03/27/1998 AT 12:00 AM EST
In her latest movie, "The Man Who Cried," actress Christina Ricci, 21, manages to exchange a lot of eye contact with costar Johnny Depp. And that, she tells PEOPLE, was just fine with her. "I prefer not to speak," said Ricci. "I find that too often in film, the dialogue is used as a narrative. I find it more interesting for people to express their feelings through actions rather than words, because in real life you don't say I'm sad. You look sad and people get it." In the movie, which she also produced, Ricci plays a Jewish girl in Russia who is separated from her family and ends up in England. Years later, in Paris, she eventually falls in love with a gypsy horse-handler (Depp). Ricci and Depp previously worked together in "Sleepy Hollow" (1999) and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (1998). "In this movie," she says of "The Man Who Cried," "we actually had sex, which was a strange thing. When you have two people rooting around like two pigs in front of 20 people on a set, especially when it's with someone who was 27 when you met them at age nine, (it) is pretty embarrassing. But we just laughed about it."