September 6, 2000 -- VENICE, ITALY — Feeling "almost adult" at 20, Christina Ricci came to the Venice Film Festival as the star of Orlando director Sally Potter's new film, The Man Who Cried.
The film, about a Russian girl's odyssey from 1920s Russia through persecution and the Nazis, pairs Ricci with her Sleepy Hollow leading man, Johnny Depp, for her first love scene.
Brotherly Love From Johnny Depp"This love relationship is intense and strange," Ricci said. "I've known Johnny so long, he's protective of me as an older brother and it's weird to think of having sex with him. So we know enough about each other to laugh at it. He said it was 'like we were rooting around together like pigs.'"
Ricci came to Venice sporting a short gamin haircut, prompted by completing Prozac Nation, in which she was "playing someone who was clinically depressed and wanted to kill herself every day. So I wanted to shed that a little bit."
Ricci Enlisted Dawson Pal for First Nude SceneRicci's first nude scene for Prozac Nation, she admitted, was "much more frightening" than her lovemaking in Man Who Cried.
On the set of Man Who Cried, a decision was made early "that Johnny and I would never be unclothed because in gypsy culture women are forbidden to be nude."
But in Prozac Nation, director Erik Skjoldbjaerg decided that a nude scene would show the character's complete emotional nakedness.
Naturally, Ricci called for a closed set and then she called her co-star, Dawson's Creek's Michelle Williams. "Even though it wasn't her day to work, I made Michelle come and watch the monitor and let me know that everything looked OK."
As for Man Who Cried, which opens in October, Ricci called it, "A rare opportunity, especially as an American actress to play not the antsy contemporary 20-year-old, but to deal with such a different character, someone who was so dignified and strong and going her own way."