Winona Ryder covers the December issue of V magazine to promote her role in Homefront, in which she plays a biker gang chick who sells meth and kidnaps children. Her lover in the movie is a very sleazy (moreso than usual) James Franco. V describes this role as Winona’s “very first action role,” so I guess that means Alien: Resurrection doesn’t count. Everyone would rather forget that sequel, so I get it.
Winona was photographed for V by Mario Testino, and I think this shoot is pretty overdone. Too much harsh light, and the black pleather motif is so tired. If they were going for goth appeal, Interview magazine did it way better with Winona last year. The interview is interesting though:
She’s tired of hearing “comeback”: “It’s no fault of the press, they only have a few minutes with each person. In one way, it’s not offensive at all. But it’s like, the word ‘comeback’ makes you feel like you’re standing in line for another chance, like in Oliver when he steps up and says ‘Please sir, can I have some more?’ ‘MORE?!'”
She was mistaken for a boy in middle school: “The lore! That did happen. I was obsessed with Bugsy Malone and had cut my hair short. I remember the halls were empty and these kids started shouting ‘f—-t,’ and I didn’t think they were talking to me. Walking home after leaving the nurse’s office–and I’ve never talked about this–I remember pressing on the bandage because I wanted it to look more dramatic. I had this inner monologue going of Humphrey Bogart, like, ‘being roughed up!’ I was pretending I was in some gangster movie. It was oddly my way of dealing with it, because if I didn’t, I probably would have been really scared.”
That incident led to her Lucas audition: “Had I not been homeschooled I would not have been able to go. It’s almost weird fate that it happened that way.”
On Hollywood magic: “I love movies. What I love about Martin Scorsese is that he finds something good about everything–he never has anything bad to say. He finds the one good thing in movies that are kind of unbearable. So, I’ll find the moment and I’ll sit through something, even when it’s on TV. It’s why we keep going back–we’re waiting to relive that moment, and it’s wonderful! I’ve worked with actors who make a big point of telling you that they don’t go to the movies. And you’re like…then why are you doing this? And how can you be so good? I always wonder if it’s true or not.”
On defying ageism: “If you look at Bette Davis, she did all these incredible movies and then she didn’t work for a little while, and then she did All About Eve. I always wondered if she was jumping the gun with age, which she also did in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? But in my eyes she was still so beautiful and unique. There’s no one like her.”
On staying relevant: “It used to be that you commit to something and then basically you spend your year doing that. Now there’s a constant conversation of how you have to keep working in order to remind people that you’re around. You have to work to be relevant. If you don’t then people will forget and the studios won’t want you because they won’t remember the last thing you did that made money. It’s all about knowing when to listen to that conversation and–without sounding really hokey–when to tune it out and follow your heart. I was fired from a movie because I did Heathers! I was cast in a movie and the director saw an advance screening and was offended by it and fired me. It wasn’t until years later that it became more appreciated.”
On her younger peers: “I was recently asked about Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence. In answering I was very genuine, and I did say I thought they were both incredibly talented. But I mentioned something about their privacy and how my heart goes out to them, and the feedback I got was like, ‘How dare she!’ It’s just another example of something being taken out of context, the interpretation was that I pitied them or something. I guess people decide to take things a certain way for headlines or Internet hits. But these are great actresses! I don’t know what they think of me. I would never give advice because I would feel very presumptuous. Their success is very different than mine was, and it’s a different time.”
[From V Magazine]
I honestly can’t blame Winona for being tired of the “comeback” question. She was already tired of it last year when Chris Evans came to her rescue, and she’s probably heard it hundreds of times since then. The weird thing is that Winona was ostracized from Hollywood for a fairly brief period of bad behavior. She was addicted to painkillers and got caught shoplifting once. In comparison to Lindsay Lohan’s enduring status as a trainwreck, Winona was an angel.
Yet it’s only in the past few years that producers have welcomed Winona back. She earned great reviews for her haunting turns in Black Swan (she stole that movie) and The Iceman. She and Tim Burton were cute again together with Frankenweenie. Winona is back. Don’t call it a comeback. She’s been here for years (credit to LL Cool J).
Oh … and Winona truly thinks Kristen Stewart is a “great actress.” I’ll just leave that right there.
Photos courtesy of V magazine