The Impact Time Had On the Beloved 'The Addams Family' Cast
Everybody remembers the '90s blockbuster, 'The Addams Family.' Its unique and hilarious plotlines and characters will forever remain engraved in our memories. It comes as no surprise that the film became a classic! Then came the sequel - which also won fans over with a fresh take on the mysterious yet spooky storyline of the family. But what theme song was ditched, who was secretly terrified, and where are our favorites now? Let's take a look!
IT'S A FAMILY THING
'The Addams Family' is a supernatural black comedy film that was released in 1991. The movie was based on Charles Addams' cartoon, and the 1964 series produced by David Levy. With former cinematographer Barry Sonnenfield making his first directing debut with the film, the movie received plenty of positive attention. Anjelica Huston, who plays Morticia Addams, was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her performance.
The film also starred Raul Julia as Gomez Addams, Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams, Judith Malina as Grandma Addams, and Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester. The plot of the movie focuses on a crazy, aristocratic family who reconnects with whom they thought was a long-lost relative. When, in fact, this relative - Fester Addams (Gomez's brother) was the adopted son of a loan shark, trying to rob the family of their fortune.
With such a bizarre plot, it truly came as a surprise that the film managed to blow up into such popularity! And we can't deny that this is all thanks to the incredible work the actors executed, creating some of the most memorable characters in television history.
ANJELICA HUSTON (MORTICIA ADDAMS)
Anjelica Huston drew inspiration for her character from her friend, model Jerry Hall. After her trademark flawless performance, Huston went on to appear in films like 'Ever After' and 'Daddy Day Care.' She also featured in a string of Wes Anderson films like the 2007 film 'The Darjeeling Limited.' She also experimented with appearances on the small screen, with shows like 'Medium,' 'Smash,' and 'Transparent.'
RAUL JULIA (GOMEZ ADDAMS)
Acting as the charismatic Gomez Addams, Puerto Rican actor Raúl Juliá went on to gain international fame. He received Tony nominations for performances in 'Two Gentlemen of Verona,' 'Where's Charley?,' 'The Threepenny Opera' and 'Nine.' He also earned Golden Globe nominations for films like 'Tempest' and 'Kiss of the Spider Woman.' Unfortunately, in 1994, Juliá suffered from significant health issues, which eventually led to a fatal stroke. The actor received posthumous Golden Globe, SAG, and Emmy awards.
CHRISTOPHER LLOYD (UNCLE FESTER)
The role of Uncle Fester was portrayed by Christopher Lloyd, perhaps better known as Jim Ignitawski on 'Taxi' and as Emmett "Doc" Brown from the 'Back to the Future' franchise. After 'Addams Family,' Lloyd has appeared on 'Road to Avonlea.' The role earned him an Emmy. Besides acting, he did voiceover work for Walt Disney and the Cartoon Network. Recently, he appeared in an episode of 'Big Bang Theory.'
CHRISTINA RICCI (WEDNESDAY ADDAMS)
Christina Ricci famously played the dry and precocious Wednesday Addams. After the film, Ricci went on to starring roles in 'Casper' and 'Sleepy Hollow.' Ricci then went on to appear in 'Monster' and 'Black Snake Moan.' She later appeared on television shows like 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'The Lizzie Borden Chronicles' and 'Z: The Beginning of Everything.'
JIMMY WORKMAN (PUGSLEY ADDAMS)
Jimmy Workman played Pugsley Addams. He had not intended to audition for the role, as he had accompanied his sister, who wanted to audition for the role of Wednesday. After the film, he retired from acting. He now works behind the scenes in the industry. His younger sister is Ariel Winter from 'Modern Family.'
JUDITH MALINA (GRANDMAMA ADDAMS IN 'THE ADDAMS FAMILY')
Mother to Morticia, Grandmama Addams was played by actress Judith Malina. Her career began in theatre, and she co-founded the experimental theatre company The Living Theatre. She spent decades acting on stage. Malina then went on to work in film and television with famous roles in 'Dog Day Afternoon,' 'Awakenings,' and 'The Sopranos' in 2006.
CAROL KANE (GRANDMAMA ADDAMS IN 'THE ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES')
Carol Kane took over the role of Grandmama Addams from Judith Malina in the sequel, 'Addams Family Values.' She earned two Emmy's for her performance. Kane has become known for taking on kooky, comedic toles. Kane also appeared in the films 'Annie Hall' and 'The Princess Bride' and on television in 'Taxi' and Netflix's 'The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.'
CAREL STRUYCKEN (LURCH)
Carel Struycken earned the role of Lurch, mostly because of his staggering seven feet height. Struycken's height is due to a hormone growth disorder. He also played Mr. Homn in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' and the Giant in the '90s television show 'Twin Peaks.' After 'Addams Family' he landed roles in multiple shows, like 'Charmed,' 'My Name is Earl,' and 'Gotham.'
JOHN FRANKLIN (COUSIN ITT)
Before appearing as Cousin Itt in 'The Addams Family,' actor John Franklin played the iconic role of the young cult leader, Isaac Chroner, in 'Children of the Corn.' After the 'Addams Family,' he appeared on TV shows like 'Star Trek: Voyager' and 'Chicago Hope.' He later left the industry to teach English in California but returned to Hollywood as an actor and writer.
JOAN CUSACK (DEBBIE JELLINSKY)
"Black Widow" Debbie Jellinsky was played by none other than Joan Cusack. Before the film, Joan was known as an 80s darling with films like 'Sixteen Candles,' 'Working Girl,' and 'Married to the Mob' in her arsenal. After 'The Addams Family,' Cusack landed roles in 'Grosse Pointe Blank,' 'In & Out,' 'Runaway Bride,' and the 'Toy Story' franchise.
DANA IVEY (MRS. COUSIN ITT)
Dana Ivey played Mrs. Cousin Itt. After the role, Ivey went on to act in movies like 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,' 'Two Weeks Notice,' and 'The Help.' She also has a long list of television appearances as well as Broadway credits to her name.
DAVID KRUMHOLZ (JOEL GLICKER)
Wednesday Addams' camp crush, Joel Glicker, was played by David Krumholz. After the sequel, he went on to appear in the 'Santa Clause' and 'Harold and Kumar' franchises. He also landed the recurring role as Charlie Eppes on 'Numbers.'
MERCEDES MCNAB (AMANDA BUCKMAN)
First appearing in 'The Addams Family' as a Girl Scout, Mercedes McNab landed a more prominent role in the sequel as Amanda Buckman. McNab went on to have a thriving career post-Addams family. In the late 90s, she starred in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' as Harmony Kendall. She reprised the role again for the show's spinoff 'Angel.'
PETER MACNICOL (GARY GRANGER)
Peter MacNicol starred as Gary Granger, co-owner of Camp Chippewa, in the 'Addams Family.' Besides the film, MacNicol also appeared in 'Ally McBeal' as John Cage. He also had roles in television shows like 'Chicago Hope,' and the smash hit 'Grey's Anatomy.'
CHRISTINE BARANSKI (BECKY MARTIN-GRANGER)
Christine Baranski played Becky in the 'Addams Family.' She was already an established actress both on screen and on stage. She has two Tony awards and 15 Emmy award-nominations to her name and even appeared on 'The Big Bang Theory.'
SPOOKY SECRETS ABOUT 'THE FAMILY'
IT WAS AN UNEXPECTED PROJECT
Talks about an Addams Family movie had been going on for decades, but producer Scott Rudin decided to take on the project rather unexpectedly, after hearing the theme song from an unlikely source. During a car ride, a studio executive's son began singing it, "and suddenly everyone in the van was singing the theme, letter-perfect, note for note," he told The Los Angeles Times. He pitched the idea the very next day.
ORIGINAL CASTING WAS QUITE DIFFERENT
In 1989, it was reported that Cher and Kevin Kline would star as Morticia and Gomez, with Ivan Reitman attached to direct. But, in 1990, Robin Williams and Huston's names came up. Ultimately, Julia landed the role of the head of the Addams Family.
"Raúl was totally suited to play Gomez," Sonnenfield told The Guardian. "I've never worked with anyone more in love with life."
Rudin told The Los Angeles Times, "We always wanted Anjelica [for Morticia]. She's a hothouse flower; she's Mrs. Miniver in this movie, the mother hen of the family. She can be sweet and arch and then turn on a dime and be very passionate too."
Huston was surprised to find out she was the top choice! She saw Cher as the obvious actress to play the role. Sonnenfield later admitted, "The studio wanted Cher, but we felt that would unbalance the film...we didn't want it to be about stars."
Initially, Sir Anthony Hopkins reportedly turned down the role of Uncle fester, ultimately played by Christopher Lloyd. The fat suit Lloyd wore in the films had a previous owner: After wearing it in 1974 for 'The Godfather II,' Bruno Kirby handed it down to the 'Back to the Future' star.
Kathleen Turner was reportedly in talks for the role of Debbie Jellinski, but Joan Cusack landed the part of the gold-digging con-woman villain. She stole many of the scenes she was in and even had the cast and crew cracking up with her work.
"Joan Cusack is just bliss as Debbie. I was on set the day we were shooting that monologue, and she's talking about Malibu Barbie. People were stuffing paper cups in their mouths to stop themselves from laughing because Joan was sublime," Rudnick told Buzzfeed. "Watching her is a gift."
THE INEXPLICABLE TIE TO WEDNESDAY
Ricci has had a long and successful career in Hollywood, but Wednesday Addams, which she began playing at the age of 10, remains her defining role - and she couldn't care less.
"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," she told The AV Club. "It's like a chicken-or-egg debate: Did I influence her as a character, or did she, as a character, influence my personality?"
In a 1991 interview on Live With Regis and Kathie Lee, Ricci revealed how she prepped for her audition: "My mom told me to just sort of think of Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice. They're similar characters, so then I auditioned, and it worked for the audition." Ricci and Ryder worked together a year earlier in 'Mermaids,' and the two remained friends for years.
CHRISTOPHER LLOYD WAS SURE HE'D BE FIRED
Growing up, Lloyd was a huge fan of the original cartoons and was "astonished" to get the call about playing his "favorite" character, Uncle Fester. Lloyd was terrified he would be recast, telling Buzzfeed, "I really didn't feel like I was very convincing."
After filming a test scene in prosthetic make-up, he was called in for a meeting, and was sure he was about to be fired. It was much simpler thans that though! They had decided to use make-up instead of prosthetics. "They thought the prosthetics were limiting my facial expressions, so we chucked the prosthetics... and I was very, very relieved," he said.
WHO'S THE IMPOSTER?
In the original script, Fester was the imposter who would prove not to be a real member of the Addams family. During the table read, the cast became "outraged." They decided 10-year-old Ricci should be the one to tell the creative team that Fester had to be real!
"She explained to us why Fester had to be the real Fester throughout, and we had to figure out how to make it work," Rudin said. "She was such a brilliant spokesperson that we rewrote 20 pages of the script."
THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS EASIER AT THE TOP
Most people assumed Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, or David Lynch would direct the film. However, Barry Sonnenfield, a cinematographer with no directing experience, landed the job. Unfortunately, the stressful 25-week shoot got to him.
"I lost 13 pounds in the first ten weeks alone," he told Empire. "And the tension was just incredible."
Three weeks after production started, he fainted on set during a conversation about the budget, explaining, "I was standing behind a chair when I started to feel this tremendous pressure in my chest as if someone was blowing up a balloon inside me. Before I knew what was happening, I got very dizzy and tried to sit down and - wham! - I'd passed out." Rudin was also playfully changing the name on the back of the director chair every time a reporter was on set, often to directors who had been in talks to direct the film at one point.
STRANGER THAN FICTION
The sequel's title, Addams Family Values, was taken straight from a controversial speech made in 1992 by then-Vice Presidential candidate Dan Quayle. He famously said a breakdown of "family values" was to blame for the riots in Los Angeles.
All of the main Addams Family members returned for the sequel, except Judith Malina. She was replaced by Carol Kane as the role had become more physically demanding. Kane and Huston had been friends since they were teenagers, and Kane is a year younger than her on-screen daughter!
NEWEST MEMBER OF THE FAMILY - BABY PUBERT
The name Pubert was a tribute to the original name Charles Addams wanted for Pugsley. It was rejected by the producers of the '60s TV series. In the sequel, Gomez and Morticia's infant son was played by twin girls, Kaitlyn Hooper and Kristen Hooper. In order to make the twins to crawl, Cheerios were tied to strings! Their black hair was also tinted slightly darker. The mustache was, of course, drawn on.
THE ORIGINAL THEME SONG WAS A BIT... TOO MUCH
Michael Jackson wrote a song and filmed a music video for the sequel, called 'Is It Scary.' However, he was accused of allegedly sexually molesting a child in 1993. It was ultimately abandonded by the studio.
"I think he completed the video for it, but it was just a little too risky to include it in the final movie at that point," Rudnick told Buzzfeed. "I think it involved him living in the Addams Family mansion, and all of his neighbors storming the place with pitchforks and torches. So it was a little too close. That's why it wasn't included."
That's a lot to take in! Who was your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below!