As we all know, with the onslaught of the bodily and personality quirks customary with puberty, child actors find themselves the victims of accelerated maturation without the means to channel their newfound adult tendencies into constructive media. However, it seems apparent that Ricci not only survived the damaging effects of being a woman-child in a very adult industry, she turned her childlike darkness into sophisticated intelligence and class. In her teen years, she managed to keep her head steady and accept roles that appealed to her sense of fantasy.
It’s safe to say that she’s always had a penchant for films that err on the darker side of the human circus; however, the fun thing about being the “dark girl” is that there is an abundance of characters at your disposal. The happy-go-lucky teenager, the slut, etc. These are one-dimensional characters easily found in the fray of headshots and the heavily made up starlets in Tinsel Town. Having a dark streak means that the roles placed at your doorstep may be expected, but they’re far from usual.
With this knowledge and her established on-screen persona as a child of darkness, Ricci has managed to build a career based on gritty, powerful roles that keep her career varied and unique. A look at her film choices also shows her strength of will, her staunch moral code, and her ability to pick roles based on what her heart and intuition tell her.
For instance, she turned down a role in The Rules of Attraction because of a rape scene in the film which she found offensive –she’s the national spokesperson for RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network). However, she went on to portray Aileen Wournous’s lover, Selby in 2003’s Monster and gave the established powers that be a bit of a rustle with her vulnerability and her ability to purge so much beauty in the ugliness of the character. Post-Addams Family she also took tough roles such as Elizabeth in Prozac Nation (2001) and Rae in Black Snake Moan (2006).