The Untold Truth Of Christina Ricci

This article references sexual assault.

If you're only familiar with a handful of roles from the star, then the untold truth of Christina Ricci may surprise you. Having made her film debut at the age of nine in "Mermaids," the actor grew up to "become nineties cinema's beautiful young freak," as New York described her. 

The actor has long had a unique star quality ever since — one that has continued to see her shine in projects as varied as Showtime's horror drama "Yellowjackets" and the axe-happy mini-series "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles." The New York Times once described Ricci's artistic hallmark as having "a curious lack of innocence, as fascinating as it is disturbing," something which has long infused her performances with an edgy frailty. 

Ricci's characters, after all, owe a great deal to the star's genial physicality. But beneath that surface, something caustic and severe lies in wait — a woman always ready to fight back against someone, or something. That's arguably been the case ever since Ricci's star-making turn as deadpan goth Wednesday Addams — perhaps the most influential of Ricci's career, and the greatest insight into the actor's penchant for darkness. "It's like a chicken-or-egg debate," Ricci mused to The AV Club, "Did I influence her as a character, or did she as a character influence my personality?" It's a truth we may never know. But for now, tie your hair into pigtails, and play dead like an Addams, because this is Ricci's untold truth.

Christina Ricci's diabolical school play plot

Before she hit the big time holding her breath in bathtubs opposite Cher and Winona Ryder in "Mermaids," Christina Ricci got her start by playing her New Jersey school theater scene to her advantage. In a story described by New York, Ricci's acting career began with "a spectacular grade-school freak-out" at the age of seven, when she plotted a way to win the lead role of a school production of "Twelve Days of Christmas." The young star rattled the cage of her rival "until he socked her" and she deviously ratted him out for it. Guess who got the part?

"I've always been a really ambitious person," she told the publication, "I guess that's the first time it really reared its ugly head." The production itself wasn't without its obstacles, and poor little Ricci's stage debut was almost ruined by her having "to pee very badly." The actor told The New Yorker that she spent the majority of the play desperately "dancing around" the stage as she struggled to quieten the pleas of her bladder. The audience loved it — and so did a local theater critic who spotted her during the performance. Soon after, "she was doing ads," per New York.

Ricci told The New Yorker, "People thought that that was really just adorable, and that's what I was discovered for: for doing the wrong thing onstage, ruining the Christmas play." Wednesday Addams would be proud.

Christina Ricci's huge influence on The Addams Family movies

To a whole generation of morbid goth kids, Wednesday Addams was a cultural hero who heralded an entire era of pigtails, deadpan ripostes, and funeral-bathed collar dresses. Accordingly, Christina Ricci was apparently also just as influential for the making of the movie, as she was for the young audience who watched her. Speaking to The New York Times, Barry Sonnenfeld beamed about the young star's "brilliant" performance in the role, as well as her contributions to the character.

According to the filmmaker, one specific — and iconic — action "that was totally Christina's idea" was Wednesday folding her arms and resting "her hands on her shoulders like a dead person" when Uncle Fester puts her to bed. As Sonnenfeld tells it, there "were lots of things like that" with the entire crew turning to her "more than once, for her "intelligence" and "story sense." Producer Scott Rudin even inferred that she "basically wrote the story" for the film's sequel, "Addams Family Values."

During an oral history of "Addams Family Values" with The Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter Paul Rudnick explained that Ricci was the one behind the film's eventual plot twist regarding whether an amnesiac Uncle Fester is an imposter or "the real deal." The young actor reportedly pointed out what the more "emotionally satisfying and necessary" ending would be, with the screenwriter sharing, "She, as always, made perfect sense and was extremely helpful."

She said some really messed up stuff as a child star

As she grew up beyond Hollywood's most beloved goth family, the morbid shadow of Wednesday Addams proved hard to shake off. Not least of all because Christina Ricci seemed to be just as dark and provocative as her on-screen counterpart, in real life. As recalled by The Guardian, the young star gained a troubled reputation for making "self-consciously shocking statements" during interviews, such as "I'm not afraid to die," and "It's a natural thing to have sex with [your parents]." 

In an interview with The Telegraph, Ricci confirmed that the statements were 'ironic" and nothing more than a "teenager spouting obnoxious things," but it nonetheless had an impact on the young star's career. The Guardian reported that there were rumors her statements "put studios off using her for a while" — something that she denied to the outlet, describing her words as "defensive sarcasm."

This, she told The AV Club, was the result of finding it difficult to "navigate being an adult celebrity versus being a child celebrity." As a child who didn't yet know who she was yet, it was difficult for Ricci to know what image of herself "to project" during interviews. So, why not goof around? The result was Ricci being "reactive and aggressive" because she understandably struggled with the intimate scrutiny of interviews. She reasoned to IndieWire, "No child should be held up for adults to criticize, question, interview, weigh in on." 

Christina Ricci's real life Now and Then friendship

To people of a certain age, the 1995 coming-of-age story "Now and Then" is one of the definitive accounts of girlhood ever put on screen. It didn't just have a lasting impact on it's fans, though — the on-screen friendship between Christina Ricci and Gaby Hoffman followed the pair into real life, also. Reminiscing about the friendship to The AV Club, Ricci explained that the two met while coming-of-age together during the making of the movie. "We stayed best friends ... into our twenties," she explained, "Doing that film was just a great time." In an interview with Complex, Hoffman reflected that she was 12, while Ricci was 14, and that the friendship felt like a "first true love" for all the "emotion and fun" they experienced together. 

The pair's coming-of-age experience "was a little bit different" to that of their characters on-screen, however. As Hoffman told, she and Ricci enjoyed "sneaking off and smoking five packs of cigarettes and going to see 'Pulp Fiction' six times in a row on a Saturday," as a pair of peak-90s teen rebels.

Their rebellion didn't exactly fade when the two starred together in the New Year's Eve ensemble comedy "200 Cigarettes" a few years later. Speaking to The AV Club, Ricci explained that the two "were out all night in New York" during filming, and accumulated a great deal of trouble-making anecdotes from the time that were definitely not "safe-for-print." 

Christina Ricci and Margot Robbie were roommates

Before Christina Ricci enjoyed a major career resurgence in "Yellowjackets," she starred in the cult period drama "Pan Am" opposite a little-known actor called Margot Robbie. The up-and-coming Australian star was still new to the industry and Ricci proudly and happily showed her the ropes. Per Bullett (via Caroline Ryder), the two moved into an apartment in Brooklyn together during filming, where they discovered that they were the perfect platonic match for each other.

"She's much more laid-back and relaxed than I am," Ricci explained to the outlet, "I'm so high-strung, but she likes it because with me, it's impossible to be late for anything." She added that Robbie encouraged her to look at her each time she felt anxious, which always had the power to calm her down. A fact not the least bit surprising considering the "Suicide Squad" star's incredible beauty — something that Ricci confessed to finding mesmerizing.

Describing how she "knew [Robbie] was gonna be a star" during "Pan Am," Ricci recalled that her one-time roommate's physical appearance made her act "like a dude" in wanting to do anything and everything to support her. She explained to the Evening Standard, "When I see a beautiful woman, I'm like [mimes jaw dropping] 'Do you need anything? Can I get you anything?'" Unfortunately, what Ricci couldn't get her "Pan Am" pal was a second season of the show — it was officially cancelled in 2012 amid low ratings.

Christina Ricci was also pals with Johnny Depp

Rounding out the interesting friend portion of Christina Ricci's fact file is Johnny Depp — a man that the "Casper" star has known since she was nine years old. The two reportedly met during the filming of "Mermaids" when Ricci was acting alongside Depp's then-fiancée Winona Ryder, and the two maintained a platonic relationship as she grew up. 

Per WENN (via, the star described Depp as being "protective" of her and "like an older brother" — which likely made their subsequent performances as romantic couples a little awkward. In 1999, the two starred as love interests for one another in Tim Burton's gothic horror "Sleepy Hollow." Though, as The Guardian notes, the film was "notable for the complete lack of onscreen chemistry" between the two.

A year later, the duo was matched up yet again as lovers for "The Man Who Cried" — only this time, the two had to simulate a sex scene together. A task which was "a little weird," according to Ricci, who explained to Entertainment Weekly that any sex scene in and of itself is bizarre enough. But one "with someone you met when you were 9 and he was 27"? Extra bizarre. Luckily, they "got along so well" that they could "both laugh it off and say, 'This is really irritating.'"

Who has Christina Ricci dated?

According to FamousFix, tabloids once gossiped that Christina Ricci and Johnny Depp were even once an item. The two were said to have been seen "publicly canoodling" in London in an "indiscreet" show of PDA, while Depp's partner Vanessa Paradis was preparing to give birth to their first child back in France. The "Monster" star laughed off the "tabloid story," according to WENN (via, denying it ever happened.

Another strange alleged dalliance for the young star reportedly happened when a 20-year-old Ricci was said to have hooked up with EDM icon — and embarrassing blabbermouth — Moby. The "Play" DJ had featured the actor in his music video for "Natural Blues" — a fact he failed to remember when he wrote about the fling in his memoir, "Then It Fell Apart," according to the Daily Mail. Instead, Moby wrote about an alleged encounter in 2000 wherein he drank champagne with the underage star, and made out with her while watching the sun rise following a show. Ricci has never commented on the claims — and has maintained a great deal of dignity in doing so. 

Unconfirmed flings and dalliances aside, the actor's legitimate relationships have been no less interesting. According to Us Weekly, rumor had it she dated "Captain America" star Chris Evans in 2007. Whatever happened, neither party discussed it publicly. Prior to that, she'd enjoyed an on and off relationship with eccentric indie actor Adam Goldberg since 2003.

Her Buffalo 66 filming experience was a torment

Christina Ricci was also rumored to have hooked up with Vincent Gallo, her "Buffalo 66" co-star. The two shared a screen together in his 1998 indie hit, but the quirky artist and filmmaker swore to Entertainment Weekly, "I didn't respond to her in any sexual way." As Ricci told it, he didn't respond to her in any polite way, either. During a HuffPost Live interview, Ricci recalled that she was just 17 when she starred in the film, and it was the first she'd done "away from home" and without her mom with her. The low-budget flick involved working without "more protections," resulting in a stressful environment. "I spent most of that movie trapped in a car with a raving lunatic," she said of Gallo, recalling that he'd "scream" at her for making mistakes.

Promoting the movie on "Conan," she defended Gallo's behavior as being a result of him staying "in character" between takes, and not him being a blockhead. Regardless, two years after the film's release, Gallo lashed out again at Ricci and called her "an ungrateful c***" to ABC News. (Gallo has since suggested in an Another Man essay that though he held a grudge against his former co-star, this was meant "jokingly.")

Still, Ricci's long enjoyed the last laugh. When asked by The Guardian what it was like to work with a guy who's "notoriously creepy," Ricci responded, "He's not even that creepy. He's just kind of a jerk." 

She once punched Ana Gasteyer on Saturday Night Live

In 1999, Christina Ricci guest hosted "Saturday Night Live," where she left quite a dent on one of the show's cast members. During a spoof of Sally Jessy Raphael's beloved trashy talk show "Sally," Ricci played a "wild teen" who throws a punch at the red head matriarch of '90s daytime television — played by Ana Gasteyer. Only, as Ricci told the crowd during a FanX panel in 2019, "it went horribly wrong" when the actor hit the wrong kind of punchline against the veteran comedian's face.

The "Speed Racer" star explained that she'd been advised to "do this other punch" during the performance as the one she'd been doing in rehearsals didn't look real enough. They hadn't "practiced that punch at all," however, so during the live show Ricci wound up socking her co-star "right in the glasses." Though she sounded incredibly apologetic for the mistake, the actor noted that Gasteyer had regardless said some "not so nice" things about her and the incident since. 

Potentially so. Speaking to Jenny McCarthy on Sirius XM in 2017, she claimed Ricci "by her own admission, drank a considerable amount of champagne" prior to the live show because she was "terrified." Per Playbill, the "SNL" alum was said to have suggested the exact amount was "two (!) bottles" worth of bubbly for the star who she described as inexperienced, having not paid her dues in theater "like most of us." Ouch.

Is Christina Ricci really afraid of plants?

With a reputation for being something of a Hollywood oddball, it stands to reason that Christina Ricci would be rocking some strange phobias with which to validate that status. For starters, the "Cursed" icon apparently suffers from a form of Botanophobia, with Ricci once fessing to British Esquire that she's specifically afraid of Houseplants (via ABC News). "They are dirty," she explained, "If I have to touch one, after already being repulsed by the fact that there is a plant indoors, then it just freaks me out."

Cleansing herself from the filth and fear of a threatening-looking houseplant by jumping into a swimming pool apparently isn't an option for the star, either. In the same interview, Ricci shared that she also has an irrational fear of swimming pools — and specifically, of Jaws being mysteriously let loose in one. "I won't swim in a pool by myself because I think that somehow a little magic door is going to open up and let the shark out."

There's a chance that Ricci was still in her provocation phase with this 2003 interview, however. Either that, or she'd grown beyond her fears. Potential proof? Two years after this interview, the star bought a house in Los Angeles. And, per a photo published by the Los Angeles Times, there appears to be houseplants in the vicinity of the property and a swimming pool. Luckily, there wasn't a single shark in sight.

Christina Ricci's height is a superpower

It might not always be obvious based on the stature of her powerful performances, but Christina Ricci's height is far more diminutive than it often appears on screen. And for a while, that may have been a problem for her. In 2006, Today reported that the actor thought she was "way too small" to become a major Hollywood star. She clarified, "I'm five-one first thing in the morning, and I tend to look really small on camera." 

Since then, thankfully, Ricci has figured out how to use her size to its advantage — particularly in her role as the quietly ferocious Misty in "Yellowjackets." Speaking to Interview, she glibly explained how, "being small and innocuous-looking, people always assume you're harmless. But actually, I just want to kill everybody." It was an asset that came in handy when depicting Misty — the only woman on television who can destroy a human body while sweetly rocking a sweater emblazoned with cartoon kittens. 

The character of Misty has clearly awoken Ricci to the superpower of her size: People underestimate her might. And it's something she's poured into her performance as the "Yellowjackets" character. In a New Yorker interview, the star described how Misty has learned how to use her marginalization against those who diminish her. "Like, 'Oh, you guys think I'm so innocuous and so adorable?'" she explained, "She pushes that to an extreme and weaponizes it."

She became a spokesperson for RAINN

For much of her adult career, Christina Ricci has been a proud and outspoken advocate for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. As she told Marie Claire, the star first got involved with the charity after reading an interview with musician and RAINN co-founder Tori Amos in Rolling Stone when she was 15. The feature moved Ricci to contribute donations to the charity from then on, and she became a spokesperson for RAINN in the subsequent years. 

The decision was apparently a natural one for Ricci who said in HuffPost, "Everyone picks their own corner of the world to help or clean up ... I believe the sexual abuse of women and the abuse of children is the most abhorrent thing on this earth." In 2006, the star would use her work with RAINN to help inform her performance as a traumatized rape survivor in "Black Snake Moan," per Marie Claire. Sadly, the film turned out to be a little different than the actor had hoped.

Speaking with The Telegraph, Ricci shared her scathing disappointment that the film was packaged "in this exploitative, objectifying manner" which undermined the reality of "what happens to a f****** rape victim." Regardless, she remains proud of the work she delivered in the film. "I think my performance in it is everything I intended it to be and is in line with my beliefs," she told The AV Club

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Christina Ricci lives a relatively understated life

Having enjoyed a storied career since she was a child, you'd expect Christina Ricci's net worth to be a solid one. And thankfully, it is. The "Prozac Nation" actor is sitting pretty on a nest egg of $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, who report that she currently earns an impressive $125,000 per episode for her work on "Yellowjackets." 

Despite her flashy earnings, Ricci appears to live a modest life, as reflected by the reasonably humble homes she's taken up residence in during her career. In 2005, for instance, she bought a two-bedroom bungalow in Los Angeles — not exactly the kind of sweeping Hollywood estate you see from other celebrities — and in 2015, she scooped up a beautiful Brooklyn townhouse with her former husband James Heerdegen, per Variety

Despite raking in some major figures for her work, the actor appears to be happiest in keeping her life way more low-key than the characters she depicts. Despite a contentious divorce from Heerdegen, Ricci now appears to be living a happy, quiet life with her second husband, hairstylist Mark Hampton. In 2022, the pair brought their baby daughter Cleopatra into the world. Though it's their first together as a couple, it's Ricci's second, having welcomed a boy to her life in 2014, whilst married to her first husband.