Christina Ricci Says She Was Threatened With a Lawsuit After Objecting to Sex Scene
The Yellowjackets star has noticed how much sets have changed for young actors over the years.
Christina Ricci is pleased to see how much has changed in the movie and TV business, especially when it comes to how sex scenes and nudity are handled. While appearing on the March 16 episode of The View, Ricci said that when she objected to a sex scene early in her career, she was threatened with a lawsuit. Fortunately, she's noticed that her young co-stars on the hit series Yellowjackets have more agency and are able to speak up about things that make them uncomfortable on set without fear of retaliation.
The Showtime series follows a high school girls soccer team who survive a plane crash and are stranded in the wilderness for months. It cuts back and forth through time, also showing how the women who live through the experience are still haunted by the traumatic event years later. Ricci stars on Yellowjackets as the adult version of dangerous outcast Misty Quigley; the teenage version is played by Sammi Hanratty.
Read on to see what Ricci said about the dangled lawsuit and why she thinks young actors are safer these days.
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Ricci says someone threatened her when she wanted to change a sex scene.
During her appearance on The View (via Entertainment Weekly), Ricci was asked how working in the industry is different for her young Yellowjackets castmates than it was for her in the 1990s.
"It's really great. Us older ladies talk about it all the time," she said. "It's amazing to see that they don't necessarily have to go through the things we had to go through. They're able to say, 'I don't want to do this sex scene,' 'I'm not going to be naked.' They can set boundaries for themselves that we were never allowed to do."
She compared this to an upsetting experience that she had on a set. "Someone threatened to sue me once because I didn't want to do this sex scene in a certain way," Ricci said. "It's really changed and it's great to see."
They didn't follow through on the threat.
Ricci told the lawsuit story during a 2022 Actors on Actors conversation for Variety with Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney. The 25-year-old actor shared that she has felt comfortable during sex and nude scenes thanks to intimacy coordinators. Intimacy coordinators, who help to choreograph and serve as liaisons between cast and crew for intimate scenes, are a relatively new addition to productions.
Ricci, 43, responded, "With the conversations that were had on our set about intimacy and people's comfort, it was the first time I realized that things have really changed, and women are now allowed to say, 'I'm not comfortable.' I mean, I remember once on a movie saying I wasn't comfortable with something and they threatened to sue me if I didn't do it. That would never happen now."
The attempt at intimidating Ricci into doing the scene did not work. "It was fine. I didn't do it anyway. And they didn't sue me," the actor said. She did not reveal who threatened to sue her or what movie this happened on.
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She also shared a unique way she got comfortable on set.
While Ricci told Sweeney that she had never gotten to work with an intimacy coordinator, she did share that she came up with her own way to feel more comfortable while appearing nude on camera.
"Once I had to do a movie where I was naked pretty much the entire time," Ricci said. "The thing that made me more uncomfortable was other people being uncomfortable with me being naked. So what I did, and you probably wouldn't be allowed to do this now—I just stayed naked. I was like, 'Don't make me feel weird, like I'm the person who has to be ashamed.' I would talk to crew members naked."
The older Yellowjackets stars are "protective" of the younger actors.
In 2022, Ricci was interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter along with a few of the other stars who play the older characters on the show. They agreed that their younger Yellowjackets castmates are more empowered than they were able to be at their ages.
"I feel very protective," Melanie Lynskey said of the young stars. "At the beginning of production, I sent them all an email, and I just was like, 'Whatever you need, if you need a voice, if you need someone to go to the producers for you, whatever you need,' and they were kind of like, 'Cool. Thanks.' They're fine."
Tawny Cypress added, "Totally fine. Jas [Jasmin Savoy Brown] was a boss on set. She's like, 'This is how we're doing my hair. This is what we're doing.'"
Ricci said, "They're very much of a different generation."