Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Belle of the Oddballs; Christina Ricci Is Set to Be the Envy of Every Girl, When She Canoodles with Robert Pattinson in Bel Ami. but Steamy Sex Scenes Are Just Part of the Job, She Tells Albertina Lloyd

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Belle of the Oddballs; Christina Ricci Is Set to Be the Envy of Every Girl, When She Canoodles with Robert Pattinson in Bel Ami. but Steamy Sex Scenes Are Just Part of the Job, She Tells Albertina Lloyd

Article excerpt

DESPITE recently celebrating her 32nd birthday with three days of partying, Christina Ricci is the model of professionalism.

There's no trace of dark shadows beneath her eyes, as big as saucers, as she sits looking serious and ready for business in her London hotel room.

The Addams Family star has been in showbusiness since she was just seven years old and so, while promoting her new film, she's an old hand.

In Bel Ami she plays Clotilde, a Parisian wife and mother, who becomes the lover of young, irresistible social climber Georges Duroy.

She is seen running around lavish period apartments playing with her little girl, dancing at cabarets and rolling around naked in bed with her 'Bel Ami' Georges, played by Robert Pattinson.

But there is none of the giggling Clotilde on display today, as she fixes her striking, unblinking 'Wednesday Addams' stare and politely waits to be quizzed on her latest role.

''Clotilde is somebody who before she met Georges, Robert's character, was just going through life happy,'' Ricci says, matter-of-factly.

''I don't think she had ever known a day of real angst or pain. She was enjoying finding the fun in life and trying to have the best time she could.'' It's easy to forget Ricci was a child star. So many actors who entered the spotlight at the same time as she did have either gone off the rails or dropped out of the business altogether. But Ricci has worked consistently for more than 20 years.

She began modelling at seven, and aged nine made her screen debut as Cher's daughter and Winona Ryder's little sister in hit movie Mermaids.

A year later, she was cast as the death-obsessed Wednesday in The Addams Family, and then played a loner whose only companion was a friendly ghost, in the film version of Casper.

Ricci made several appearances as Lolita-esque seducers in her teens, in films like The Opposite Of Sex and Ang Lee's The Ice Storm.

She played Johnny Depp's bewitching love interest in Tim Burton's terrifying ghost story Sleepy Hollow and won critical acclaim as the lesbian lover of a serial killer in Charlize Theron's Oscar-winning vehicle Monster.

While she was playing all these dark and troubled females, she has since revealed she was battling anorexia as a teenager, admitting to struggling with having her appearance under constant scrutiny.

But in Bel Ami she frequently appears naked, in one scene spread out on a bed, offering herself up to her lover, and the camera.

''It's part of the job,'' Ricci says primly. ''If both the movie and the scene calls for it, and it makes sense, then it's just part of what we do.'' And as an adult, Ricci insists she no longer feels any pressure to look a certain way: ''I think it depends on what kinds of films you're doing and what kind of career you're after,'' she says. …

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