different, but I didnâ€™t really know anything else.
Is there anything you wish youâ€™d known as a kid when you started out?
The industry changes every year. It changes and the rules change, what people value changes, and itâ€™s a very material kind of a thing. And I think a great thing to know is that you never know and you have to always be open toâ€¦ you might not know exactly whatâ€™s going on at any time or how things work. I think like anybody else, in this industry or not, when youâ€™re young, you donâ€™t really have any foresight. You forget that the things you do will follow you forever. There are some things I did when I was youngerâ€”things I said in the press and stuffâ€”that I probably would have told myself to just be quiet.
One of the roles youâ€™re most remembered for is Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family. Did you ever find it hard as an actor to shake that image?
No, I think that Iâ€™ve been very lucky that none of these images or impressions Iâ€™ve left on people have been bad ones really. People love Wednesday, but I would love that character too, so Iâ€™ve never really attempted to shake any of the stuff. Iâ€™ve always been very lucky to have characters that people really love. I think about some people that canâ€™t shake really bad images and Iâ€™m glad I avoided them.
Do you ever see one of your old movies or shows on TV?
I do. I donâ€™t watch them, but I see that theyâ€™re on there.
Ever since Pan Am went off the air, people have really missed you on TV! Do you have any plans to do another show?
Yeah! Iâ€™m completely open to TV and movies. I have some stuff in development, so weâ€™ll see what happens with that.
Youâ€™re a fan of The Voice and CeeLo Green. What do you think of the singers this season, and of his decision not to come back?
Oh, thatâ€™s just silly stuff I write on my Twitter. [Laughs] I donâ€™t really have any serious comments on any of that stuff. I do like the show and think itâ€™s very entertaining.
What are some of your favorite shows?
Iâ€™m really excited that Veep is coming back on the air. I really love that show. And Game of Thrones is coming back on, which is very exciting. Iâ€™ve missed the show so much I started reading the books, so I know what happens in the book. But the show can be different than TV if they stray from the original story.
Based on Twitter, youâ€™re also a big Prince fan. What would you do if you ever met him?
Thatâ€™s more like I saw Purple Rain and thought it would be really funny if Prince was my buddy, my little pal. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™d ever want to meet him though, because I enjoy what I have going on in my mind. But I would like to be in a place and witness Prince. I hear he doesnâ€™t actually talk to people, that he talks through people, which I think is amazing. I wish I could get away with that.