Christina Ricci is probably best known as the morbidly precocious Wednesday Addams in Barry Sonnenfeld’s Addams Family movies, but the accomplished actress has amassed a filmography full of eclectic and challenging roles. After making her debut opposite Cher in 1990’s Mermaids, Ricci went on to work with a number of daring directors, from Ang Lee and Tim Burton to John Waters, Terry Gilliam, and the Wachowskis.
This week, Ricci lends her voice to the lead character in The Hero of Color City, an inspirational animated story aimed at young viewers, which is strikingly appropriate since she just recently became a mother herself. She took a moment out of her busy schedule to chat with RT and give us her Five Favorite Films.
I think one of my favorite films of all time is Star 80. I’m a huge [Bob] Fosse fan, and I love that movie. There’s something about it; the music, Eric Roberts is so incredible in that movie. There’s something about the way he made that movie; it sort of lulls you into this comfortable state, and then all of a sudden it’s absolutely horrifying. It’s also kind of funny and ironic at times and winky. I just think he was a genius.
This is kind of a weird one. Well, not weird; just totally different from Star 80. I love 12 Monkeys. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time. I love sci-fi, and I think Terry Gilliam is just a genius. That movie is just so fantastic. The whole tie-in with the Hitchcock movie. It’s just so smart; it’s such a smart science fiction film.
Did you see that before or after working with Gilliam on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?
Was it an exciting opportunity for you?
Oh my gosh, so exciting. I was so nervous. I had to audition for that movie, and I was so beyond nervous, because I was so impressed by him. He’s amazing.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992; 79% Tomatometer)
And then, another film that’s kind of out of this realm again: I really love Coppola’s Dracula. I just love it. I love the way it was made, how operatic it is. The production design — the production value — on that movie is so amazing. It’s just such a gorgeous, sumptuous movie to watch. And I think at the time that I saw it, I totally fell in love with Gary Oldman. I think I was 13 or 14, and it made me an Oldman fan for life. He’s incredible.
I love Mona Lisa. Bob Hoskins and Neil Jordan. It’s such an incredible movie. It’s really, really, really good. It was very, stylistically and in the production design, it’s very ’80s, very late ’70s-’80s looking. And it’s one of those movies that has a song that was written for it, you know, like they used to like to do in the ’80s. [laughs] It’s such an incredibly well made film, and it’s so interesting, a really dark, twisted, well acted story.
So you like movies with a bit of a darker edge to them.
Yeah, not a lot of rom-coms. [laughs] Yeah, maybe a little bit. I do have to say, though, the next one I was going to say is The Princess Bride. That’s one of my favorite films of all time. It’s such a great movie. I still quote it.
I don’t think you’re alone.
I mean, I saw it when I was a kid, and I remember I just watched it over and over and over again. It’s one of those movies that, no matter how old I’ve gotten, it still makes me feel the same way when I watch it: safe and warm, and everything’s funny — it’s brilliant, like really smart humor.
Do you think growing up in the industry from a young age had a strong impact on your movie tastes?
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I grew up working with people who were making movies because they were obsessed with movies. So I really got to benefit from people’s film school educations and their references and everything. So I saw a lot of things really young that other people didn’t necessarily see; like Star 80 I saw when I was 14 years old, and that was because a cameraman I was working with was obsessed with it. It definitely benefited me in that way.
Oh, wait, can I get another movie? Because that reminds me, another favorite movie of all time is Raising Arizona. That movie, I became obsessed with because I worked with Barry Sonnenfeld and somebody was like, “You should see Raising Arizona. It’s some of the best cinematography.” So I saw that when I was really young and fell in love with that movie. I really loved [Sonnenfeld’s] style; in his movies, the camera has such a point of view and it’s such a commentary on what’s happening.
Now, you voice the main character in The Hero of Color City, and most people we’ve spoken to who have done voiceover work say these gigs are the best, because you can walk in wearing sweatpants, you spend a couple of hours rattling off your lines, and you’re done. Do you feel the same way?
Yes, I would agree with that. I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s the best, but that is one of the perks, one of the reasons you’re like, “Yeah, let’s definitely take this.” [laughs]
But it’s not something you’d want to do all the time.
Oh no, no, no, I love every aspect of filmmaking, and I would totally miss it. I would miss all that stuff.
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