Christina Ricci: Nouveau Ricci

Christina Ricci is making her Broadway debut in Time Stands Still, but don't expect her to revisit Wednesday in the Addams Family musical.

BY Brandon Voss

September 10 2010 3:00 AM ET

You also won female gay fans when you played lesbians in Monster and HBO’s The Laramie Project. Let’s discuss Monster first. You delivered an amazing performance as Selby, Aileen Wuornos’s young lover, but most of the buzz surrounding the film focused on Charlize Theron’s portrayal of Wuornos. Theron even called you the “unsung hero of this film” in her Oscar acceptance speech. Why do you think you didn’t get as much attention or as many awards as your costar? Was your physical transformation not dramatic enough?
I like to think I also made a dramatic physical transformation, so it would hurt me a little bit when people said that. I knew all about Aileen Wuornos, I loved the story, I loved the script, and I loved that we were making the movie, but from the very beginning I understood it was Charlize’s passion project. I took the part of Selby knowing that I was going to be a supporting part of that experience, so it never seemed weird to me at the time. Only later, when people would bring up to me what you’re talking about right now, did I think about it. But my character didn’t do as many crazy things. She was one of those quiet, understated people where you have no idea what’s really going on in her head. Sometimes when an audience can’t read that or relate to what’s going on in someone’s mind, they don’t feel as close to the character, and they don’t feel the need to champion that character as much.

Talk to me about playing lesbian activist Romaine Patterson in The Laramie Project. What attracted you to that project?
I had seen and loved The Laramie Project when it was off-Broadway, so when I heard they were making it into movie, I called and asked to be a part of it. The only way I know how to say this is kind of retarded, but I’m very childlike in my morals, so I can’t stand anything where any group of people gets hurt or held back. When I see the Matthew Shepard story, the facts of his death, and why he died, it just makes me sick. That’s why it meant a lot to me to be involved with that film.

How did the sexuality of those two characters inform your performances?
I know what you’re asking, but I’m not sure how to answer that. I don’t think I approach gay characters any differently than I approach straight characters. To me, it’s like, this is who you’re attracted to, this is what you’ll wear, and this is what you’ll do in the movie. I wish I had a better answer, but I just do what I feel is appropriate for the character.

I’ve read that Roberta, your character in Now and Then who tapes down her breasts, was originally intended to be a lesbian as well. Did you play her as gay?
The character is based on somebody who did grow up to be a lesbian, but I was just told to play the shame any teenage girl has when discovering that she’s becoming a sexual being.

Though you played a younger version of her character, it’s worth noting that you’ve grown up to look nothing like Rosie O’Donnell.
I appreciate that, I understand you, and in the nicest way possible, I agree.

You’ve actually become something of a fashion icon in recent years. Do we have a gay stylist to thank for that?
No. My mother gave me a lot of fashion rules when I was younger that I hated, but now I’m basically becoming my mother. So if there’s anyone to thank, it’s my mom. At the same time, I constantly feel unworthy of that kind of attention. I always feel so silly when I’m overly girly. When it comes to what I’m wearing, I’m probably one of the most insecure people you’ll ever meet.

Tila Tequila once told Extra that she fell in love with you when she saw Black Snake Moan. She said, "She’s really hot and I think she looks kind of odd like me.” More than anything, I’m just curious if you know who Tila Tequila is.
I do know who she is. I think it’s strange to say you’re attracted to someone because they look like you. I guess it’s honest and it’s definitely very revealing, but it’s still strange. There’s not a lot of self-reflection going on there.

Do you have a girl-crush?
Yes, my girl-crush is Eva Mendes. She’s just gorgeous.

Have you ever hooked up with a gay guy like Dede in The Opposite of Sex?
I had a brief affair with someone I thought was gay from the beginning. I remember asking, “Wait a second. Are you gay?” And he said, “I’m not sure” — which pretty much means he’s gay. But he was really beautiful, so I was like, “That’s OK, I don’t really care.”

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