Winona Ryder: “I’m now 40 & I’m actually psyched for 40 & psyched to get older”

Winona Ryder

Kaiser has been covering the fashion wins for Winona Ryder as she’s promoted The Iceman in Venice and Toronto over the past week or so, and she’s looked quite uncomfortable and somewhat terrified but lovely all the same. Honestly, I’m glad that Winona is back on the scene — she was really great a few years ago in Black Swan and nearly stole the entire show with a fairly limited role.

Winona’s return to the big screen has been greeted with enthusiasm, but there have been subtle digs here and there at her age (she’s now 40), which is par for the course in Hollywood but still really sucks nonetheless. Last year, Winona mentioned to Elle that she related to her Black Swan character “on a certain level. Just that thing of, you know, when I’m told I’m not the ingenue anymore.” Indeed, after a fairly triumphant run in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, Winona’s career stalled. She was jilted by Gwyneth “Frenemy” Paltrow, who scooped up that Shakespeare In Love role that was supposed to go to Ryder. Then she was faced with people assuming she was jealous of Angelina Jolie’s Oscar win in Girl, Interrupted. And then came those shoplifting charges that occurred well over a decade ago by now. Certainly, Winona recovered from that relatively isolated incident, but she’s had a hard time fighting her way back into Hollywood feature film roles.

Of course, Winona did screw up with that shoplifting nonsense, but she’s been paying for it for a very long time. If a male (like, say, Shia LaBeouf) had experienced the very same sort of shame, you know he’d have Robert Redford patting him on the back the next day. The standards are somehow different for women though, and they also have to deal with obnoxious questions from journalist in that regard as well. During a TIFF press conference, a reporter framed his inquiry about her “return to Hollywood” in one of the most awkward methods imaginable:

Winona Ryder

Either nothing is off-limits at the Toronto International Film Festival, or something got lost in translation.

While promoting her new movie, The Iceman, at the TIFF Bell Lightbox September 10, Winona Ryder, 40, was singled out during a press conference with costars Chris Evans, 31, Ray Liotta, 57, and Michael Shannon, 38.

“It’s been a long time we’ve seen you,” a male reporter with a thick accent told Ryder. “Now you’re coming out with this movie and Frankenweenie. So two movies in the same year. So now do you feel welcome again in Hollywood?”

Writer, director and producer Ariel Vromen, 39, shook his head and said something under his breath to Shannon, but Ryder — famously convicted of grand theft, shoplifting and vandalism in 2001 — tried to keep her cool and answer the reporter’s question.

“Well …. Um … I don’t … I was asked that question in Venice. I don’t know if I’m developing a little bit of a complex because I don’t know if you’re saying, ‘We missed you!’ or ‘What are you doing here?’” Ryder responded. “I think for me, I started so young, and when you experience a lot of blessings and success when I did, usually you’re told you get three years, and it’s great just to have that. . . I couldn’t believe I was still doing it in my 20s.”

“Then I went through a period where I realized how important it was to have a life outside of [acting], because at the end of the day, you come home,” continued the actress, who dated the likes of Johnny Depp and Matt Damon back in the day. “And as every actor knows, you’re waiting to wrap something and freaking out. It’s a weird cycle. I had to get out of that.”

Ryder added that she’s “very close to my family and friends, and there’s other stuff I do and I’m interested in. I think living in San Francisco and basing myself there is equally important to be a friend to my friends, and sister to my sister … and to have a healthy life.”

“I think I needed to take some time to do that, but also I think … actors are blessed, and I’m not complaining at all. But when you go through your adolescence doing it and you’re the ingenue … there is a lot of pressure.”

“And the parts are sort of … You go through this weird age,” she said. “And I’m now 40 and I’m actually psyched for 40 and psyched to get older because I think you get more comfortable with yourself, and it’s more interesting, and the roles — the size doesn’t really matter. Usually those kinds of roles are more interesting. For me as an actress … it takes something very special for me to want to leave my life.”

“So sorry for the long-winded answer,” Ryder finished. Fifteen minutes later, the press conference ended, and Evans put his arm around Ryder.

[From Us Magazine]

Such a rude reporter, right? Winona seemed to handle the question pretty well though, and at least now she’s got a very good justification for continuing to look terrified on the red carpet. Also, she got a big hug from Chris Evans, which is always a win. In another recent interview with Hollywood Reporter, Winona explained how she tried but (somewhat) failed to stay grounded in her career: “I still did my laundry in a laundromat until I was in my late 20s, in part because I didn’t want to lose perspective on what was happening around me. But I still got overwhelmed at a certain point, and I think I’ve emerged a wiser person. I’m one of the only people you’ll hear from Hollywood who says I actually like getting older. I do. Older people are more interesting.” She’s going to be just fine, people. Winona is back.

Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet

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51 Responses to “Winona Ryder: “I’m now 40 & I’m actually psyched for 40 & psyched to get older””

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  1. Launicaangelina says:

    I love Winona! I am an 80s baby so I experienced my teens in the 90s. I wanted to look like her, have her figure and her hair. I feel defensive and protective of her too. I’m glad she answered that question the way she did. Winona Forever!

  2. Scorellini says:

    Whoa. The whole ‘Gwyneth Paltrow stole the Shakespeare in Love script from Winona’s coffee table’ thing is an urban legend. I’ve never actually heard anything to confirm it, and Lainey has said she’s asked around and everyone says it was Gwyneth’s role to begin with. She was already Harvey’s girl.

    • mln76 says:

      Lainey is obsessed with GOOPY (If there is such a thing as a Goopyloon its her) nothing she says about her actually counts LOL…Anyway SOMETHING happened because GOOP has made it very clear that she doesn’t like Winona. Even telling a story about how happy she was when something happened to one of her friends who betrayed her.
      So either GOOPY stole the role from Winona or Winona attempted to take the script from GOOP. (This is the flip side story I’ve heard)

      Of the two women I much prefer Winona in beauty and talent but I kind of think it might have been W with the sticky fingers ;)

  3. samira25 says:

    Has Winona always had crazy eyes? In all of her photos the last couple of weeks, she looks like a deer in the headlights. It’s really weird how the shoplifting pretty much ruined her career. People had bigger scandals and problems at the time with no consequences yet Winona was shunned.

    • v says:

      It’s a shame really.Yet Chris Brown is still celebrated.Ugh.I hope she gets more parts in good movies.

    • Macey says:

      I noticed her eyes right away too. Think she may have had some eye work and botox. There’s definitely something different about her face tho.

      I agree about the shoplifting thing too. Look at what stealing has done for LL, she’s always been a known thief among the Hollywood crowd but she still had work after each incident (lost count on those). Winona wasnt even doing the same things and yet it was like she completely disappeared for awhile.

      • jc126 says:

        I would guess that there were a number of people who weren’t big fans of WR by that point. It wasn’t just shoplifting, as I recall; she was also into prescription pills, so who knows what kind of PITA she was? (I’ve always thought WR was overrated as an actress, personally. She doesn’t have RDJ talent.)

    • Genevieve says:

      @ samira25…

      I really don’t think you can throw the “crazy eyes” slam at Winona, because she either took a bad photo or was genuinely terrified. And based on the kind of vicious and thoughtless questions posed to her by that RUDE-ASSED reporter at TIFF, who can blame her for being terrified?

      Compared to todays run of the mill, scandal worthy starlets, Winona is pretty tame. She seems to have been living a pretty grounded life for the past twenty years. Cut her a break!

      Love Winona, her talent AND her bravery. She looks as lovely at 40 as she did at the peak of her stardom. GET IT, Winona. :D

      • Kat says:

        Agree with Genevieve – she looks gorgeous. I’ve heard that she’s a shy person anyway, and she’s never seemed big on the red carpet game. I’ve always loved Winona Ryder and I missed her – I hope she finds some good roles that are worthy of her.

      • Camille (TheOriginal) says:

        @Genevieve: Another great comment from you today :) . I completely agree with you.

        It is lovely to have Winona back on the scene. I think I might have to watch Heathers this weekend :) .

      • samira25 says:

        Genevieve, how in the world am I attacking Winona? She has been to a handful of premiers and events for the past couple of weeks and her eyes look the same in all of the photos. Not just one photo like you’re claiming. She’s also been to other events the last couple of years so her eyes do seem strange to me. I don’t know why you’re telling me to cut her a break when in my original post I said it was weird she was shunned when others had bigger problems but their career wasn’t affected. You really need to calm down.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      I think that some things that were not acceptable then – the pills for example – have become acceptable now.

      So many people have come out as bi-polar, chronically depressed or with anxiety panic disorder that it’s become OK to be less than perfect. Back then those pills she was caught with were just “drugs”. It would have never occurred to us that she actually needed some of them.

  4. Rose says:

    Because she’s in some of my favourite films I feel like she’s never really gone away for me…but she does seem like a different breed now, like Michelle Pfeiffer – they both look terrified on the red carpet.

  5. Jackie O says:

    i think she probably struggles with some mental health issues…

    pulling for her.

  6. Eleonor says:

    I’m happy she is managing to make a comeback, I’ve always thought she was paying too much for her mistakes.

  7. IzzyB says:

    I watched Beetlejuice again the other day. I hope she comes back doing awesome films like that again.

    And I hope she gets more comfortable on the red carpet. Poor thing looks overwhelmed.

  8. jess says:

    I’ve always loved winona and I’m so glad to see more of her!

  9. serena says:

    Yay! I’m really happy for her, she didn’t deserve so much shaming. She payed -unlike a lot of others- for her mistakes and now she’s fully back and good. Cheers.

  10. Dana M says:

    I enjoyed her movies in the 80s and 90s too.
    I wish her well!!!

  11. Tiffany27 says:

    Yikes rude reporter is rude. I’m pulling for Winona. I don’t know why, but I want good things for her.

  12. Aria says:

    Bitch is back!!!

    Or at least I truly hope so. Wouldn’t be nice if Winona steals now a role that Goop really wanted??

  13. Evadstructn says:

    Love the line from beetlejuice “my whole life is a darkroom. One. Big. Dark. Room”. HA! I wish Winona all the best, she’s so talented.

  14. Maria says:

    I didn’t think that was rude to ask about it. I think it was terrible how no one wanted to work with her anymore in Hollywood after that one shop lifting scandal. I mean when you compare Winona’s one single incident to Lindsay’s (I don’t even know how many…) and then think about how much more talent Winona has. It’s just so wrong how they treated her and I can’t blame people asking her how she feels about coming back to work with those same people after that kind of treatment.

  15. MarenGermany says:

    she is so beautiful and yet fragile.
    Wishing her the best.

  16. mia girl says:

    I actually think she looks prettier now. She is stunning in the picture were she is smiling.

    Winona has made so many great movies. She was the quintessential Jo in Little Women and her performance in The Age of Innocence, in my opinion, is underrated.

    But best of all is Heathers. I’ve seen that movie more times than I can count. She and Christian Slater were perfect. Not to mention that Ryder’s Veronica was my style inspiration back then.

  17. Gine says:

    You’re definitely right about the double standard–the shoplifting thing was obviously wrong (and weird) but think of all the ridiculous crap male celebrities have pulled and have it have no effect whatsoever on their careers (or even make them seem cooler to some people). She’s a good actress and I’m glad she’s back in the game.

  18. KellyinSeattle says:

    I love Winona. She’s never had any kids, has she? I’m rooting for her comeback, but maybe she doesn’t want to be super famous anymore and enjoys her freedom; she’s never been a famewhore, even when famous.
    Go Winona!

  19. Audrey says:

    I just want to know if she and Johnny Depp hung out while at the festival!

  20. Fudge you, I'm going to Guam! says:

    Isn’t she dating some guy who works for or owns SONY?

  21. QQ says:

    Im sorry but, ive gotta ask, irrespective of the fucking crazy eyes ( No Seriously is this surgery? Pills?! Wtf!) How long she’s been in the business? Why are we acting like a priviledge, probably rich woman that ACTS for a Living FFS is this damaged lil baby bird that must be shielded? What’s with the holding your breth deer in the headlights thing?

    I Mean… Tougher skin? Community theather work only? Retirement? I just don’t get it why there is this aura like she’s never been to a premiere or done interviews before, therefore she must be shielded babied and protected?

  22. Jen34 says:

    I wish her all the best. I never paid much attention to the scandals that hurt her career. I hope Winona has people who are very protective of her. She always seems so fragile.

  23. RN says:

    “Heathers” goes down as one of the all-time best movies of my lifetime. And we people over 40 generally are more interesting, as we have some life experience behind us. Too bad that wisdom is discounted in the US in favor of the flush of youth (which, of course, always fades).

  24. GoodCapon says:

    When did she become so thin??

    That first photo is slightly beautiful and sad at the same time.

  25. Tanya says:

    hate to be a wet blank, Winona, but 40 is easy…for most…wait until 45 and up hits. Hormones are such a joy! all of a sudden, whammo! she also is too thin..she’ll get old in the face unless she puts on about 10 lbs. As Sophia Loren said, after 40, one needs to add 10 lbs for the next decade if you want to keep a nice face. while that might not always be the healthies, thin actresses would most likely benefit from this in many ways.

  26. Violet says:

    Winona looks good! It’d be great to see her on the big screen more often.

  27. spinner says:

    I like Winona & it is good to see her back. She really did get a raw deal over the shoplifting incident. I bet there was a lot more to it than that though. Anyway…her eyes are too crazy. Looks like her surgeon got a bit overzealous on the eyelid lift & cut-away. She will now, look forever startled.

    • dauphine says:

      LOVE ‘noni. she’s been missed. as for the gwyneth thing, please. she’d already worked for weinsteins several times by then and was the ‘get’ for any film at that time. and if she isn’t friendly w/ex bff winona, i think it’s probably winona’s fault. drugs make people weird and mean. AND gwyneth was and remains pals w/matt damon, who broke up w/winona right before she had her public spiral. C’mon–quit trying to make it seem like famous women ALWAYS have to hate each other!

  28. Lindsey says:

    I have always, always, always been in love with Winona Ryder. I just can’t believe she’s 40. I only say that because… fk that shows my age.

  29. Hm says:

    She took on this fragile, ladylike look when she went to court and has held onto it ever since. Let it go, WR! Laugh it off, it’s so far off in the past

  30. apsutter says:

    I LOVE Winona!! She’s about 15 years older than I am so I totally grew up watching all her movies. I’m sick of the bullshit double standard for women in Hollywood as well. If this had happened to any man he would have been starring in a movie as soon as his community service was up. I’ve really really missed her and I hope she’s back to stay. She has always looked like a deer in headlights in pictures though.

  31. foozy says:

    i like her a lot and i hope she gets back to A list again

  32. shandy says:

    Why don’t you all just go to see her photos from The Iceman conference from TIFF when she wears a green dress with black blazer. OMG. she’s soooo lovely!

  33. Ari says:

    You know, it’s weird, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Winona and Chris Evans together. She might have just the right amount of crazy/sweet for him.

  34. starsh says:

    Winona Ryder has a history of mental health problems – that’s why the shoplifting incident happened in the first place (she was on medication at the time). That’s also why she has been away from Hollywood for some time: she IS fragile, which is why her co-stars are protective of her. It’s awful that people are making insensitive comments about her ‘crazy eyes’. The woman is doing her best to make a career for herself in a harsh industry! Have some sympathy. Mental illness is tough to beat.