Twenty years after The Addams Family, Christina Ricci is flying high as a ’60s flight attendant in ABC’s Pan Am (Sundays, 10/9c), which celebrates a time when air travel was actually fun. This Made Babe, big word user and star of our Weirdly Hot Celebrity Women feature is psyched about her first regular series role, even if she has to wiggle into a form-fitting uniform. And we are too.
MADE MAN: What’s the allure of Pan Am?
CHRISTINA RICCI: It’s just a great, fun, escapist experience. You get to go with these young people who are seeing the world as it was in 1963 for the first time. They’re going off on an adventure to find themselves and see the world in a kind of innocence that’s not going to last very much longer in this period in history.
MM: What about critics who think the show glorifies the ‘Coffee, tea or me?’ aspects of the job?
CR: As soon as anybody sees ten minutes of the show, they’ll realize that what it really sends is a message that these women were free and in charge of their lives. So it’s actually kind of great for young girls and women.
MM: Does playing this role give you new respect for flight attendants?
CR: Yeah, it does. There’s so much that goes into it, and so much that has to be taken care of. I can’t even believe what women had to go through in terms of getting themselves ready every day back in the ’60s. It’s such a luxury that we live in a time where if you don’t feel like doing your hair, you can just put it in a ponytail!
MM: Any memorable in-flight experiences?
CR: One time my dog got free and went gunning for the first-class flight attendant lounge. My sister was with me and made no move to help.
MM: Did you research the ’60s?
CR: I was sort of obsessed with the ‘60s when I was in junior high and high school. We had a lot of elective history classes and I always took the ones that had to do with the ’60s and ’70s. We’re going to delve into quite a lot of historical things that happened, and I think they’ll probably use each character to reflect a different point of view from the time.
MM: What do you think about the fashions, the uniform in particular?
CR: It’s so much fun. Getting into those costumes every day just changes everything about the way you feel and act and move and deal with your surroundings. It’s amazing.
MM: How do you like wearing girdles?
CR: A lot of the underpinnings are really beautiful. I don’t wear them as much as the other girls do. My character refuses to wear them and gets in trouble all the time.
MM: Would you have rather be a young woman then or now?
CR: I don’t know. I feel like these women were navigating a blatantly misogynistic society, and we navigate a thinly veiled misogynistic society, so it’s six of one, half dozen of the other.
MM: It hasn’t gotten better?
CR: I don’t know. I don’t claim to be an expert. I’m an actress!