Christina Ricci


  1. Blaze Berdahl, Pet Sematary, 1989.     The girl that was Wednesday – in The Addams Family – auditioned for Stephen King’s Ellie Creed
  2. Alisan Porter, Curly Sue, 1990.   Many of the people John Hughes wanted in what proved his final film were busily engaged making other films – Griffin Dunne, Linda Hamilton, Bill Murray, John Travolta.Even Ricci, ten years old and booked solid!   She’d caught his eye in Mermaids,1989. Idem for Barry Sonnenfeld which is why she was a member of his Addams Family.  Nine-year-old Porter (in a Paper Moonish act with James Belushi) had won  Season Ten of The Voice (2011).
  3. Ariana Richards, Jurassic Park, 1992.    
  4. Kirsten Dunst, Little Women. 1994.     As  the young Amy.
  5. Kirsten Dunst, Interview With The Vampire, 1994.
  6. Natalie Portman, Léon, France, 1994.    Luc Beson said he saw 6,000 petites filles. Natalie was only 11, when he’d ordered 12-year-olds. “But she was like a bombe atomique! And there and then, in one single  scene, she was able to cry and to laugh – exceptional for a child of her age. And she beat Christina Ricci and Liv Tyler.”
  7. Claire Danes, Romeo + Juliet, 1996.    Too short.  Too young.   “I wanted that movie so badly it hurt. I’m very competitive. I just want to be the best at something… as if that really matters, as if can be measured, anyway.”
  8. Dominque Swain, Lolita, 1996.  More than 2,500 girls tried to succeed 1961’s Sue Lyon…  But UK director Adrian Lyne’s shortlist only had room for Swain, Melissa Joan Hart, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Natalie Portman (refused point blank) and the unknown (then and now) Nadia Litz. He also called Ricci – four times. No way, said she – four times. “I’m not going there just so I can get fucked with.” He had previously rejected her as… too healthy, too heavy, too emaciated (“in the middle of my anorexia”) and uncastable. Following her impact as an angst-ridden teen in Ice Storm, 1966, she was up for seven movies in 18 months. Swain, aged 15, had a pillow between her and Jeremy Irons in their intimate scenes.
  9. Alicia Silverstone, Batman & Robin, 1996.
  10. Kate Winslet, Titanic, 1996.

  11. Sarah Polley, Go, 1999.     Passed on director Doug Liman’s triple account of one drug deal. Just too busy… 
  12. Anna Paquin, X-Men trilogy,1999-2005.  “Mutation: it is the key to our evolution.”  Rachael Leigh Cook rejected Rogue/Marie D’Ancantodue to all the GCI costumes and effects.  Kristen Dunst, Sarah Michelle Gellar, the Canadian Katharine Isabelle, Natalie Portman and Christina Ricci simply left her to Paquin (Rachael’s co-star in She’s All That, 1999).
  13. Julia Stiles, 0, 1999.     Saw director Tim Blake Nelson about playing the updated Desdemona – Desi! – in Othello’s new setting of a US high school where basketball star Odin believes everything Hugo (ex-Iago) tells him. Nelson edited his film by night while acting in the Coen brothers’ O Brother Where Art Thou during the day.
 Explains much about both movies.

  14. Brittany Murphy, Girl, Interrupted, 1999.  One Flew into the Cuckoo’s nest… stems from Susanna Kaysen’s memoir. She committed herself to a psychiatric institution and was kept there for two years, although she was quite sane. Chicago critic Roger Ebert said Winona Ryder) (also exec producer) and  the support Oscar-winning Angelina Jolie – as Susanna and the sociopath Lisa – were the reasons to see the film, although “their work here deserves a movie with more reason for existing.” Most other patients were teenage girls, played by rising young Hollywood actresses in their 20s – Angela Bettie and Jillian Armenante even played 22 at age 31. Why? Because, said Rose McGowan, “It’s the only decent thing out there that doesn’t involve taking your clothes off.”

  15. Cameron Diaz, Gangs of New York, 2000. 
    For Martin Scorsese, casting was easy. In 1978, Dan Aykroyd-John Belushi were Amsterdam and The Butcher. (WTF?)  Or, Mel Gibson-Willem Dafoe. By 1984, Malcolm McDowell-Robert De Niro. Finally, Leonardo DiCaprio-Daniel Day Lewis. Much harder to locate the real prim pickpocket Jenny Everdeane. For the brothers blue, she would have been Jane Fonda. When Buffy The Vampire Slayer got into Sarah MIchelle Gellar’s way, Marty checked Christina Applegate (from his 1990 Cape Fear auditions), Kate Beckinsale, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Heather Graham, Bryce Dallas Howard, Alyssa Milano, Natalie Portman, Christina Ricci, Winona Ryder, Mena Suvari… and chose Sarah Polley. Except the suits insisted on a “bankable star.” As if Scorsese-DiCaprio-Day Lewis weren’t enough. Diaz’s six week contracted lasted six months – and did her no good at all!

  16. Shannyn Sossamon, American Psycho, 2000.     Christina would have  been perfect. 
  17. Kate Hudson, Almost Famous, 2000. Looking for his Penny Lane groupie in his semi-autobiographical look back to his Rolling Stone reporter daze, auteur Cameron Crowe saw 48 of LA’s bright young things… Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Lara Flynn Boyle, Neve Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Claire Danes, Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jenna Elfman, Jennie Garth, Maggie Gyllenhal, Alyson Hannigan, Angie Harmon, Anne Heche, Katherine Heigl, Jordan Ladd, Kimberly McCullough (busier as a TV director these days, High School Musical: The Musical – The Series, etc), Rose McGowan, Bridget Moynahan, Brittany Murphy, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laura Prepon, Lindsay Price, Christina Ricci, Rebecca Romijn, Winona Ryder, Chloë Sevigny, Marley Shelton,  Tori Spelling, Mena Suvari, Uma Thurman, Liv Tyler, Lark Voorhies.  Plus the English Saffron Burrows, Anna Friel, Thandiwe Newton and Rachel Weisz, Madrid’s Penélope Cruz, the French Charlotte Gainsbourg, Canada’s Natasha Henstridge, Ukrainian Milla Jovovich, Scottish Kelly Macdonald, Israeli Natalie Portman, German Franka Potente, Australian Peta Wilson and Welsh Catherine Zeta-Jones.  And the winner, Canada’s Sarah Polley, simply split. (Silly girl).  Crowe then chose Kate  (previously booked  for Anita) because “she seemed more like a free spirit.”  But, but, but… Chloë  was the freest spirit in all Hollywood. As she proved two years later in The Brown Bunny… in a way the others would never have dared.
  18. Thora Birch, Ghost World, 2001.     By the time  they got around  to making the movie, she was…too old.  So soon!
  19. Linda Cardellini, Scooby-Doo, 2001.     As the Scooby flag was run up (and down) the Hollywood flagpole, the Velma Dinkley choices included Ricci, Janeane Garofalo, Sara Gilbert, Carla Gugino, Alyssa Milano. ER’s future Nurse Sam Taggart bagged it.
  20. Drew Barrymore, Riding In Cars With Boys, 2001.    Writer-producer James Brooks bought the rights in 1989 for Cher and Debra Winger as mother and daughter. Ricci popped into the mix. Drew won and her Ma was Lorraine Bracco.

  21. Anne Hathaway, The Princess Diaries2001.     Among 21 youngstars (Jessica Alba to Reese Witherspoon) rejecting the awkward San Francisco teenager being groomed (by Julie Andrews!) to inherit the Genovia throne – after director Garry Marshall’s (rather surprising) first choice  of Juliette Lewis quit. And so, Hathaway made her first movie.
  22. Jennifer Connelly, A Brilliant Mind, 2001.   If the choice of the right actor to  portray the schizophrenic Noble Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr was vital,  selecting his screen wife was even more so   – hence an Oscar for Connelly and not for Russell Crowe.  The other candidates included Julie Bowen, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Geena Davis, Kirsten Dunst, Portia De Rossi, Claire Forlani, Rachel Griffiths, Teri Hatcher, Famke Janssen, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine McCormack, Mary McCormick, Mia Maestro, Rhona Mitra, Julia Ormond, Amanda Peet, Christina Ricci, Meg Ryan, Chloe Sevigny, Alicia Silverstone, Mira Sorvino, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman, Rachel Weisz.  PS Emily Watson was rejected as “too British” – while Salma Hayek was seen because  Alicia Nash came from El; Salvador… which must have meant the others were too American, Australian,  South African, etc.  Director Ron Howard seemed to forget they were all actresses. Odd that, as he used to be one.
  23. Shannyn Sossamon, The Rules of Attraction, 2002.     She rejected the role of Lauren Hynde because of the “gross and offensive rape.”
  24. Cameron Diaz, Gangs of New York, 2002.     Auditioned for  a film-making legend.  Martin Scorsese.  Another one, Tim  Burton, called her the  possible daughter of  Bette Davis and Peter Lorre.
  25. Michelle Peiffer, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, 2002.   In the DreamWorks voicing mix for Eris were Jessia Alba, 21, Angelina Jolie, 27, and Christina Ricci, 22 – and the winning outsider was Pfeiffer at age 44…!  She wanted it to please her kids. Sssh, listen, kids…  who’s that talking?
  26. Jodie Foster, Flightplan, 2004.    When Sean Penn decided not to play the  widower whose daughter goes missing during an international plane journey – German director Robert Schwentke started looking for a widow. Ricci, Josie Davis and  Portia de Rossi switched to  other flights.
  27. Holliday Grainger, The Borgias, TV, 2010.    Irish director Neil Jordan’s 2002 choices  for Lucrezia and Cesare Borgia were Ricci and Ewan McGregor. They became  Scarlett Johansson  and Colin Farrell  in 2006. Rest of that cast would have included Antonio Banderas, John Malkovcich, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno… before Jordan finally got his film off the ground – as a TV series.






 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  27