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Christina Ricci’s presence in any film will be remembered, no matter how good or bad the movie. In a contest of memorable roles, it's hard to choose between Wednesday Addams (Addams Family), Jane Hood (The Ice Storm) and Dedee Truitt (The Opposite of Sex), to name a few.

Much of her appeal seems to involve the impression she gives of earnest detachment. It is as if her natural position in life is at a hundred and eighty degrees to everyone else. She almost exclusively portrays outcasts and oddballs in movies.

The Opposite of Ordinary

Astrology Horoscope: Christina RicciIn Ricci’s natal astrology chart, the planet Uranus is in a square aspect (active, tense connection) to her Aquarius Sun. As an agent of astrological character, Uranus emphasizes originality and polarized extremes. It expresses contrariness and unpredictability.

In aspect to the Sun, the astrological “self,” Uranus is associated with unconventional personality, behavior or interests. It describes an impulse toward individualization and breaking new ground. In her case, it is aimed at a Sun sign that is already concerned with the idea of being unique or special in some way.

Should We Be Surprised When She Surprises Us?

Sun-Uranus (or “Uranian”) types, like Ricci, are on a perpetual quest for self-definition. The coming year carries her through all kinds of daring new acting territory. Her first love scene (with Johnny Depp, in their third movie together) in The Man Who Cried, her first nude scene in Prozac Nation, her first role as a comic book action hero in Adrenaline and more strikingly, her first role as a producer on the latter two films.

Even outside astrology, the age of twenty-one is recognized as a marker of maturity, when one “fully becomes” oneself. Now reaching this age, Ricci will receive the cyclical transit of Uranus square to her natal Uranus. This means the planet has traveled a quarter of the way through the zodiac since her birth, ninety degrees from its natal position.

In the simplest terms, it is part of a larger planetary cycle and refers to the particular “becoming” for anyone that age. It is personalized for her since the planet’s transit will also conjunct her Sun. Activating her natal Sun-Uranus square aspect, this transit will trigger an unleashing of surprises in her life, though we may only bear witness to it through her work.

Little Red Riding Hood Indeed

In 1997, transiting Jupiter joined Uranus in the sky in what we call a conjunction. This rare occurrence (every fourteen years) forms an astrological planetary combination that implies risky behavior on the part of “Uranian” individuals. It coincided with a crucial turning point in Ricci’s career as she weathered a child star’s requisite awkward on-screen transformation. She stood at the brink of reinvention, on the pivot between cute and clever sideshow (Mermaids, Casper the Friendly Ghost, That Darn Cat), and cult film favorite (Buffalo ’66, Pecker, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas).

Ricci presented a jarring juxtaposition to audiences. She portrayed the seductively precocious Jane Hood (who wore a red hood) in The Ice Storm the same year she starred in Little Red Riding Hood. Though apparently a simple accident of timing and coincidence, the startling (and characteristically “Uranian”) contrast made a profound statement on her behalf. She wasn’t just leaving behind the lightweight parts of her early career, she was burning the bridge. Astrologically, Uranus is involved in events that seem like accidents, but carry deeper consequences beneath the surface.

The Year of Ricci

In 1998, she was everywhere, appearing in four high-profile movies and on numerous magazine covers. Her round, buxom looks provided a strong aesthetic counterpoint to the familiar face of “starvation chic” exhibited by many actresses and models. She extended her physical example to young women by discussing the importance of having a healthy body image in interviews and becoming a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood.

Known for being a blunt and outspoken anti-star, her candor occasionally rebounded unfavorably. Her casual mention in an interview of having a bi-coastal therapy arrangement fed a hungry wave of speculation on her mental health. In familiar, detached, Aquarian fashion she responded, “I just occasionally need someone to talk to who has a perspective on my life, but doesn’t have an emotional attachment to me.”

Young and Depressed in America

One of Ricci’s more interesting upcoming roles will be her starring turn in the film adaptation of Elizabeth Wurtzel’s autobiographical book Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America. The book describes Wurtzel’s life-long struggle with atypical depression and her experience with the two-sided consequences of prescription anti-depressants. Wurtzel was one of the first people to be prescribed Prozac after its approval by the FDA in 1987.

In a sense, Ricci has followed on the heels of Mermaids co-star Winona Ryder. Ryder produced and starred in another film adaptation of a best-selling autobiographical book about clinical depression, last year’s Girl Interrupted. However, Ricci clearly had a personal motivation at stake for taking this role. During her childhood, her father was a primal scream therapist. She could hear his patients scream through the air vents of his home office. Foreshadowing her career, she would then imitate them for her mother.

The story in Prozac Nation relates itself to a larger phenomenon: a whole generation of disenfranchised children who grew up in divorced families through the 1970s and 80s. As a figurehead for disenchanted youth and survivor of divorced parents, Ricci’s casting as Wurtzel fits like a glove.

Truth at All Cost

Aquarians are said to be committed to truth at all cost, as demonstrated by Ricci’s straight-forwardness. For a film of this nature, the challenge is to depict depression honestly, without appealing to the misleading romantic mystique surrounding mental illness. To quote Wurtzel from her book, “Madness is too glamorous a term to convey what happens to most people who are losing their minds. That word is too exciting, too literary, too interesting in its connotations, to convey the boredom, the slowness, the dreariness, the dampness of depression.”

Ricci shed her trademark voluptuousness for the role, and agreed to the nude scene. She purposefully crossed cosmetic boundaries she set publicly just two years ago. However, her Aquarian social concern and the pioneering spirit of Uranus have allowed her to grow within the boundaries of her principles. As the water bearer symbol of Aquarius suggests, she holds wisdom in her grasp.

 

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Other StarIQ articles by Nick Dagan Best:

  • Seth Green Makes It Look Easy   5/14/2001
  • Ray Liotta: An Open Mind For Something Wild   4/24/2001
  • Ridley Scott Unleashes Hell   3/19/2001
  • Joaquin Phoenix: Good People Doing Bad Things   3/16/2001
  • Beck's Musical Lunaverse   2/18/2001
  • Fiona Apple: When Your Mind Is Your Might   2/16/2001
  • Julianne Moore Breaks the Silence   2/9/2001
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman: Fearless Actor   1/25/2001
  • Frida Kahlo and Salma Hayek: Peas in a Pod or Saturn in Pisces?   11/30/2000

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