Actress Christina Ricci, whom everyone remembers as the gleefully dour Wednesday from “The Addams Family,” added herself to the list of former child stars speaking out against children being in the spotlight.
Speaking to the New York Post at the Christian Siriano show during New York Fashion Week, the former “Casper” star said that parents who try to “make [their] child famous” commit abuse. Ricci got her start at the age of 9 starring alongside Cher, Winona Ryder, and Bob Hoskins in “Mermaids.”
“I feel it’s child abuse to make your child famous,” the 38-year-old actress and current mother said. “Once [my son’s] an adult, and he studies, and he understands that it’s an art form, then he can pursue an acting career if he’d like.”
Ricci went on to say that fame does harm to children, many of whom go on to become drug addicts while dealing with a host of other issues.
“Being famous is not good for children, it’s just not,” she said. “We have a million examples of why it’s not good for children. I’m just not going to risk it. Why would you put the most precious thing in your life up for that?”
“I’ve had some incredible experiences and loved working as a child. I have to say ‘The Addams Family’ movies were two really – they were like glory days for me as a 10 and 12-year-old. Those were great movies to be on,” she said at the time. “Cher was the most famous actress I’ve worked with, and it was my first movie. She was so open and so incredibly kind and generous. I learned a ton from her. I could ask her directly, ‘How do you do it? How do you make yourself cry?’ And she would try to help me learn how to do it. She was great.”
In the same interview with People, Ricci said she had zero regrets about being a child star, which launched her to a net worth of $18 million.
Ricci insisted she has zero regrets embarking on acting as a child. In fact, the actress said being a child star increased her confidence.
“I loved working,” said Ricci. “I loved being a kid who had a talent. I loved being good at something. I loved all that positive reinforcement I got every day. I loved getting to use my imagination in a way that really created things. It was incredible to be able to do that so young.”
Ricci did, however, tell the Telegraph in 2017 that Hollywood is not for everyone despite her coming out unscathed. “I’m here and I’m great and there’s no problem,” she said. “But I don’t think that being a child actor is healthy for people. It immediately takes you out of the shared human experience.”
In recent years, with the release of the documentary “An Open Secret” and testimonies from actors Corey Feldman and Elijah Wood, the American public has become slowly more aware of Hollywood’s abuse of child actors. Fortunately, Ricci has never indicated or testified to having experienced that side of the industry; another child actress from the ’90s, Eliza Dushku, however, has. In an emotional Facebook post last year, Dushku described how the famed stunt coordinator, Joel Kramer, allegedly molested her one afternoon in his Miami hotel.
I remember, so clearly 25 years later, how Joel Kramer made me feel special, how he methodically built my and my parents’ trust, for months grooming me; exactly how he lured me to his Miami hotel room with a promise to my parent that he would take me for a swim at the stunt crew’s hotel pool and for my first sushi meal thereafter.
I remember vividly how he methodically drew the shades and turned down the lights; how he cranked up the air-conditioning to what felt like freezing levels, where exactly he placed me on one of the two hotel room beds, what movie he put on the television (Coneheads); how he disappeared in the bathroom and emerged, naked, bearing nothing but a small hand towel held flimsy at his mid-section. I remember what I was wearing (my favorite white denim shorts, thankfully, secured enough for me to keep on).
I remember how he laid me down on the bed, wrapped me with his gigantic writhing body, and rubbed all over me. He spoke these words: ‘You’re not going to sleep on me now sweetie, stop pretending you’re sleeping,’ as he rubbed harder and faster against my catatonic body. When he was ‘finished’, he suggested, ‘I think we should be careful…,’ [about telling anyone] he meant. I was 12, he was 36.