Christina Ricci interview

Christina Ricci on being the 'weird' one

After years of independent films like Buffalo 66 and The Opposite of Sex, Christina Ricci, 28, takes on her biggest movie to date – playing the wig-wearing Trixie in the Wachowski Brothers’ high-octane story of a racing-obsessed family, Speed Racer.

What were you looking for in a film like Speed Racer?

I was just waiting and seeing what happens. That’s generally my approach. I’m never really looking for anything specific. But I was very excited to play Trixie. And it was a lot of fun – the movie was mainly about what we were wearing, the fight scenes and all the action stuff. And all that was great. These are people who are having fun in life, so we were encouraged to show how much fun we were having.

After this and Penelope, you are suddenly playing lighter roles than we’re used to seeing you in. Was this a conscious choice?

The reason I’m playing these kinds of parts now must have something to do with the way I’m changing as a person. But it wasn’t anything specific or intentional. I’m definitely growing up. I’m calmer than I used to be. I think when you’re younger, you’ve tried to act older because you don’t want anyone to know how young you are. But when you get older, you feel like ‘Everyone knows how old I am, so I can act any way I feel!’ And in my case, I pretty much act like a 12 year-old!

Often in the past you were portrayed as kooky. Did that bother you?

It was irritating but it was my own fault. When I was younger, I wanted to be bullet proof so badly and I didn’t want anyone to say anything that would hurt me, so I would say it first. Like, ‘That person is going to call me weird, so I’ll call myself weird first.’ It certainly affected the type of roles I was offered.

Can you speak about your role as spokesperson for RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network)?

I became involved because I was reading an article about Tori Amos in Rolling Stone when I was 15, and she’s one of the founders of the organisation. And ever since then, I’ve always given donations to RAINN. Then I did Black Snake Moan, playing someone suffering from rape trauma syndrome, and I wanted their opinion of the performance, to sign off on it. The way the movie was marketed, I disagreed with. I wanted to explain the movie the way I thought the character was – but I needed RAINN to agree. And the more we talked about it, the more they realised I was passionate – and asked me to be their spokesperson.

Speed Racer opens on 9 May

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