By day she slaughtered her opponents with an axe, but by night, Christina Ricci found herself crying at the drop of an animal.
As a new mum, Ricci found almost anything would set her emotions awry – from animal welfare advertisements to sad news stories.
“It’s funny, everything changes when you have a child and you can’t really stomach the same stuff,” she says. “I would have full breakdowns when I used to watch like [RSPCA] commercials, and any story involving child abuse now I can’t handle it, or anything that’s too violent.”
And then she had to deal with going to work and playing the sociopathic Lizzie Borden, who bludgeons her parents to death, then spends her time terrorising small-town America? “When you’re filming it yourself it’s all plastic and fake blood and props that keep breaking, so it doesn’t seem real,” Ricci assures me. “So I was okay with that.”
What she wasn’t so okay with was people questioning her choice to return to work and film the show The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, two months after the birth of her son to husband James Heerdegen in August last year.
“I think most women understand you don’t actually have to make a decision, you can do both [work and be a mum.] But there was external pressure, from people who were like ‘I thought you were going to take a break at this point,’ and you have to ignore those people,” Ricci, 35, says.
While being a working mum has it’s difficulties, Ricci says she has tried to find a balance. Having a child is “absolutely wonderful,” and each mother will know what works best.
“I think when it comes to family, like having a baby, we are all incredibly vulnerable. It’s hard and it’s very stressful and there’s a lot of guilt involved, and I think ultimately you can tell when it’s not right.”
It’s been 25 years since Ricci first hit the big-time with film Mermaids, that classic 1990 comedy with Winona Ryder and Cher (if you haven’t seen it, please do so immediately.) In it she plays Cher’s kooky nine-year-old daughter Kate, a performance which saw her land the coveted role of Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family a year later. (more…)