Biography of Christina RicciChristina Ricci is an American actress and producer. She gained fame as a teenager in the early 90s, playing Wednesday Addams in the horror comedy movie "The Addams Family" and its sequel. Then came roles as Kat Harvey in "Casper", young Roberta Martin in the dramedy "Now and Then", and Katrina Van Tassel in "Sleepy Hollow".
The persona of a character actress – gloominess and nonconformity – accompanied her for quite a while and earned her two Saturn Awards and numerous nominations. But there were downsides: the label of "horror movie girl" at one point stalled her career. Fortunately, not forever. In 2024, Ricci was nominated for a Golden Globe award as the best supporting actress for her role in the mini-series "Yellowjackets", and shortly before this, she made a spectacular appearance in the series "Wednesday" by Tim Burton.
Childhood, Youth, FamilyChristina was born in the winter of 1980 to Ralph Ricci and Sarah Murdoch, becoming the fourth child in a family known for their eccentricity. Imagining himself as an Italian mafia boss, her father named their older sons Raphael and Dante, and their daughter – Pia.
Christina's siblings now reside in New York. Raphael is a concert promoter, having organized shows for Radiohead. Dante is a writer, who earned his living by working in a restaurant, while Pia found a job in an international travel magazine.
The family lived not far from Los Angeles, in Santa Monica. Before becoming a lawyer, Christina's father switched professions multiple times. He started off as a gym coach, then managed a restaurant, and when his youngest daughter started school, he opened a private psychotherapy practice, treating people with "primal scream therapy". Occasionally, Christina acted as a go-between for him and his clients:
Sometimes patients would visit. When I was eight, a woman came to our house. She once asked me, 'Can you tell your father that my mother isn't speaking to me, I've started drinking again, and I'm having all these nightmares about sexual encounters.' And I would note all of this down, spelling out the words 'SEXUAL ENCOUNTERS'. My father was furious that she had left this message for his eight-year-old daughter. I always thought it was a kind of amusement.The office was located in the basement of their house, and a ventilation pipe led directly to Christina's room. Whenever she heard the "healing" sessions, she would either cover her head with a pillow or escape to the roof of the house, waiting for the sessions to end.
Christina's mother, a former model and a realtor at the time of Christina's birth, was also quite a character. Being very slim herself, she would call Christina an "ugly fat bug" and forbid her from eating desserts.
In one of her interviews, the movie star said:
In her youth, my mother was a model. She knew very well how children are used in advertising, and she didn't like it. She didn't want her children to experience what she did, as it might cause pain and disappointment. My father was a big movie fan and often talked about actors, but I never thought I would become one. My mother and I went to auditions a couple of times. After the first one, the director decided I wasn't a fit. I was very nervous and for some reason, I started telling him that I played football and was always hit in the head with the ball. He probably thought, 'What a strange girl. Why should I hire her'.When Christina turned thirteen, her parents divorced. They had already moved to New Jersey by then. In Glenfield School, one of the five schools Christina attended, she attracted attention by provoking the local bullies. When they retaliated, she would scream and complain to everyone around, saying, "Look what they've done to me!". Yet, she never fought back, even though she referred to herself as "a real beast" and "a tearaway".
Acting CareerRicci was nine years old when she first appeared on the set of Richard Benjamin's dramedy "Mermaids". Despite her young age, she managed to befriend the other two main performers – Cher and Winona Ryder. She still maintains a relationship with the latter. Meanwhile, Cher helped her win the casting for Barry Sonnenfeld's black comedy "The Addams Family".
The director imagined Wednesday as aristocratic and refined, so he didn't even want to consider the chubby-cheeked girl for the role. Cher gave Christina some advice: do something at the auditions to be remembered for a long time. Barry definitely remembered Ricci, as she rushed at him and almost bit his hand. Thus, the budding actress got into the cast of the film about the famous gothic family.
The role of the gloomy intellectual Wednesday, although it made Christina famous, did not become a ticket to the "big league". For example, she really wanted to play Lolita in the 1997 film of the same name, but the role went to Dominique Swain.
She also auditioned for the role of Rose in "Titanic", but the main heroine was played by Kate Winslet. With Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt she could have starred in the drama "Interview with the Vampire", but the director preferred Kirsten Dunst.
Nevertheless, the actress's service record also includes many vivid characters created by her. The teenage audience loved the actress in the films "Casper" and "Now and Then", released in 1995.
Next, Ricci played Erin in the drama "The Last of the High Kings", and three years before the end of the nineties, she appeared in more than ten films. The actress recalled this period of transition from child roles to adult ones:
For a while it seemed like I would have to continue to make children's films to stay in the business, but then, when I was fifteen, along came 'The Ice Storm'. And right after that I did 'Buffalo 66' and 'The Opposite of Sex'. Working on 'Buffalo 66' with a director like Vincent Gallo, who is incredibly artistic, valued me and thought I was wonderful, gave me a lot of hope and made me feel like everything was okay. The media attention I got after those films made me feel the same way.The final stage of transition to adult roles was Tim Burton's horror "Sleepy Hollow" (1999). In it, Christina starred alongside Johnny Depp and Christopher Walken.
She also appeared in the cult film by Terry Gilliam "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". The role of artist Lucy was small, but memorable.
For the role of Katrina Anne van Tassel, she was awarded the "Saturn" award, and with Johnny, she later starred in several more films, including the drama "The Man Who Cried". In it, Ricci got the role of Suzie, a Jewish girl from Russia. This was her first entirely positive role and her first work in European cinema.
Ricci remembered her work with Depp:
I've known Johnny for a thousand years. When I was a child acting in my first film, he came to the set to see his then-girlfriend Winona Ryder. And now we are partners for the third time – after 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' and 'Sleepy Hollow'. Moreover, this time we had to play a sex scene. In essence, this is my first film with sex. But we decided to cut this line compared to the script and not to kiss almost until the very end. Johnny is like my older brother and patron. We have fun, we laugh and understand each other half-word.From the films of the 2000s, it's worth noting the lyrical comedy "Penelope", where Ricci played a cursed aristocrat with a pig's nose, and James McAvoy – a boy in love with her, the romcom "Pumpkin", as well as the psychological drama "Black Snake Moan", in which the actress's partner was Samuel L. Jackson.
Christina gradually proved that, despite the lack of acting education, she is capable of the most diverse roles. She played stewardess Maggie in "Pan Am", aristocrat Clotilde de Marelle in the screen adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's "Bel Ami", and artist Lauren in "Distorted".
The beginning of the 2020s was marked for Ricci by two main roles – single mother Abigail in the comedy "10 Things We Should Do Before We Break Up" and ghost Scarlett in the fantasy melodrama "Here After".
The actress also joined the cast of the action film "The Matrix Resurrections" and starred in Tim Burton's mystical serial "Wednesday", where Jenna Ortega played the role that she herself once played. This time, the actress got the image of Marilyn Thornhill, a teacher from Nevermore Academy, a character much more ambiguous than it seems at first glance.
Christina Ricci's Personal LifeActress Christina Ricci's personal life was quite tumultuous for a long time. She had relationships with her colleagues, but they didn't last long. For instance, she dated Devon Sawa for about a year, after meeting him on the set of "Casper", then briefly shifted her attention to actor Matthew Frauman.
She was rumored to have relationships with Australian actor Kick Gurry, director Adam Goldberg, Hollywood heartthrob Chris Evans, and comedian Owen Benjamin. Ricci even announced an engagement with Benjamin, but the couple parted ways two months later, and Christina was seen strolling with Curtis Buchanan.
In 2011, on the set of the TV series "Pan Am", Ricci met camera technician James Heerdegen. A year later, she was flaunting an engagement ring with a diamond, and in 2013, the couple's wedding was announced.
Christina gave birth to her first child at 34. They named their son Freddie. Fans were sure that their favorite actress had finally found happiness, but at the end of 2020, it became known that soon after the wedding, Heerdegen's nice-guy facade fell away. Christina was systematically subjected to abuse from her spouse.
He humiliated and insulted her, and once said he wished to see her dismembered. Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, the actress and her son had nowhere to go, so Christina hid all the knives and locked herself in a room with Freddie.
He said the only way for him to feel pity for me is to dismember me into little pieces. That night, I hid all the knives in the villa where we were staying. I feared for my life and for our son's life. Freddie and I slept in a separate room with the door locked.The divorce process lasted a year, and Christina managed to get a court ban on Heerdegen's interaction with their son. The ex-husband, in turn, demanded alimony payments through the court.
Simultaneously with the legal proceedings, news emerged that Ricci was pregnant and planning to marry her stylist and hairdresser Mark Hampton. It turned out their secret affair had been going on for a long time. Christina had planned to divorce her abusive husband earlier, but the pandemic got in the way.
So, 2021 brought two joyful events: a second marriage and the birth of a daughter, Cleopatra. During her pregnancy, Christina starred in "Yellowjackets".
Christina Ricci NowThe year 2024 started for the actress with attending the Golden Globe Awards ceremony. Ricci was nominated for her role as a devout football team assistant named Misty in the TV series "Hornets", which has been successfully running since 2021, as the best supporting actress.
Alas, her psychopathic character, manipulating people, did not convince the jury, and once again the Golden Globe slipped past Christina and went to another nominee - Elizabeth Debicki, who played Princess Diana in the TV series "The Crown".
Christina's fans hope that future seasons of "Hornets" will finally bring their favorite actress the long-awaited and deserved award. And fans of "Hornets" are eagerly waiting to see how events will unfold in the fourth and fifth seasons.
- By the age of three, Christina Ricci learned to read thanks to her older sister, Pia, who loved to play teacher and always chose her younger sister as her pupil. These improvised lessons were fruitful. On the other hand, the actress's brothers introduced her to cigarettes when she was just ten years old. Smoking turned into a full-blown habit when Ricci turned fifteen, and by eighteen, she was smoking two cigarettes an hour. Her favorite brand became Parliament Lights, mainly because of their unusual recessed filter.
- At the age of fourteen, Christina watched "Pulp Fiction" and was amazed by Samuel L. Jackson's performance: "I really wanted to be Sam - a cool bad guy who can kick anyone's ass," Ricci admitted. Later, on the set of the drama "Black Snake Moan," she met her former teenage idol. The actress played a nymphomaniac girl, even though she was 26 at the time, and Samuel's devout character saved her from a terrible fate.
- Christina Ricci has produced several notable films (in which she usually played the lead role). The first and most famous, "Prozac Nation," was shot in 2001 based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Elizabeth Wurtzel. In it, the journalist openly talked about how she tried to cope with atypical depression with the help of a popular antidepressant. The film was never released nationally in America, as the company Miramax acquired the film and the rights to its distribution after its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2001, and later called it "the most controversial film of the year."
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