Who does Christina Ricci play in Wednesday? Marylin Thornhill explained

Christina Ricci in Wednesday.Netflix

Christina Ricci played Wednesday Addams in the 1990s Addams Family movies, and now she’s rejoining the franchise in new Netflix series Wednesday. But who does she play, and how does her character fit into the story?

The Addams Family was one of the most perfectly cast films in celluloid history, with Raul Julia and Angelica Huston steaming up the scream as Gomez and Morticia, and Christopher Lloyd bringing down the house as Uncle Fester.

But most memorable of all was Christina Ricci as Wednesday Adams, an adorable little homicidal maniac who spent the 1991 movie trying to kill her brother Pugsley, and 1993 sequel Addams Family Values trying to killer her new brother Pubert.

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Streaming series Wednesday – from director Tim Burton – stars Jenna Ortega as the title character, and she does a brilliant job, as discussed in our review of the show here. But Ricci is also part of the ensemble, playing a character who couldn’t be more different.

Who does Christina Ricci play in Wednesday?

Christina Ricci plays Marylin Thornhill in Wednesday. Miss Thornhill is a teacher at Nevermore Academy, the school to which Wednesday Addams is sent following a sticky situation with some piranha.

Thornhill teaches the students about nature, and the wonders of carnivorous plants that use sexual trickery and deception to attract insects. She’s also Wednesday’s “dorm mom”, who gifts her a black dahlia flower on her arrival at Nevermore, which Addams appreciates as it shares a name with her favorite unsolved murder.

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Miss Thornhill is relentlessly chipper (a bit like Ricci’s Yellowjackets character) in contrast to Wednesday’s perma-scowl. While she she red hair and wears a big cardigan over flowery dresses, which is pretty much the opposite of Addams’ jet-black hair and clothes.

Marylin has been working at Nevermore for 18 months, and is the Academy’s only “normie”, meaning she doesn’t have powers or monstrous traits like everyone else.

How does Miss Thornhill fit into the plot?

Even though Wednesday’s nemesis Principal Weens asks Marylin to keep an eye on the “pig-tailed upstart”, Miss Thornhill looks out for Wednesday through the season.

She says the door of her conservatory is always open, and tells Wednesday to be herself – and not let others define her – as “the most interesting plants grow in shade.”

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Miss Thornhill also helps with Wednesday’s various investigations, giving her information about the school’s history and many secrets. Indeed, as the season progresses, she comes to see Addams’ as a kindred spirit, stating “I think we’re a lot alike.”

Which makes her casting all-the-more interesting, especially as the show’s climax approaches. We won’t spoil that here, but head to our article ‘Wednesday’s Ending Explained‘ to find out what part Miss Thornhill plays in the show’s finale.

Wednesday is currently available to stream on Netflix.