Christina Ricci on Working as a Child

Christina Ricci. Photo by Clint Spaulding/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (8824838ca)

Christina Ricci may have had an unconventional childhood, but that’s quite alright with her.

The Distorted actress has had a long career — starting in 1990 when she was just 10 years old. Now 38, the mother of one has come to appreciate starting off so young:

“I loved working. I loved being a kid who had a talent,” she told PEOPLE. “I loved being good at something. I loved all that positive reinforcement I got every day. I loved getting to use my imagination in a way that really created things. It was incredible to be able to do.”

During her 28 year career, Christina has had some memorable moments.

“I’ve had some incredible experiences and loved working as a child. I have to say The Addams Family movies were two really really — they were like glory days for me as a 10 and 12-year-old. Those were great movies to be on.”

The actress also realizes how lucky she was in snagging her first role, on Mermaids back in 1990.

“Cher was the most famous actress I’ve worked with, and it was my first movie. She was so open and so incredibly kind and generous. I learned a ton from her. I could ask her directly, ‘How do you do it? How do you make yourself cry?’ And she would try to help me learn how to do it.”

Now that’s better than any film school.