Winona Ryder is really tired of hearing the word ‘comeback’: fair enough?

Winona Ryder

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.

Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder

Photos courtesy of V magazine

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49 Responses to “Winona Ryder is really tired of hearing the word ‘comeback’: fair enough?”

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  1. LadyMTL says:

    Ahhh Winona…I love this woman, even though she seems to have messed with her face a bit (around the eyes, methinks). She really was phenomenally creepy in Black Swan.

    I totally understand her being sick of the word “comeback”, it does seem a bit insulting. That said, it was a different world back then, her whole shoplifting scandal was so shocking. These days most of us would probably just shrug, unless she burned down the store after she shoplifted.

  2. whipmyhair says:

    I’m a bit late to the party; but Wino forever!

  3. mk says:

    These pictures are unexpected, so I like them. She also gives an interesting interview. I was a weird kid with inner monologues all the time too! Wino forever <3

  4. poppy says:

    it is very nice when someone that over-saturates the media goes away for a while -they can become interesting again.

    but yeah, she hit a personal low and has made a comeback since then. maybe it is too early in the morning but i can’t think of another way to call it. turn-around is awkward.

  5. KC says:

    I just cant warm up to Winona tbh. But then its hard for me to distill her drama to just a shop lifting incident having been a card carrying gossip at the time. Wino lived in the tabloids for years before that went down. She was the KStew of the time in that sense. And I think most of us suspected that she was a self-entitled druggie but the lying after being busted red handed just pushed me over the edge.

    • Lucinda says:

      I think she is very intelligent and she was intensely famous for her time. I can see that fame making her a bit crazy. Being aloof or snobby could certainly be a result of being overwhelmed. The drugs too really. We are the same age and I remember just being so in awe of her beauty and talent and having these famous, handsome actors dating her. So I will always love her.

  6. blue marie says:

    I love Winona but every time I read an article or post about her the lyric “I’ve been caught stealing once when I was 5..” pops in my head. That has been her theme song for me for years.

    Anyway Winona’s beautiful but I’m not a fan of these photos, however I do like those boots.

  7. neelyo says:

    She was pretty but I never thought she was that talented and her voice drove me nuts, especially in period pieces. I think of Kiera Knightley as Winona with an accent.

    • Anthea says:

      haha, I’m British so I think of Keira Knightley as Winona without an accent 😉

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      I do like her–loved her in Little Women, but I DIE (and not in a good way) when I see her in Dracula. God I hated her voice in that movie….so whiny. But I might not’ve noticed if they hadn’t put her up against GARY OLDMAN. He was just so amazing…sigh.

  8. bns says:

    Yay! I love it when she pops up out of nowhere with a photo shoot.

  9. MrsBPitt says:

    Winona is so pretty, but I don’t like these photos…too harsh!

  10. marina says:

    What else would you call it? Maybe she doesn’t want to admit she was a pariah in Hollywood for a long time like she didn’t want to admit she shoplifted from Saks, but everyone knows the truth. She’s still in denial. I don’t get her.

  11. mom2two says:

    Winona was in some of my favorite movies as a kid: Beetlejuice and Heathers. I just don’t understand how she was ostracized from Hollywood for what she did, while everyone and their grandmother is tripping over themselves to give Lindsay Lohan her millionth chance.
    I can understand why she is tired of being asked about a “comeback”. Her career might not be as a high profile as it used to be, but it’s not like she has not been working.

    • Thiajoka says:

      Indeed. And how many times has it been quoted that Lindsay is “a great actress, just look at her body of work prior to her trouble!” Hunh? Compared to Winona, there ISN’T a body of work for LiLo.

  12. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I don’t blame her at all for being tired of hearing “comeback” and the way she explained it was perfect. The thing is, people of my generation generally adore Winona. She was always my favorite actress growing up and she had a unique acting style where she could seamlessly jump from wry goth girl to wide-eyed innocent in a very natural, unaffected way.
    We just love her so when we say “comeback” we say it with hopefulness and affection.

    Anyway, I loved this interview and I miss seeing her in movies.

    • Kiddo says:

      I think the word “Comeback” adds hype. It has more flair than saying, “Actress has been plodding along slowly over the years”. In a way, it draws more attention to her which is positive, but I guess it also adds pressure to do a box office TKO.

    • Wrachul says:

      “We just love her so when we say “comeback” we say it with hopefulness and affection.”

      THIS. I will always adore her and wish the best for her.

    • Myrto says:

      Absolutely. Comeback isn’t a bad word. Like you pointed out, it’s said with affection.
      Winona will always be Jo March for me (in Little Women), I know she’s famous for a lot of other roles but this one made the biggest impression on me when I was 8.
      I will always love her.

      • Apsutter says:

        Yes!! Jo march FTW!

      • Nina W says:

        I hope you both read the book which is better than any of the movies ever made about it.

      • kimmmy says:

        Every year during Christmas-time, I HAVE to watch Little Women with my mom. I adored that movie when I was little. Wino will always hold a special place in my heart because of that movie. Wino forever!

  13. GeeMoney says:

    “Don’t call it a comeback… I’ve been here for years.” -LL Cool J

    How can you call it a comeback if someone never left their profession? She didn’t just up and stop acting to try something else. She’s been acting since her trial back in 2001. The idiocy of the media really gets me sometimes.

    Oh, and on aging… she looks 40 something. She has a lot of lines in her face.

  14. chloe says:

    I love Winona, I’m hoping she has a very successful “resurgence” of a career. As for her past I still remember her and Johnny being the “it” couple, man those were the times.

  15. ZAK says:

    Ryder is a beautiful woman but she proved a long time ago that she was more suited to playing teens and very young women than adults. She’s good in a particular kind of role but that’s it. I don’t think a true comeback will happen because she isn’t that good an actress.

    • Lucinda says:

      I used to think that until I saw her in Black Swan. She played the aging diva very well. I was blown away.

  16. bettyrose says:

    Dark haired, curvy, & awesome. .. Wino for Wonder Woman!!

  17. Suzie says:

    I loved her in Alien, and she still is so beautiful. I hope she will get some good roles.

  18. aemish says:


    • Shannon1972 says:

      Lol….that’s brilliant! A VF cover story would just drive former BFF gwynneth right over the edge!! Oh, the stories she could tell… ;D

    • Thiajoka says:

      Ha! Oh, and host their Oscar party this year, too!

  19. Miffy says:

    Not to stir or anything but was she taking a dig at Depp? ‘I’ve worked with actors who claim they’ve never seen their movies.’
    As a former JD fan girl, that was always a claim that he was very proud of, that he’s never seen one of his own films.

    I’m in a stirring kinda mood today.

  20. Dommy Dearest says:

    I loved Girl;Interrupted

  21. GIRLFACE says:

    I was also blown away by her in Black Swan too! I love Winona. Hate the styling of that shoot. And I think “comeback” is a word it’s fair for her to have an aversion too… a lot of people have nostalgia for the movies she did. I mean I see teenagers wearing Edward Scissorhands shirts and Beetlejuice costumes today, 20 years later. I hope she gets the interesting roles she deserves and has always been true to.

  22. Apsutter says:

    I love this woman so damn much. And in honor of her I will watch “Little Women” this weekend and cry my eyes out

  23. caitrin says:

    I don’t care about her very much, but she was essentially banished from Hollywood for a while after the shoplifting incident, so in a way, she IS (or would like to be) having a sort of comeback. (I guess? Doesn’t really feel like she’s “back” yet in any significant way.) I strongly disagree, though, that she “stole” the movie Black Swan–her role was tiny, and her acting unbelievably melodramatic and over-the-top. I have never thought she was a particularly good actress either; she hit her peak when she was a teenager, imo.

  24. Sarah says:

    On the cover photo she looks like a youn Barabara Streisand

  25. allons-y alonso says:

    I’m only here for the ‘All About Eve’ mention – that is my most favourite film EVER!!!!!!

  26. Granger says:

    I’ve never thought Winona was a great actress — EXCEPT in “Age of Innocence,” the Scorcese film that nobody liked. She was perfection in that movie. It combined her natural deer-caught-in-the-headlights schtick with a vindictiveness that bubbled just under the surface of her seemingly perfectly innocent facade. That movie still makes me cry.

    I’m still not sure what I think of the return of Winona, though. All I can say is, she needs to stop with the perpetually surprised and overwhelmed look. It just doesn’t look right on a 42-year-old woman.

  27. Ally8 says:

    She really is a classic Hollywood actress, in that she is always uniquely herself yet believable in almost every role.

    Self-possessed, yet not self-conscious onscreen.

  28. lovelylaura says:

    A comeback is better than a has-been any day. She should try for a TV role – women with more “seasoning” fare much better there these days.

  29. Bella Bella says:

    Wino Forever!

  30. Bobnoxious says:

    She’s still hot, just been shagged out by everyone who’s anyone in H’wood.

  31. nicegirl says:

    OMG Bedhead, LL’s lyrics were my thoughts, exactly!

    And, of course, WINONAFOREVER