Premiere – November 2000

Christina Ricci
Premiere, November 2000
By Kerrie Mitchell
Photographed by Gail Albert Halaban in Vancover, BC, June 21, 2000

“Breaking down, crying, and being stressed out every day does eventually have an effect on you,” Christina Ricci says. “I behaved insanely.” She’s referring of course to her role as a clinically depressed Harvard student in the upcoming film version of Elizabeth Wurtzel’s 1994 memoir, “Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America”, yet one could imagine this being her reaction to another, equally daunting roll – that of first-time producer. However, it’s a job that seems to come naturally to Ricci, 20, who says, “It’s nice to be involved and to have more say than you normally would.” In addition to helping develop the screenplay, she weighed in on the selection of director Erik Skjoldbjaerg (Insomnia). “Most directors whom we met with – especially women – identified so much with the character,” explains Ricci, seen here in her trailer. “Erik came from a point of view of really wanting to discover who this girl was and why she behaved this way.” She limited her offscreen involvement to preproduction, preferring to concentrate on her character’s erratic emotional state during filming. Still, she admits to coming up “with a few ideas that the rest of the cast hated me for.” Such as? One scene called for Ricci and co-stars Michelle Williams, Johnathan Rhys Meyers, and Jesse Moss to run through an outdoor sprinkler. Problem: The Vancouver location didn’t really look like Harvard yard. Somebody suggested a romp through a fountain instead. Problem: Harvard Yard doesn’t have any fountains. Ricci settled the issue: She made the get into the fountain anyway. “And everybody got angry at me because it was cold water, and tour buses were stopping, and we had senior citizens watching us gallivant in the fountain,”she recalls with barely disguised glee. “Of course, then it was my bright idea that we should take off some of our clothes. Everyone was like, ‘Great idea, Christina.'”