No matter how many roles Christina Ricci takes on, she will always be remembered for playing Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family (1991). That role could have been a curse1, but it ended up a blessing2 thanks to the exposure3 and wealth of opportunities that followed. Those “open doors” allowed Christina to pick roles that showcased her abilities as an actress, instead of typecasting4 her as a child star. Unlike many of her young colleagues, Christina was able to make the transition to serious actress by having the courage to take on complex roles in non-mainstream5 films. Though her image, attitude and philosophy have changed over the years, the one constant6 has been her abilities as an actress.
Christina Ricci was born February 12, 1980, in Santa Monica, California, to parents Ralph and Sarah Ricci. After her parents decided to relocate to Montclair, New Jersey, Christina – otherwise known as the family clown – spent much of her youth on America’s East Coast.
The only sign of acting talent Christina showed at a young age was her ability to entertain her siblings7 (Rafael and Dante). But once she was cast in an elementary school pageant8, a movie critic who was in the audience encouraged her parents to get her an agent.
In 1990, Christina was cast in Mermaids as Cher’s daughter and Winona Ryder’s sister – quite an accomplishment for her acting debut. Her maturity led her to become friends with Cher and Johnny Depp (Winona’s guy at the time), who has since shared the screen with Christina several times.
After a role in 1991’s The Hard Way, Christina was cast in what would become her most defining role to date – as morbid9 and dark Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family. Ironically, not long after Addams Family Values was released in 1993, Christina’s parents, a former psychiatrist (specializing in shrieking therapy10) and lawyer, and a nursery-school teacher and real estate agent, filed for divorce11.
At this point, bored with regular school and looking for more interesting things to keep her busy, Christina appeared in The Cemetery Club (1993) and Now and Then (1995), and starred in Casper (1995). She continued her education by studying with a tutor and going to the Professional Children’s School with Macaulay Culkin.
While Macaulay headed toward a life of tabloids12, Christina was destined for more. In 1997, she appeared in The Last of the High Kings and starred in That Darn Cat, but it was her role in The Ice Storm, alongside Katie Holmes, that transformed her from child performer to serious actress.
Then, with roles in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) with Johnny Depp and the twisted13 comedy The Opposite of Sex (1998), her core14 audience and childhood fans were sure to change drastically15, especially due to the latter.
Treading16 along the indie17 circuit, Christina joined a star-studded18 cast consisting of Courtney Love, Kate Hudson and Ben Affleck, for 200 Cigarettes (1999), and teamed up with Johnny Depp once more to star in the impressive Sleepy Hollow (1999), the most financially successful film Christina has participated in over the years, despite the massive amount of credits she has accumulated.
She costarred with Kim Basinger for the dud19 Bless The Child (2000), and starred in the smaller (but again, star-filled) The Man Who Cried (2000), and Prozac Nation (2001), in which she appears nude.
She may have lost out to fellow child actor Kirsten Dunst for parts in Little Women (1994) and Interview with the Vampire (1994), and Dominique Swain for Lolita (1997), but Christina has quite an impressive award roster20 to her name. Just for her work in The Opposite of Sex Christina garnered a YoungStar Award for Young Actress in a Comedy Film, a National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy.
Shunning21 Hollywood life and preferring to live in New York, Christina Ricci proved that she had the maturity to live up to her status as an independent actress. Keeping busy behind the camera as well, Christina created her own production company called Blaspheme Films, which was responsible for Prozac Nation and Pumpkin (2002).
In 2005, Ricci starred in Cursed, and in 2006, she acted in Penelope and Home of the Brave starring Jessica Biel. In 2007, Christina Ricci solidified22 her place as one of Hollywood’s most intriguing actresses thanks to a role in the highly acclaimed film Black Snake Moan opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Justin Timberlake.
1 curse – проклятие
2 blessing – благословение
3 exposure – появление (на публике)
4 to typecast – занимать актёра в однотипных ролях
5 non-mainstream – некоммерческий
6 constant – постоянная
7 sibling – брат или сестра
8 pageant – шоу, спектакль
9 morbid – болезненный
10 shrieking therapy – лечение криком
11 to file for divorce – подавать на развод
12 tabloids – (зд.) бульварная («жёлтая») пресса
13 twisted – «повёрнутый»
14 core – основной
15 drastically – радикально
16 to tread – идти
17 indie – инди (независимый, некоммерческий)
18 star-studded – с участием множества звёзд
19 dud – никчемный
20 roster – перечень
21 to shun – избегать
22 to solidify – упрочивать
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