Woman (In Horror) Crush Wednesday: Christina Ricci

August 2, 2017

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

Welcome back, my Little Monsters! This week it’s Woman Crush Wednesday in more ways than one. It not only refers to the day of the week, but arguably this wonderful Woman of Horror’s most famous character – Wednesday Addams. That’s right it’s the spooky, tiny, lovely and talented Christina Ricci.
Christina is the baby of the family, being the fourth out of four children born to Sara Murdoch and Ralph Ricci. You could say she’s a California girl, having been born in Santa Monica. But Christina actually grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, where she attended Edgemont Elementary School, Glenfield Middle School, Montclair High School, as well as the Morristown-Beard School and then the Children’s Professional School in New York City.
Christina was discovered by a critic from a Bergen County paper, The Record, at the age of eight years old,  while performing in a school production of The Twelve Days of Christmas at Edgemont Elementary. She wasn’t originally cast in the role she ultimately played, but finagled her way into the role nonetheless. It’s said that she provoked a little boy into hitting her, and then she told on him. The boy in question was punished by losing the role in the play that Christina would go on to play. Seems acting can be a cutthroat business, even in the grade school ranks.
Her first on screen role was in an episode of the short lived 1990 drama series, H.E.L.P., which was successfully re-branded as Third Watch almost a decade later. In that same year Christina made her big screen debut in the role of Kate Flax in the romantic comedy, Mermaids, alongside Cher, Bob Hoskins and Winona Ryder.
From there it didn’t take long for Christina to delve into creepy and occult fare, albeit on the lighter side. In 1991 she would take on the role of Wednesday Addams in Barry Sonnenfeld’s big screen comedy film representation of Charles Addam’s beloved The Addams Family and its subsequent sequel, Addams Family Values. Then in 1995 she appeared as Kat Harvey in  Brad Silberling’s adaptation of the classic Harvey Comics and cartoon character Casper the Friendly Ghost, in the film simply titled, Casper. She very well could have begun her horror career before taking on her iconic role of Wednesday Addams, if she had won the role of Ellie Creed in Mary Lambert’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel,  Pet Sematary. But who’s to say whether Christina would have gone on to play Wednesday if she hadn’t lost the role of Ellie to Blaze Berdahl?
Over the next few years she would really explore her range and versatility with roles in films like Now and Then, Bastard Out of Carolina, The Ice Storm, The Opposite of Sex (for which she received a Golden Globe nomination and an Oscar nom snub) Buffalo ’66, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Pecker and 200 Cigarettes. In 1999, Christina finally dipped her foot into the horror genre, portraying Katrina Van Tassel opposite Johnny Depp’s Ichabod Crane in Tim Burton’s re imagining of the “Headless Horseman” legend in his horror/fantasy film, Sleepy Hollow. The next year Christina returned to the genre in the horror/thriller Bless the Child.
Christina has continued to work across many genres over the years in titles like The Man Who Cried, Prozac Nation, I Love Your Work, Monster, Black Snake Moan, Speed Racer, New York, I Love You, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, War Flowers and Smurfs 2…just to name a few. Over the years she has also made the occasional TV appearance on shows like The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle, Ally McBeal, Grey’s Anatomy, Saving Grace, The Good Wife as well as a lead role on the series Pan Am.  Her portrayal of paramedic, Hannah Davies, earned her an Emmy Nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series”. She has also been a guest host on Saturday Night Live, where she not only parodied Britney Spears but also unintentionally punched, former cast regular, Ana Gasteyer in the face during a sketch.

In September of 2010, she took her talents to the Broadway stage, replacing Alicia Silverstone, in the role of Mandy for the Cort Theater production of Time Stands Still. For this run of the play, she joined the cast from the Manhattan Theater Club production which included cast members Laura Linney, Brian d’Arcy James and Eric Bogosian. Her next stage appearance was in an off-Broadway production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where she appeared in the role of Hemma, a young woman caught up between a man she dearly loves and one she truly does not.
She has still kept her hand in the horror game with roles in such genre fare as The Gathering, Cursed, After.Life, Lizzie Borden Took an Ax and the TV series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles. I personally feel she has a look that is well suited for Gothic horror, but would like to see her doing more genre films regardless of the time period represented. Because despite being slight of physical stature she just exudes a certain vibe that truly is the stuff of a good horror actress, maybe even that of a scream queen.
As is the case with many of our wonderful Women of Horror, Christina took on an important and also very gratifying role in August of 2014. It was at this time that she and her husband, James Heerdegen, welcomed their son Freddie into the world.
So, as per usual, my Little Monsters, I have told you some, but definitely not all there is to know about Ms. Ricci.  But there are definitely a bevy of different ways to find out about or keep updated on what’s going on with Christina, what projects she’s working on next, her charitable affiliations and what have you. There’s her official IMDb page, her official Twitter account and even her official Instagram.
So being as how it’s Wednesday, my Little Monsters, and as they say, “On Wednesday’s we wear black”. Let me pose a parting question to you all, even though I know it’s a variation of a Mean Girls quote…don’t ask how I know that.. Wouldn’t it be much easier for the majority of us if we said on which we DON’T wear black?

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