Lizzie Borden Chronicles - Clea DuVall and Christina Ricci
Lizzie Borden Chronicles - Emma Borden (Clea DuVall, in background) and Lizzie Borden (Christina Ricci) ©2014 Marvin Moore

One of last year’s most successful original Lifetime movies was Lizzie Borden Took an Ax starring Christina Ricci as the notorious murderer.

It was so popular that the network is bringing Lizzie back with The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, premiering on April 5th 2015.

The new limited series delivers a fictionalized account of actual events and people surrounding Lizzie’s life after her controversial acquittal of the horrific double murder of her father and stepmother in 1892.

Christina Ricci came to the TV Critics tour to talk about portraying the infamous killer again.

Lizzie Borden Took An Ax - Billy Campbell and Christina Ricci
Lizzie Borden Took An Ax – Andrew Jennings (Billy Campbell) and Lizzie Borden (Christina Ricci) ©2014 Marvin Moore, photo by Chris Reardon

Did you ever expect to play Lizzie Borden again? And was she a character you missed when the first film was over?

No. This came up out of the blue. I never expected to play her again. But she’s really fun, and it’s fun to come back and do her again in this amalgamation of the story and interpretation, because we are doing something that is very different.

It’s a very different character than in the movie. So this version of her is actually a lot more satisfying.

You say it’s a different version. Is it less victim, more empowered?

Yeah, this interpretation of her, she is much more self-aware. This is a person who knows what she’s doing.

She is the product of her circumstances, but she’s much more proactive in this and has a sense of self-awareness.

Lizzie Borden Chronicles - Christina Ricci and Clea DuVall
Lizzie Borden Chronicles – Lizzie Borden (Christina Ricci) and Emma Borden (Clea DuVall) ©2014 Marvin Moore

Has anybody you played before Lizzie help inform Lizzie, or is she a totally new person for you?

No. She seems very new for me. I find her to be a challenge at times.

How self-aware do you make this character? How much of the fun do you take out of it by being arch about what she’s doing and who she is. But at the same time, she’s only fun if there is this self-awareness.

She’s not anything like the characters I played before, because I felt like the characters I played before that were ‘dark or bad,’ they were just all reactive and not necessarily in control or the proactive ones in the story.

Lizzie Borden Chronicles - Christina Ricci
Lizzie Borden Chronicles – Lizzie Borden (Christina Ricci) ©2014 Marvin Moore

Can you talk about the mind-set you get into for this character? You’re like the queen of the creepy smile.

Well, I think she’s a really fun character to play. She’s out of her mind and a bad person and she likes to commit murder.

Lizzie Borden Chronicles - Christina Ricci
Lizzie Borden Chronicles – Lizzie Borden (Christina Ricci) ©2014 Marvin Moore

So, I just go to a place where things are fun and dark. But at the same time, we do deal with the complexities of emotion behind a lot of the relationships and what created this sort of monster.

So, are there more ax murders?

Well, she doesn’t always use an ax.

What is the draw of playing psycho killer?

There are no limits on behavior. There are no rules except for the rules you make up for yourself.

It’s the ultimate flight of fantasy in a way. Because if it’s the furthest thing from you or anyone that you know, then it’s the ultimate sort of make believe.

Do you think she sees homicide as a necessity, a calling, or a hobby?

Probably all three.

Lizzie Borden Chronicles - Clea DuVall and Christina Ricci
Lizzie Borden Chronicles – Emma Borden (Clea DuVall) and Lizzie Borden (Christina Ricci) ©2014 Marvin Moore