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Christina Ricci talks ‘Monstrous,’ ‘Yellowjackets’ Emmy buzz and a role fueled by ‘absolute fury’

  • May 13, 2022

Christina Ricci’s feeling pretty good about it.

She was a child star who began her career in 1990’s “Mermaids” and became a household name with the “Addams Family” franchise, “Sleepy Hollow” and other films. At 42, she’s now garnering Emmy talk for her fan-favorite role in Showtime’s hit “Yellowjackets” and embracing the confidence of “the pure person I was when I was younger,” Ricci says.

“Sometimes through your life, you diverge from who you are and try to change and adapt or try to be what you think you need to be and all these things. I definitely went on that journey and came back around and now I feel more like the person I was at 11 or 12, which is not a bad thing for me.” 

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In her new 1950s-set horror film “Monstrous” (in theaters and on demand Friday), Ricci plays a single mom who flees with her 7-year-old son from an abusive ex, but is haunted by a spooky creature at their new lakehouse sanctuary. The actress, who appeared in last year’s “The Matrix Resurrections,” also has a role later this year in Tim Burton’s “Wednesday” series for Netflix, which stars Jenna Ortega as a teenage version of Ricci’s iconic character. “I can only say that I do not play Wednesday,” she quips.

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Ricci talks with USA TODAY about her “Yellowjackets” role, working with kids and her cool vintage ride.

Question: There’s a lot of retro flavor in “Monstrous,” including a classic 1950s Chevrolet your character owns. Did they actually let you drive it?

Christina Ricci: Everyone was really concerned that I wouldn’t be able to drive it. But I did, no problem. Those older cars are just a lot looser in terms of steering and braking and all of those things. I drove it out in the desert. It’s pretty fun.

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Q: For ‘90s kids, you will always be Wednesday Addams. What was it like to have a role in her Netflix reboot?

Ricci: I love that world, I love the character, and I love Tim Burton. Jenna is fabulous and her Wednesday is a really great modern take and I think people will love it. It is nice to be included in the reimagining of a character that I’m so famous for playing.

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Q: What’s your favorite aspect of her?

Ricci: I really enjoy playing a different sort of rage. That is what adult Misty is powered by, this deep rage at not being able to have the things that she wants in life. And she expresses it in this very passive-aggressive manner. I love passive aggressiveness and I love seeing that as a manifestation of absolute fury.

Q: Is this career resurgence by design or are you just getting better projects coming your way these days?

Ricci: Definitely “Yellowjackets” was better than a lot of the things that I had been working on in the past couple of years. You always want to do well, and I never stopped working. I never took like a break. I guess this sort of success is always the goal. So it is by design in terms of anyone would want this to happen. (Laughs.) But it’s really great and gratifying that it’s sort of happening now, and surprising at the same time. You keep plodding along and working and then all of a sudden you’re like, “OK! This time, it hit.”

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