Date of Birth
February 12, 1980
Place of Birth
Santa Monica, California, USA
5′ 0¼” (1.53 m)
James Heerdegen (26 October 2013 – present)
Ricci was born in Santa Monica, California, the fourth and youngest child of Sarah (née Murdoch), a real estate agent, and Ralph Ricci, a lawyer and group therapist. Regarding her ancestry, Ricci has stated, “The Italian blood has been bred out of me. There’s an Italian four or five generations back who married an Irish woman and they had all sons. So they married more Irish women, there were more sons, and more Irish women. Now I’m basically Scots-Irish.”
The family moved to Montclair, New Jersey, where she grew up attending Edgemont Elementary School, Glenfield Middle School, and Montclair High School, as well as the Morristown-Beard School. After one year, she left the high school for the Professional Children’s School in New York City. Her siblings are Rafael (born 1971), Dante (born 1974), and Pia (born 1976). Ricci’s parents separated in 1993, when she was 13, and she has not spoken to her father since. She has been vocal about her childhood in interviews, particularly her parents’ divorce and turbulent relationship with her father.
- I spend a lot of time with my mother. When I’m doing movies, she’s always with me. We spend days being bored in an apartment together waiting for someone to call and say I’m needed for a shot. Because we’re together so much, we have to get along. We have to find ways to get to know each other. We’ve gone through a lot of stuff, you know, and I think we’re pretty close.
- [in 1995] I can be young and cute when I want to be, and I can be really mature when I want to be. It’s kind of weird, like I’m the incredible changing girl, which is good because I can relate to adults and to people my age.
- If I hadn’t gone into acting, I would have been one of those weird runaways on Hollywood Boulevard. No, it’d be uglier. I’d probably be dead.
- I’m very shy. I can’t even act that well when the camera’s not on. I get really embarrassed.
- I don’t have any training, and I don’t believe in training. Of course, people who don’t have any training always say that.
- [about Marilyn Manson’s band] I hate the things they preach. They found a gimmick that sells. The fact that they’re making money off all these teenage kids who actually believe in their message is disgusting.
- For years, I hated myself. I covered the mirrors in my house. I literally couldn’t have a mirror in my room. I still can’t sit in a restaurant or someplace where I can catch my reflection. I get so paranoid.
- I certainly hope I’m not still answering child-star questions by the time I reach menopause.
- I’m not perfect-looking and I don’t say the right things, I’m a little different, nothing really special, but I guess I come across as a little more real to people and that comes through on the screen. I know I look young, but with the right make-up I can look older. I definitely feel older.
- My dream role would probably be a psycho killer, because the whole thing I love about movies is that you get to do things you could never do in real life, and that would be my way of vicariously experiencing being a psycho killer. Also, it’s incredibly romantic.
- I like playing people who are so afraid and ashamed of who they are and so disgusted by everyone around them that they decide to become the ultimate extreme of what they’re afraid they are.
- I don’t think I’ll be reformed until I’m well into my fifties.
- You have to excuse me because I AM a teenager, so I’m allowed to sound illiterate and make stupid comments like ‘I’m not into hard-core feminism’.
- I think the main reason a lot of child stars don’t make it is that it’s hard to see someone as cute and then all of a sudden see them as having more depth. I guess I was just lucky that, when I was little, nobody thought I was that cute.
- [on smooching Johnny Depp] We actually had some sex scenes, which was very strange. In front of 20 people on the set, with someone who was 27, who you met for the first time when you were nine. It was a little weird.
- [about her crush on Josh Hartnett] I know he’s got a girlfriend, but I could so corrupt him. He would be a hot date, and that is what I need right now. I have met him, so I know what I am talking about here. He’s a nice, home-loving boy with a great body and great eyes. And when he reads this, he’s probably going to run a mile.
- There are two sides of me. One is the professional side. When I’m working, I’m not a kid – and can’t be. Otherwise no one would take me seriously. When I’m not working, I think I’m a normal 15-year-old. 
- Remember who you are. It’s really okay to be who you are.
- My first kiss was with the most chivalrous little boy I ever met in my life. It was in kindergarten. There was this kid who was really a jerk, and he wouldn’t let me get on the school bus. He was about to hit me when this little boy named Nicky shoved me down, stood up and took the blow. So Nicky instantly became the kindergarten stud. The day he got hit for me, I lined up all the little girls, and everyone kissed him. That was my way of thanking him.
- I’m not mainstream-looking. I’m not very skinny. I’m not …like….beautiful. The point of mainstream movies is to cast someone that everyones’ going to love. Because of my persona, I’m controversial. I don’t do anything in my real life to deserve that. I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs. But studio people don’t want to put me in their movies. They think I might offend.
- I never did drugs – they made me feel awful physically. Of course, I experimented, but soon I thought, ‘This is not worth the shame spiral the next day’. I’m the kind of person who, if I went to a slumber party and smoked a cigarette, I assumed my parents were going to die as punishment. So I’d have to call my mom, tell her I’d smoked and feel really bad.
- Things were all about appearances. We were supposed to be socialites when we grew up. She’s not like that now, but my mother used to say things like, ‘When you’re older, you can go on a scotch-and-steak- diet’. My dad was also very image-conscious. [on being brought up by her parents]
- Everybody asked, ‘How do you feel about playing a bitch?’ And I’d say, ‘If you knew anything about human nature, you’d realize that for this girl, being like that is a total front for being unhappy’.
- All my other relationships have been three months. I used to always cheat on my boyfriends. For no reason…Just to create a little drama. And now I don’t need that. I don’t need that. I don’t need any more drama.
- I remember when I was little, all the mothers saying once you’re 13 you have to stop working because there are no roles for teenagers. But I think I was lucky because just when I got to be a teenager, there started to be a lot more roles for kids my age. For a while it did look like I would have to keep doing kids’ movies to stay in the business, but then when I was 15, The Ice Storm (1997) came along.
- I got ugly. Throughout my childhood, my favorite rejection was ‘She looks too healthy.’ They wanted that really gaunt, runaway girl kind of look. I was like, ‘Mom, I thought you could never be too healthy.’ She said, ‘Ignore them’.
- I don’t want to spend the rest of my life trying to play catch up or being half-heartedly enthusiastic about a project. I really want to do things that actually make me happy, instead of feeling like I’m whoring myself out. So I’m really considering doing television, because I’d probably get to play a much more satisfying role on a regular basis, as opposed to getting one great part every couple of years.
- [on going to college] For a while I wanted to go, but I didn’t like people telling me that I had to. It was as if I had to prove I was intelligent by going to college. That really pissed me off. So I applied and got into a really good college – Columbia – and that proved it. I said, That’s fine, I don’t need to go for four years to prove to you people that I’m smart. It seems to me that so many young actresses do that – it’s like we’re told that the really smart actresses took four years off and went to school. But they’re not such smart actresses. They just did what they really wanted to do in life for those four years. Everyone talks about Jodie Foster going to Yale. Yeah, she’s amazing. But I don’t need to prove that I’m intelligent by doing the same thing someone else did.
- [on fame and Hollywood] There’s a part of me that really loves it. I like going to fancy hotels. I like it when you feel glamorous, someone dresses you up and you go to the big premiere. The other stuff is kind of icky. I have a friend who does casting. Someone will walk in and he’ll say, “So good to meet you,” and then they’ll walk out and he’ll say, “She’s a little big around the middle.” That part of it is disgusting.
- I stopped feeling fabulous around age eleven. I got much less confident and more angsty; I think it had to do with boys not liking me.
- [on how the Black Snake Moan poster was exploitative of women] The way that movie was marketed was probably one of the most disappointing and upsetting things that’s ever happened to me in my career. I have no interest in exploiting women any further than they’ve already been exploited…All they [marketing bosses] cared about was college-age boys going to see it.
- Is on the national board of VOX-Voices for Planned Parenthood, which works to promote the mission of Planned Parenthood to young adults. She will also be appearing in national ads for Emergency Contraception.
- Had to turn down the role of Ronna in Go (1999) because of scheduling conflicts.
- Her father, before becoming a lawyer, was a lay practitioner of “primal scream therapy”–wherein it was believed that patients could purportedly scream their way to a psychological breakthrough. While growing up, Christina could hear the screaming coming through the the vents in her room (her father did his therapy sessions at home), and would act them out in front of her mother.
- On December 4 1999, she appeared on Saturday Night Live (1975) as the guest host, in which she parodied Britney Spears and the Olsen twins. During one of her skits, she accidentally punched actress Ana Gasteyer in the face. The skit was a parody of the Sally Jessy Raphael (1983) show, in which she played a 13-year-old runaway who sleeps with dogs, and required her to fake- punch Sally (Gasteyer), but accidentally hit her for real. While she initially reacted by putting her hands over her mouth in surprise, she maintained her professionalism and quickly fell back into character.
- Was originally slated to play the lead in Ghost World (2001), but by the time it was filmed she was too old for the part and had moved on to other projects. Thora Birch took over the role.
Co-hosted a 10 volume educational video series entitled “Bug City” in 1998.
- Nicknamed Squant by her siblings because of a childhood fascination with the Native American hero Squanto, who helped the first European settlers in America.
- She was the fourth child of Ralph and Sarah Ricci. Her siblings are Dante, Pia and Rafael.
Her best friend is actress Gaby Hoffmann.
- First nude scene was in the movie Prozac Nation (2001) in which she requested a closed set and had co-star Michelle Williams present to ensure that she did everything properly.
- Auditioned for the role of Young Amy in Little Women (1994) and Claudia in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994). Both roles went to Kirsten Dunst instead.
- Never formally studied acting.
- Wore braces when she was younger.
- Underground Hip-Hop heroes Sean Daley (of the group Atmosphere, who makes many references to her in his lyrics) and MURS have released a collaborative album entitled “Felt: A Tribute to Christina Ricci”.
- Audtitioned for the role of Ellie Creed in the film Pet Sematary (1989), but lost the part to Blaze Berdahl.
- Her paternal grandfather was of Italian descent and her paternal grandmother was of Irish descent. Her mother has Scotch-Irish ancestry.
- Finnish doom metal band Reverend Bizarre song “Goddess Of Doom” is a tribute to her.
- Was roommates with Michelle Williams while filming Prozac Nation (2001) with her.
- Originally had the part of Desi Brable in O (2001), but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. The part ended up going to Julia Stiles.
- Was considered for the role of Velma Dinkley in Scooby-Doo (2002).
- Is good friends with her Sleepy Hollow (1999), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), and The Man Who Cried (2000) co-star Johnny Depp.
- Pennsylvania rock band Anthrophobia has a song about Christina on their 1999 release, “In The Zero To 3 Movement.” The song is called “Ricci” and it appears as track 3.
- Auditioned for Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York (2002).
- Her favorite movies are My Own Private Idaho (1991), Pulp Fiction (1994), The Lord Of The Rings, Gangs of New York (2002) and The Hours (2002).
- Her favorite actress is Amanda Plummer and her favorite actors are Viggo Mortensen and James Woods.
- Her favorite shows are The X-Files (1993), Law & Order (1990), The Simpsons (1989), Friends (1994) and Will & Grace (1998).
- Was turned down four times for the role of Lolita in Lolita (1997), which eventually went to Dominique Swain.
- Turned down the role of Lauren in The Rules of Attraction (2002) because of the rape scene in the beginning, which she found gross and offensive. Shannyn Sossamon took over the role.
Finds comfort in falling asleep watching The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
- Says that The Ice Storm (1997) was the first role she really wanted and eventually got.
- Turned down the role of Dora Diamond in Loser (2000).
- Attended Glenfield middle school in Montclair, New Jersey.
- Lived in Montclair, New Jersey when she was younger.
- Briefly attended Morristown-Beard School, an exclusive preparatory school in Morristown, New Jersey.
- Is a muse for artist Mark Ryden and appears in many of his paintings including one entitled “Christina”.
- During filming of Black Snake Moan (2006), grew close with co-star Samuel L. Jackson. The two remain good friends to this day.
- Suffers from botanophobia (fear of plants). Admits to being especially afraid of houseplants.
- (October 26, 2013) Married her boyfriend of 2 years James Heerdegen following a year-long engagement.
- Suffered from anorexia as a teenager.
- Lives in the popular Los Angeles neighborhood of Silverlake. Other Silverlake locals include Beck, Bo Barrett, Jason Lee, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling.
- Joined RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network) as a National Spokesperson in April 2007.
- Was allegedly stalked by Gerard Way, later of band My Chemical Romance, when she lived in New Jersey. Way stated that it was just that they shopped at the same record shop and he was really “into her”.
- Has three dogs.
- Pop Punk band The Adorkables perform a popular tribute song entitled “Christina Ricci” on their album entitled “…She Loves Me Not”. Christina has said that she likes the song.
- Was engaged to Owen Benjamin (March-June 2009).
- Her last name is pronounced, “Ree-chee”.
- Appearing in a school play a columnist saw her and suggested to her parents that they should get her a manager which led to some commercial work and a role in her first film Mermaids.
- Gave birth to her 1st child at age 34, a son named Freddie Heerdegen in early August 2014. Child’s father is her husband, James Heerdegen.
- Returned to work 3 months after giving birth to her son Freddie to begin filming The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (2015).
- Both she and her Mothers and Daughters (2016) co-star Eva Amurri Martino were 9 months pregnant with their 1st children when they completed filming the movie. They had their babies in August 2014.
- Tried out for the part of “Flora MacGrath” in Jane Campion’s Lezioni di piano (1993) but lost out to Anna Paquin.
- Is a huge fan of actor Ben Kingsley.
- Childhood crush was Billy Idol.