At 26, Christina Ricci seems young to receive CineVegas’ Half-Life Award, which is given to an actor in midcareer.
But Ricci has been working a good deal longer than many actors her age. “It’ll be 15 years,” she says, “which seems like half a career for most people.”
Trevor Groth, director of programming for CineVegas, says today’s beginning directors “have grown up watching her grow up in her films.”
They saw her go from deadpan and devilish Wednesday Addams to pensive, troubled Wendy Hood in Ang Lee’s “The Ice Storm.” She continued to develop as an actress, and to prove her versatility in “Buffalo ’66,” “Sleepy Hollow” and “Monster.”
Ricci says she is most effective as a mature character. “I’m hoping to grow into my career a little more,” she says. “The kind of talents I can bring to a film are inappropriate sometimes for an 18-year-old girl (role),” she says. “In your 30s, they’re more valuable.”
Now she is getting more mature roles. In “Black Snake Moan,” due out this year, she plays a grown-up victim of childhood abuse.
“We have tons and tons and tons of children who are sexually abused on a daily basis in this country,” she says. “What happens to these victims when they grow up? We criticize them for having no dignity, and we call them sluts and whores.”
Still, Ricci won’t commit to dramatic roles: “I think some years my strengths really lie in drama, and some years I do better in comedies,” she says.
John Waters, who directed her in “Pecker,” agrees. “Christina Ricci can play any part,” he says: “sex bomb, nerd, normal or nutcase.”
As far as Vegas goes, Ricci shot “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” on location. But she didn’t get the full experience. “I was only 17,” she says. “I couldn’t even drink.”