Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gratuitous Brunette: Christina Ricci

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I like to tell the story of walking away from the theatre, having just seen The Addams Family for the first time, and saying that the little girl who'd just owned the role of Wednesday Addams was going to be a big star some day; although she'd made her big screen debut in Richard Benjamin's Mermaids in 1990 (alongside Cher, Bob Hoskins, and Winona Ryder) this was the role that got her noticed, and not just by me, either.

Subsequent roles - in Addams Family Values, Casper, and Now and Then, in which she played the younger version of Rosie O'Donnell - rounded out her resume as a juvenile, while as a teen she appeared in such varied fare as Golddiggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain, That Darn Cat, and The Ice Storm.

Ang Lee's sensitive look at life in 1970s suburbia gave Ricci the chance to attempt more adult scenes, which she continued to do in Vincent Gallo's Buffalo '66, John Waters' Pecker, and Don Roos' The Opposite of Sex. While ill-suited to making a period piece, she gave it her all opposite Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's amazing Sleepy Hollow, and where Prozac Nation was gritty, the down and dirtiest Ricci ever got was when she starred opposite Charlize Theron in the film Monster (for which Theron was awarded an Oscar) although Black Snake Moan comes a close second.

Still working, Ricci seems to eschew the comedies which are her natural m├ętier, preferring to seek credibility instead in dramas; by her own admission she is, at 5'1", too tiny to be an A-List actress - besides photographing small - but we at the Pop Culture Institute prefer to base our A-List (of women, at least) on talent, which puts her into the upper echelon around here, even if she is on tippy-toes.
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