At 28-years-old, Christina Ricci is the poster child for child actors. After starring in some...
At 28-years-old, Christina Ricci is the poster child for child actors. After starring in some forty films, she sensibly shuns Hollywood's wild party scene. Here, the Speed Racer star discusses vicious chimps, partying and Young Hollywood.
Were you really attacked by a chimp on the set of Speed Racer?
"I didn't really get attacked. Admittedly I don't like monkeys much, but I decided not to be a "˜Debbie Downer' since everyone else on the set seemed to think that the chimp was so cute. So I went along with that and tried to not be a pain. But then they sit me next to the monkey in a scene at the breakfast table where the table shakes. And on the first take, the monkey freaked out; it jumped on me, and grabbed my left breast...not my whole breast, because it has tiny little monkey hands, but a chunk of it. I wasn't embarrassed so much as I was like, "˜Please do not rip off a chunk of my boob!' That was my biggest fear."
Was it making a sexual advance?
"No. I don't think he really wanted anything from my boob. It was just there and he rammed it."
Young Hollywood is a crazy place these days. Any advice for young actors?
"I don't think that one way of being is better than another. I stay out of those magazines because I don't go anywhere at night. I'm a day-time celebrity!"
Is that why we don't see you clubbing with Paris and Lindsay?
"Right! You'll notice that any time there's a tabloid photo of me, they're all during the day. I'm like the daytime celebrity and then as soon as it gets dark, they go to the night-time ones. It's so much effort to make sure that you're wearing make-up every evening and wearing a different outfit. It seems like way too much work."
Did you experiment with the party scene when you were younger?
"When I was at that nightclubbing age, I was living in New York. And I went to the bars and clubs, and made all the mistakes that one needs to make. But there wasn't really that kind of tabloid culture then. This bloodlust is fairly new. So when I was going through that ten years ago, you could make mistakes without there being someone there to photograph you."
Are you still dating Aussie actor Kick Gurry, who you met on the Speed Racer set?
"I do not wish to talk about my personal life."
Your Speed Racer character Trixie dresses in pink and red. Isn't that a bit "girly" for an outspoken feminist like yourself?
"The costumes are awesome and kind of mod. They definitely make her look doll-like, but I loved playing Trixie because she's truly what feminism is all about. She does everything that the boys do, but at the same time she's the girliest girl ever. She has a special outfit for each activity, and her lipstick always matches her hair-clips or her t-shirt or shoes. Yet she's still one of the boys - she flies a helicopter, she kung-fu fights with them, and she races in a rally."
What's your message for young women?
"A lot of our society is based on, "˜I'll be happy once I have the right man', or changing yourself a little bit depending on who you're with. The things women do to be with different men is just ridiculous. It's important to have young girls grow up learning to be really strong and independent."
Is it true that you're botanophobic?
"Well, I don't like plants in the house. I'm not actually afraid of house plants; I just don't like house plants in my home. Why bring dirt into your house?"
Speed Racer is in cinemas now