We spoke with Instagram-star Christine McConnell about baking, her new Netflix series, and all things spooky.
Every artist has their influences: A painter may be inspired by Picasso, a fashion designer might take cues from Coco Chanel, while a chef might look up to Julia Child.
For Christine McConnell, that inspiration comes in the form of Debbie Jellinsky—Joan Cusack’s sinister character in Addams Family Values.
“She’s got these pretty pastel clothes and a meat cleaver,” McConnell, who draws influences from the soft-tones of the 1950s, said. “She’s doing these dark things, but she looks pretty. She’s sort of my idol.”
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McConnell—artist, baker and photographer extraordinaire—is set to star in The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell, an upcoming Netflix Original Series.
The California-native promises the show will be unlike anything you’ve seen before: “It’s like if Morticia Addams stopped in the middle of the movie and started explaining how to bake cookies,” McConnell says.
McConnell rose to Internet-fame in 2013, after she posted a surreal photo of herself in varying forms to Reddit. The photo went viral overnight and the rest is history. Now, more than 260,000 Instagram users follow her wonderfully weird account.
Though McConnell has always been drawn to all things spooky, she is a remarkably warm person.
“The character I’m putting off on Instagram is kind of who I want to be,” McConnell explains. “The show will be almost a dream version of myself.”
Her fascination with the macabre began young: She grew up watching The Munsters and Dark Shadows in her attic bedroom of a Victorian-era house that her contractor parents renovated. When she was 6 years old, McConnell dreamed of one day becoming either a mermaid or a vampire.
Clearly, she’s not the only one who enjoys that type of thing—McConnell’s first cookbook, Deceptive Desserts: A Lady’s Guide to Baking Bad!, was published in 2016.
Following the book’s success, the artist was approached by quite a few companies about a possible TV show. However, most were interested in a reality program; that’s just not her style.
If McConnell was going to do a show, the format was going to be unique, to say the least.
She was thrilled when Henson Alternative, the Jim Henson Company spinoff that focuses on grown-up entertainment, expressed interest in producing the series. She was even more thrilled when Netflix, the first production company she met with, called to confirm plans for the baking/how-to show.
“There were a million opportunities for people to say ‘no,’” McConnell says. “But they just kept saying ‘yes.’ I feel like I won the lottery and I never even bought a ticket.”
The show is set to premiere on October 12, just in time for Halloween.