Rolling Stone – August 20, 1998

Hot Actress: Christina Ricci
Rolling Stone, August 20, 1998

Some people spend all their lives in Hollywood and still fail to see through it’s love affair with itself. Not Christina Ricci, though. At 19, the actress who has made her name playing weirdo kids is wise beyond her years. Here she speaks candidly to Robert Crampton about beauty, breasts and the cult of being a celebrity.

Christina Ricci has made a career out of being fed up. “I don’t think I look like an actress,” the eighteen-year-old explains. “When I was little, I looked like a fucking alien. I wasn’t cheerful or cute; I was annoyed a lot.” Ricci’s acting breakthrough came at age ten, when she played Wednesday Addams, the morbid, prickly daughter in ‘The Addams Family’. “I loved doing that part,” Ricci remembers. “I wasn’t as unhappy most of the time, because I got to be annoyed on camera.” After spending much of her New Jersey childhood naked (“I’d walk around the house nude, and my mom would be like, ‘Poopsie, we’re going into town, you’ve gotta put on clothes’ “), Ricci stayed dressed long enough to be discovered in a second-grade school pageant. Soon after, she made her film debut alongside Cher and Winona Ryder in the drama ‘Mermaids’. A string of roles followed, including ‘The Cemetary Club’ (“It was some movie about old people”), ‘Casper’ (“All I did was run around and yell, ‘Casper! Casper, no!’ “) and the Disney remake of ‘That Darn Cat’ (“I couldn’t sit through that one”).

Ricci’s work generated lots of on-set fans along the way: “When I made ‘The Hard Way’, I remember James Woods and [director] John Badham saying, ‘People go to school for years to do what you do.’ And I was like, ‘Why?’ ” Ricci stands five foot three, with wide eyes and a tiny mouth that’s all curdled, wicked disappointment. Since turning critics’ heads with last year’s ‘The Ice Storm’, she has pulled off an acting trifecta: playing a Barbra Streisand-obsessed runaway beside Johnny Depp in ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’, a plush sex kitten in ‘Buffalo 66’ and a manipulative femme fatale in ‘The Opposite of Sex’. With roles in John Water’s upcoming ‘Pecker’ (playing a “laundromat Nazi”) and the MTV Films generational saga ‘200 Cigarettes’ (co-starring everybody), Ricci seems poised to make the rarest of Hollywood leaps: from child star to star. “I think the main reason a lot of people don’t make it is that it’s hard to see someone as cute and then to all of a sudden see them as having more depth,” she says. “I guess I was just lucky that when I was little, nobody thought I was that cute.”