At first, they didn’t tell him much about the character’s arc on the Showtime survival drama. Little did she know that as a child, Misty was so desperate to be needed by her peers that she, after a plane crash, decided to destroy the black box, which meant the girls were left behind for months. Little did Ricci know that, as an adult, Misty would hold a reporter prisoner in her basement and eventually poison her with her own cigarette.
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All I knew was that Misty’s job was a hospice nurse and that she used that power to abuse the elderly, a concept that captivated Ricci.
“Playing a whole human being and getting to explore a person who is capable of that, for me, was really interesting,” he says, adding that the character has sociopathic traits. “There’s probably a clinical diagnosis for her, but I’m not educated enough to do it.”
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For Ricci, it wasn’t about relating to Misty; in fact, that’s not necessarily important when he takes on a role.
“I don’t think you need to relate to a person to find them interesting. I don’t think audiences today need to relate to history and be fascinated by history,” she says. “As women, we’ve had to relate to men, these male stories about masculinity that I haven’t related to, but somehow I was able to figure it out.”
That said, Ricci was defensive of Misty at first, especially when people made fun of her.
“I hated when everyone said, ‘She’s so funny!’ I hated it all the time. When people laughed at her, she was always laughing at someone who wasn’t in on the joke,” she says. “So really, because there’s a blurry line between where I stopped and where she stops, personally, she was making a decision as Misty and she looked at it like they were laughing. It was really interesting. I couldn’t understand why I felt so uncomfortable with it.”
Still, Misty does have a silver lining; Despite being unable to connect with others, she has some admirable qualities, Ricci explains, starting with her ability to have a good time and “be someone who is completely self-contained.”
“Because no one has ever been there for her, she has never learned to depend on anyone else for her happiness and she amuses herself. She doesn’t feel the same way the other girls feel; she is not part of the group. And I personally really admire that. I don’t enjoy groupthink. I don’t enjoy trends. I don’t enjoy that people have the same taste in things to be friends. I love people who do not require other human beings to be happy. I really respect that about her, that kind of strength. It’s a defensive strength, but I still think it’s valid.”
In fact, that’s the best part of playing the peculiar character – how much fun he has. She “she’s past the point of being upset about how rejected and lonely she is, and now she’s like, ‘Oh yeah? This is my life, fuck all of you.’ He’s having a great time.”
The show also chronicles Misty’s previous life with her classmates; Samantha Hanratty stars as young Misty, alongside Sophie Nélisse, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Sophie Thatcher, who play young Shauna, Taissa and Natalie, respectively. Meanwhile, the adult actors include Ricci, Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress and Juliette Lewis.
After the series premiere, Lynskey revealed that she became ashamed of her body on set, with Ricci, Cypress and Lewis coming to her defense and writing a letter in solidarity. For Ricci, the moment stands out, mainly because he remembers the support he received from the younger stars, and the confidence each of them exudes.
“They’re so good at saying, ‘These are my limits. This is what’s right with me,’” she says. “They are so smart and so strong in all of that. I was very impressed with the young women in our program.”
Ricci, who has been acting since she was 9 years old and has never taken a break, reflects on “so many things” she told herself when she started, one of which is doing more television.
“I wanted to do television when I was very young and they told me not to do it,” he says.
“I was telling myself then, ‘Whatever happens, do TV. Follow your instincts.’ I would tell myself to follow my instincts more and not let myself be influenced as much. Television was my refuge.
Although she appeared here and there on television, starring in seven episodes of “Ally McBeal” in 2002 and earning an Emmy nomination for her guest role on “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2006, he didn’t fully jump until 2011 when he got “Pan Am,” the ABC drama that was canceled after one season. Primarily, her career was all in movies, making a name for herself in “The Addams Family,” “Casper,” “Now and Then,” “Sleepy Hollow,” and “Monster,” among others.
However, the most surprising role people mention to her is that of Beth Easton, a young woman who moves to a small town with her recently widowed mother in the adventure film “Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain.”
The 1995 film, co-starring Anna Chlumsky, was “terrible,” she recalls, never failing to surprise her every time it’s mentioned.
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On the other hand, one of its most famous characters, Wednesday Addams, is being made again, this time in the form of a Netflix show directed by Tim Burton. While Jenna Ortega will play the teenage Wednesday, Ricci is part of the project in a secret paper.
“I was really flattered that they asked me and that Tim asked me,” she says, without elaborating. “It’s nice to be a part of this next iteration of that character. It’s fun to watch and it’s fun to see other people’s opinions on things and what they put of themselves into something like that.”
For now, he’s focusing on “Yellowjackets,” as the seven-time Emmy-nominated show is set to start filming season 2 soon. Although she doesn’t know where she’s headed, one thing fans shouldn’t expect is to see Misty in a relationship, even though she dated in Season 1.
“I don’t think Misty really believes she’ll ever find love or have a relationship. The way I saw it was that this is something that she does because she is bored with her life. It’s like men when they date women,” she says. “Even if they know a woman doesn’t want to have sex with them, if they can convince that woman to have sex with them, that’s what they want. I feel like Misty, in a similar, game-like, predatory way, is doing the same thing. Her way of tricking him into having sex with her will be a guilt trip. And he will hate himself all the time. And she will have won. I mean, she’s bored!
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