Since making her on-screen debut in "Mermaids" at only nine years old, Christina Ricci has grown into one of the most prolific child stars who successfully made the transition into acting throughout adulthood. The seasoned starlet has always been a professional both on screen and off, captivating audiences with her unique look and diverse talent. For many of us, Ricci's most memorable role was her portrayal of Wednesday Addams in director Barry Sonnenfeld's 1991 film "The Addams Family" and his 1993 sequel "Addams Family Values." Donning raven-colored pigtails, a signature black dress, and flat-affect, Ricci became a generation's beloved personification of cartoonist Charles Addams' character. She not only embodied the role but also confidently asserted herself as an asset to the storytelling process by suggesting an alternate ending to the original "The Addams Family" script, a change that would resonate with audiences even decades later.

Killin' It In Show Business

In a 1990's interview with Entertainment Weekly, Barry Sonnenfeld disclosed how impressed he was with Christina Ricci's self-confidence and dedication to her portrayal as Wednesday. Here's what he had to say:

"After a take of the first scene of the first 'The Addams Family,' I said to Christina — and remember, she's 11 at the time — 'That was very good, but I want you to look a little sadder in the next take.' I started to walk away, and I heard this voice say, 'Barry, I can't be any sadder. Sadness is an emotion, and Wednesday has no emotions.' So I thought quickly, and I said, 'Okay, that's a point."

Ricci's detailed and critical nature played in her favor on set. "She has specific opinions, and not only about her character," said Sonnenfeld. The original script for "The Addams Family" called for Uncle Fester (played by Christopher Lloyd) to be revealed as an imposter. "Raul [Julia] and Anjelica [Huston] were really upset," Sonnenfeld recalled. "In fact, everyone was upset except Christopher Lloyd [who plays Fester]. But the person who best articulated their concern was Christina." Sonnenfeld changed the storyline and Uncle Fester ended up being the long-lost brother that Gomez had hoped for. This decision helped capture the heart of the film by reminding viewers that the Addamses are family at its core. Despite all of the insults, side-eye glares, and even juvenile murder attempts, the Addams family are there for one another in life and in death.

Passing The Torch

Wednesday's character is once again killing ratings and casting a spell over viewers. This time, Jenna Ortega steps into the classic character's black boots as she stars in Tim Burton's Netflix series "Wednesday." Also a child star, Ortega is able to command control of the camera and call shots that conjure up meaningful scenes. Her input for the dance sequence featured at her school's annual Rave'N Ball is one of the best moments of television of 2022. Ortega choreographed the dance herself, looking to YouTube videos of goth club kids in the '80s, Siouxsie and the Banshees lead singer Siouxsie Sioux, "Beau Travail" actor Denis Lavant, Bob Fosse's moves from "The Rich Man's Frug," and new wave musician Lene Lovich as inspiration. The result is an electric and rebellious performance that perfectly captures the odd yet lovable outcast that Wednesday Addams is.

Like Christina Ricci, Ortega is not afraid to put her own style and spin on the character of Wednesday Addams. Despite being a little bit older than Ricci was at the time she played Wednesday, it's clear that Ortega brings a new vision to Charles Addams' character. On the one hand, it's inspiring for young girls to see a deviant and strange main character shine, but also to see young female actors take control of their roles in ways that can impact a story in such a fun, memorable manner.

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The post How Christina Ricci and The Addams Family Cast Fought for a Major Change to the Ending appeared first on /Film.