In ABC’s 60s-era drama “Pan Am,” Christina Ricci plays Maggie, a rebellious, bohemian flight attendant working for the prestigious Pan Am Airways. It’s Ricci’s first major television role since making her industry debut in the 1990 film “Mermaids” at age 9. With tonight’s series premiere (10/9c), Ricci explains why she decided to take the leap to the small screen, what fascinates her about this time period, and how there’s a big part of Christina infused in Maggie.
On Why She Decided To Do TV: We were kind of waiting for the right thing to come along, and myself and my representatives…We really felt that this was the right thing for me. And then I really loved the people involved and I love every script we’ve gotten. It just seemed like the right fit.
Go Behind The Scenes Of “Pan Am”:
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On How Maggie Differs From Her Fellow Flight Attendants: Maggie is very much a searcher. She’s seeking out her identity. She’s a bit of the zelig of the group. She’ll be trying all the different personas of the era – the coming trends. She’s really trying to find out who she is. She’s very driven in every place they go…Navigating, finding what she wants. She’s kind of like a little steamroller. She gets into a lot of trouble and starts a lot of trouble, but because she’s driven to have fun and enjoy her life and find meaning. She’s hungry but she doesn’t know for what yet.
On The Amount Of Creative Control She Wields: I don’t really have that much. It’s my first TV show – I’ve never done this before. I just wanted to learn what it means to be an actor on a TV show. The hours are a little intense. I’ve done a couple guest starring arcs and I remember the hours were pretty hard – but I was into that. I’m happy.
On What Surprised Her About The Character: [Series creator] Jack [Orman] spent a lot of time with all of us girls listening to our stories. I found that the episodes that were written subsequently reflected a lot of our personalities. The first episode I read, I was like, “Uh huh – yeah. She says things she shouldn’t. She has an authority problem. Uh huh. Wow. Interesting.”
On Topical Issues The Show Will Deal With: We’re going to delve into quite a lot of historical things that happened. They’ll probably use each character to reflect a different point of view. Probably the first we’ll deal with is the Civil Rights Movement.
On Her Fondness For This Time Period: I was obsessed with the 60s in junior high and high school. I love this period in time, so going back to it is really fascinating and fun. That’s one of the things that I found really alluring about this project – that we get to go back and relive it, portraying major events during this time.
On How The Women Are Portrayed In The Show: For us, the stewardesses, there was this sense of excitement and freedom…In reality, the job allowed these women to have a freedom that they weren’t really given in a regular sort of role in life at that time. Yes, they did have to pass through the girdle checks and grooming checks, but by going through those things and having met the education qualifications and all of these other things, they were then allowed to travel freely and see the world in a way that other people didn’t get to see and to be in charge of their own lives in a way that women at the time weren’t necessarily regularly in charge of their lives.