They’re crazy and kooky! While it’s been more than 30 years since The Addams Family was first released in 1991, the film has endured as one of the most popular Halloween flicks and even spawned several spinoffs and sequels.
The original film brought the 1930s-era illustrations by Charles Addams to life starring several famous actors, including the likes of Anjelica Huston, Christina Ricci, Raúl Juliá and Christopher Lloyd.
The supernatural cult comedy followed the bizarre, aristocratic Addams family as they reconnected with their long-lost relative, Fester Addams. Though, what they don’t know is that he’s the adopted son of a loan shark, intent on stealing their family fortune.
From the moment the production team started planning the film, they instantly agreed that Juliá and Huston were the right choices to portray the family matriarch and patriarch.
“Scott [Rudin] and I both agreed on Anjelica Huston and Raúl Juliá as Morticia and Gomez,” director Barry Sonnenfeld recalled to The Guardian in November 2018. “The studio wanted Cher but we felt that would unbalance the film — we didn’t want it to be about stars. Raúl was totally suited to play Gomez. I’ve never worked with anyone more in love with life. Anjelica looked very much the part for Morticia – tall, lithe, thin. You never want anyone in your comedy to acknowledge you’re making a comedy, you want the actors to play the reality of their characters, which is why Raúl and Anjelica were so good.”
Huston, who went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination for playing Morticia, noted that she had a very specific inspiration while filming.
“I based Morticia on Jerry Hall,” the Witches star told The Guardian. “With the Addams Family, everything white is black and everything good is bad, but Morticia is the most lenient, understanding and wonderful mother. I’ve always seen Jerry as a perfect example of motherhood. We’re still friends after 40 years, so I guess she didn’t think that being the inspiration for Morticia was bad.”
The California native also recalled the intricate filming locations.
“The sets were gorgeous, they spared no expense,” she told the U.K. newspaper at the time. “It was a fantastically well-designed piece. We broke some records and it was nice to see a film that was sophisticated and had elegance and humor be so popular. It holds a lot of sentimentality for me because I grew up reading Charles Addams in the bathroom aged six pretending I was Morticia in the mirror.”
Sonnenfeld also noted that 10-year-old Ricci had the role “in the bag” from her first audition. Ricci, for her part, later looked back fondly on her role of Wednesday.
“Well, those movies have clearly had the biggest impact on my career and life,” the Penelope actress told AV Club in June 2018. “I spent a lot of my childhood working on them and promoting them, and I’ve spent the rest of my life talking about them. So both of the Addams Family movies, they’re huge in my history, and Wednesday, I feel very inextricably bound to her, because I feel, like, who can say how much influence being that person at that age for the amount of time that I was her, the amount of positive reinforcement from playing that character. It’s like a chicken-or-egg debate: Did I influence her as a character, or did she as a character influence my personality?”
During the interview, the Yellowjackets star remarked on her “amazing” memories from the set, including the catchy songs and working with legendary actors.
“I count myself so lucky to have had such legendary actors to learn from as a child,” Ricci recalled of working with Huston and Juliá during The Addams Family and Addams Family Values films.
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Scroll below to see what the Addams Family stars have been up to years later: