The adorably weird Christina Ricci covers the September issue of Nylon magazine to promote a few of her upcoming projects. One of them is a movie, Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star, that arrives in theaters this weekend and in which Ricci plays a waitress. The other project just happens to be her upcoming television series, “Pan Am,” a 1960s set drama that will air on ABC. I get the feeling that this show is kind of like “Mad Men” only with airline stewardesses, which means that we’ll get a hefty dose of fashion throwbacks and lots of commentary on the social mores of the era. It could be fun, no? Anyway, Ricci has a lot to say about the show, fashion, diet and exercise issues, the aging process, and why she’s heading to television:
On The Fashion Element Of “Pan Am”: “My mother was a model in that era, so I grew up looking at images of her. When I was a little girl I was sort of obsessed with the fact that my mother had been on the cover of Seventeen and I always wanted to look at her book, so I think it was ingrained in my mind.” Is she nostalgic for that era? “You know, it’s a lot of fun to be able to dress up like that, but picture today, in this heat, you have to put f*ing nylons on every day of your life. And the way they did their hair … today’s it’s such a luxury to get to throw a little dress on. I was looking at myself on my way out the door and I was like, ‘Your underwear is showing, but you don’t have any time. Leave.’ If this was the ’60s, I wouldn’t be able to do that.”
On Vintage: “I asked my stylist: ‘What’s the rule for when something becomes vintage and not just, like, last season?’ Seven years, apparently. So, seven years later I’ve brought my Alaia dresses out again.”
On The Women Of “Pan Am”: The ladies of “Pan Am,” described in the first episode as a “new breed of woman” by a young pilot, were educated, often tri-lingual girls in their twenties (“you were aged-out at 32 in those days,” says Ricci) with progressive, sexually liberated attitudes and model looks to boot. “They were the girls whose lives didn’t really revolve around men. They were having lives that were very much based on their own merits, their own education. Yes, a little bit on how they looked — weigh-ins, all that kind of stuff — but they were in something like the top 10 highest paid jobs with the men, and they got to travel and see the world in a way that at the time, people in America, let alone women in America, had no concept of. The second episode we got to Jakarta, and it’s like, What other women, other than stewardesses at that time, knew what Jakarta looked like?”
On Her Figure: “We all have to be in bikinis in the second episode,” she says of the show. Some of the girls are like, ‘I’m not dieting, screw it!’ And I’m, like, totally dieting; I’m eating protein and vegetables. And I’m doing my Pilates exercises at night, when I’m watching television.” She orders an omelet and a Diet Coke. “My Pilates instructor wrote out three different routines for me,” she continues. “I’ve worked out, OK, this one I can do in my dressing room, and this one in the studio at lunch … It’s going to be pretty funny. People are going to be like, ‘Um, Christina’s doing her thrust-walks in the hallway again.’”
There was a time when Ricci’s teenage weight fluctuations and battle with anorexia were well documented in the press, but these days the 31-year-old sees maintaining her figure as a pressure she, not the industry, puts on herself. “I’ve been doing this for a really long time and I used to hate feeling insecure. It’s the worst feeling in the world. So, I do a lot of things in advance so that I know I won’t have to feel like crap about myself. I think probably, in my late twenties, I became a lot more like, I’ll do what I can to make sure I look the way I like to look. But in the end, there’s only so much you can do and I’m not going to punish myself because I don’t look like the average person in a bikini.”
On Why She’s Doing TV: “They don’t make as many movies as they used to, so it’s a lot harder now and there’s no mid-range either. They either make these huge, big-budget ones or these tiny ones that may never see the light of day, or with some really unscrupulous people who take you to some far out location and then all of a sudden you get there and you’re like, ‘Who am I trapped out here with?’ So, it’s kind of difficult. And you know some of the best writing is on television, and I have to say, I spend most of my time watching TV. For years I’ve been saying I wanted to do television.”
On Sleeping 10 Hours Per Day: “Because I’m the oldest member of the cast, and we shoot in HD, so I’m like Dude! I don’t want to be, like, scary old-face. I’ve been using eye cream and all that sh-t since I was 18 because I knew, I just knew that age was going to walk right across my face. I use Proactiv because the lovely thing about my face now that I’m in my early 30s, I’m aging, but I’m also dealing with acne. And now – this is disgusting – but I get it on my back. I’m like, What am I? A pubescent boy?”
Admittedly, that last part really was gross, but I sort of appreciate that a Hollywood actress is willing to admit that she suffers from backne. Like, Gwyneth would never admit to such a pedestrian affliction, right? Even though and despite all of her privileged trappings, Goop really and truly does experience breakouts.
In another Goop comparison note, I like that Christina manages to admit that she worries about her weight, and works out/diets like the rest of us have to while also not sounding like a superiority freak about it. Instead of the whole, “I can be 38 and have two kids and wear a bikini is because I work my [expletive] ass off” nonsense, Christina phrases it in a self-depreciating way that also comes off as genuine. Yes, she has weight issues and won’t pretend not to obsess about her body at times, but she doesn’t go so far to talk about how exceptional she is just because she puts the work in, you know?
At any rate, “Pan Am” actually does sound like it might be an interesting show to watch, and I’ll probably check it out if I can wrestle the remote control away from my kid.
Nylon scans courtesy of The Fashion Spot