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Christina Ricci "Regrets So Much" About Her '90s Child Star Career

The Casper and Addams Family star wants the opportunity to do it all over.

Christina Ricci was one of the hardest-working child stars of the 1990s, starring in films including Mermaids, The Addams Family and its sequel, Casper, and Now and Then. But, even though she was a big success—and continues to be today—Ricci says she would go back to her early career in the '90s and do things differently, especially from around the time she transitioned to more adult roles. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor said that she feels she made a lot of mistakes at the time and would like a second chance to get it right.

Ricci was interviewed alongside her co-stars from the Showtimes series Yellowjackets, who also got their starts young, and some of them feel similarly. Read on to see what she had to say.

READ THIS NEXT: See '90s Child Star Thora Birch Now at 40.

Ricci wants to travel back to when she was 16.

Christina Ricci at the premiere of "The Birdcage" in 1996
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Ricci shared in her conversation with The Hollywood Reporter and co-stars Tawny Cypress, Melanie Lynskey, and Juliette Lewis, "This is very dark, but I would just like to go back to that age and do it over again and not make so many [expletive] mistakes. Honestly, I regret so much." The now 42-year-old star added, "I'd like to go back to 1996 and be like, 'All right … we had a practice run. It went OK, but it wasn't really as great as we wanted it to be. We're going to do this again.'"

In 1996, Ricci was 16 and had recently starred in both Casper and Now and Then. Closing out the decade, she began taking more mature roles and was in movies including The Last of the High Kings, The Ice Storm, Buffalo '66, The Opposite of Sex, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Sleepy Hollow.

Her Yellowjackets castmates also have regrets from their youth.

Christina Ricci at the 2019 HBO Post Golden Globe Party
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Ricci continued, "People who are like, 'I have no regrets.' What [expletive] magic life did you live?"

Her Yellowjackets co-star Lewis, who used drugs at a young age, added, "Where they go, 'I don't regret anything because that led up to this moment.' Really? The thing that could've put my dad in an early grave, I [expletive] regret it. Yes. I was very scary as a young teenage person."

Lynskey, who also stars on the series and began acting on screen as a teen, said, "I think people without regrets are narcissists. I think they're lying to themselves." Ricci added, "Denial is the only way to get up that river."

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She didn't enjoy the attention more adult roles brought her.

Christina Ricci at the 1999 Oscars
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

In a January 2022 interview with The New Yorker, Ricci also talked about being an actor during her teenage years. She spoke about how in her later teens she was taking on more provocative roles but was uncomfortable with the attention she received for them.

"The sexual aspects of all those roles were not something I liked," she said. "For me, those kinds of things are just necessary evils. But I always wanted to play more complicated characters. And I guess when it's a teenage girl, the issue of sexuality is going to be part of it. But I hated the whole 'sexy' thing, and people talking about my boobs. It was just gross to me. Totally gross."

She also said that she had considered going to college but decided to continue acting instead. Asked if she feels like she lost out on something, Ricci responded, "Now that I'm older, I do. At that age, I was resentful of the idea that no one would think I was smart unless I had gone to college. So again, the rebellious teen in me was, like, [expletive] that and show everyone anyway. I probably would still be writing if I had gone to the creative writing program like I'd wanted to."

Being a young child star came easier.

Christina Ricci at the premiere of "The Addams Family" in 1991
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In an interview with People in 2018, Ricci said that she found a lot of enjoyment in the acting she did as a younger child.

"I loved working. I loved being a kid who had a talent," she said. "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."

Asked whether she thinks back on one project more fondly than others, Ricci said, "I don't have a favorite [film] of all time. I've had some incredible experiences and loved working as a child. I have to say The Addams Family movies were two really really—they were like glory days for me as a 10 and 12-year-old. Those were great movies to be on."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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