Winona Ryder on her shoplifting arrest: ‘It wasn’t like the crime of the century!’


Winona Ryder is back on top these days because she’s got a good part in a Netflix series called Stranger Things. Suddenly, everybody is talking about Stranger Things. It’s the new water-cooler series. It’s set in the 1980s, it has major sci-fi/horror/fantasy elements, and people are obsessed. I still haven’t watched it (but I will, eventually). Anyway, Winona has a feature in the latest issue of Porter Magazine where she discusses crying on camera (she won’t use any actor tricks), her break from Hollywood, and her infamous 2001 shoplifting case. Some highlights:

She didn’t use any tricks to cry on ‘Stranger Things’: “I spent two months basically crying every day, I was delirious! Because I’ve never been able to do that menthol thing, you know? I actually have to really cry.”

A Keanu Reeves story: “I was talking to Keanu [Reeves], who I’ve known since I was 15, and we both felt so old-school: ‘Um, sorry, I need a second!’ Haha! Things move so fast now.”

Taking a break from acting: “You can’t do something for that long and hate it. People associated me with the 1990s and I wasn’t that anymore. And they didn’t really buy me as my age. It’s that line in First Wives Club – ‘There are three ages for women: babe, district attorney and Driving Miss Daisy’ I just never got to play that district attorney.”

Shoplifting in 2001: “Psychologically, I must have been at a place where I just wanted to stop. I won’t get into what happened, but it wasn’t what people think. And it wasn’t like the crime of the century! But it allowed me time that I really needed, where I went back to San Francisco and got back into things that… I just had other interests, frankly.”

She doesn’t want to direct or produce: “I can only see my own character’s point of view! I’m just not a business person, you know? I wish I was in a way. But acting still excites me. I don’t sleep the day before a new job. I’m sure it’s psychosomatic but still.”

Whether there will be a Beetlejuice sequel: “Well, I don’t know [if there will be a second Beetlejuice]. Movies are all big franchise superhero things, and I’m 44 – I don’t think anyone wants to put a cape on me and chuck me out the window! I don’t know how good my bone density is.”

[From Porter via The Daily Mail]

Not to nitpick, but Winona was a producer at one time. She had a lot of power back in the ‘90s, and she used that power to shepherd the film adaptation of Girl, Interrupted into being. Winona executive produced that… and it became Angelina Jolie’s launching pad, and Jolie won the Oscar for it. Winona hasn’t produced since then.

As for the rest of it… I agree that her shoplifting case wasn’t the crime of the century, but I also don’t believe this: “I won’t get into what happened, but it wasn’t what people think.” Er, it was pretty obvious that she was self-sabotaging after more than a decade spent as Hollywood’s It Girl, knocking herself off the pedestal. And I liked her quip about bone density and not wanting to wear a cape.


Photos courtesy of Porter.

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87 Responses to “Winona Ryder on her shoplifting arrest: ‘It wasn’t like the crime of the century!’”

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  1. Marie says:

    I love her quip too. Good to know that she has a lovely sense of humor, she just seems too serious to me too often. And I really must watch Stranger Things too. Vulture, EW, Buzzfeed have been flooding my FB timelines with articles that make me so curious to watch it.

    • booklion says:

      Stranger Things is INCREDIBLE. The kids in the show are by far the best child actors i have ever seen and they are so entertaining that you watch the show just for them. I highly recommend it – I have already watched the series twice. Winona is also great in it. I never really cared for her much as an actress but her performance in the show is fantastic.

      • doofus says:

        Everything you said. it’s great, it’s creepy, it’s nostalgic without being sappy, it’s got tons of 80s references…LOVE IT. and YES, those kid are amazing actors. ESPECIALLY the little girl!

      • Nancy says:

        doofus: She definitely is a child of the 80’s. (I haven’t seen the show). I remember those thefts. It was very much in the media headlines. Mark Geragos (sp) represented her. Had it happened now, she would have been trending on twitter forever. Like I said in the last thread about her, she will always be Veronica the accidental murderer to me!! Spaghetti with extra oregano. Plus her and Johnny Depp….Wino forever! I like her! She’s a natural blonde….yet she looks so pretty with dark hair.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I’m on episode 7 right now!!!
        I LOVE this show. It is more sci-fi than I usually go for, but it is just so entertaining. The kids are amazing actors. I love them all, so much. 11 is just a brilliant actress.

      • doofus says:

        Nancy, Heathers is one of my faves, for sure.

        “I just killed my best friend!”

        “And your worst enemy.”

        “Same difference!”

      • Abbess Tansy says:

        My favorite line from Heathers:
        “My teenage angst has a body count of 5”

      • bbb1975 says:

        I love Stranger things! I can’t wait for the new season!!!

      • Samab says:

        Stranger things is DOPE and the soundtrack too.I was intrigued wheen i First heard about it and i litterally loved the whole thing,like i watched it in less than a week.

      • Trillion says:

        I loved Stranger Things but pretty much hated her performance. It’s weird that mentions crying in the interview because I don’t think I ever saw her cry tears during the series. She looked like she was trying really hard to do acting. She was especially unbelievable in her “normal mom” scenes with Will. She seemed more like an aunt with no experience with children. So insincere and stiff. I saw no chemistry between her and Will at all. The kids were pretty good, except the one who plays Lukas. But then again, his character was horribly written. The story was good enough to overcome all that though, IMO. Looking forward to season two.

  2. pikawho? says:

    I have heard that the shoplifting thing was seized on by certain people in the industry who thought she was demanding too much money and didn’t like her on set behavior. (Remember, women are always divas. Men are “assertive”.)

    I loved her in Stranger Things and I hope it becomes part of a bigger comeback.

    • Jwoolman says:

      She went into that store carrying tools to detach security tags and hide the stolen items. She didn’t just impulsively pocket a lipstick. She was an experienced thief. Typically shoplifters steal many times before they are caught.

      I wonder if she has ever dealt with the issues that drove her to such thefts. She never seems to mention that. We are apparently supposed to think it was all a misunderstanding or a one- time event. She got a long timeout because nobody would hire her, not because she consciously and deliberately decided she needed a break. I wonder if, like Lindsay Lohan , she also was stealing items on set or from individuals and people who worked with her knew it so they didn’t buy the misunderstanding theory. If she hasn’t resolved her internal problems, she is at risk for repeating it all again, one way or another.

      • perplexed says:

        Her PR was also handled badly at the time too, I think. She seemed a little flippant about what she did, and not particularly remorseful for the amount that she stole. Her appearance in a magazine where she wore the “Free Winona” t-shirt was criticized. She stole at least $5000 worth of merchandise, which is not like stealing chewing gum. Something was wrong with her though maybe it would hurt her more to admit she had some kind of mental problem related to kleptomania rather than depression.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        I agree with you Perplexed. I think she had a problem or it wouldn’t have happened at the level it did happen. I don’t buy she had other interests. It’s very possible she was simply self-destructing subconsciously to get out of the industry or “take a break” but that’s not the same as having a burning desire to pursue a hobby or an interest. She still seems flippant about it to me. I’m glad she’s back. I missed her and I think she a very talented lady. The industry needs her. But she still glosses over the whole thing like it was no big deal and she got the shaft from society undeserved. She probably should just refuse to talk it about it at this point. I would if I were her.

      • Petee says:

        She was having some drug issues too.They found a lot of painkillers and needles in her bag.Everyone seems to forget that.It would have a lot to do with her behavior and she also was hanging around Courtney Love a lot.Should I say more?

      • Bridget says:

        She had a lot of issues related to that arrest, but is she also required to disclose all of them publicly? How much detail are we, the public, entitled to?

  3. Megan says:

    Glad she’s back. Loved Stranger Things, it was every 80’s horror and kids buddy movie rolled into one.

    • Aussie girl says:

      You described it perfectly.

    • ohdear says:

      I read that Wil Weaton suggested it was this generations Stand By Me. I haven’t watched it.

      For any of you anti-Trump people, his Twitter feed is a fun journey (@Wilw) – he’s intelligent, straight forward, funny and connected.

  4. Squirrelgirl says:

    Oh I love her so…. I have never heard of Stranger Things but I’m up for trying it!

  5. annaloo. says:

    She is fab. I’m so glad that she’s back!

  6. Diana B says:

    Stranger things was terrific and she was good in it, though that show is all about the awsome kids. Can’t wait for season 2.

    • Kitten says:

      But WAS she good in it, though?

      I don’t know…I love Winona and I LOVED Stranger Things, but I was unsure about whether her acting was really……well, good, TBH.

      Her style in ST felt weirdly-dated and overly-dramatic and the inflection in her voice, the bug-eyed expressions and weird hand gestures and the way she delivered certain lines were really distracting to me..

      I don’t know if it’s because I’ve gotten so used to the more subtle style of acting that we see in HBO shows (and HBO-quality shows on other networks) but something about her in that role felt “off” to me. It also occurred to me that they might have been encouraging her to use a more dated style of acting to fit with the 80s throwback Goonies-style of the show.

      Am I the only one that feels like this? I do love me some Winona and I’m thrilled to see her working again but IDK…I’m just wondering if maybe I remembered her as being a better actress than she actually is.

      • Steph says:

        The show is a tribute to the 80s movies, so I think youre right

      • ds says:

        I’m in minority but I thought Stranger things was just OK. Can’t give them more; just too Scooby Doo for me and don’t think I’ll be tuning in for season II. It would have been much cooler if they did mini series, one season. It’s gonna go True Blood from here. Though kids were all absolutely fantastic. Winona has her own acting style. She’s to me like a female version of Keanu Reeves. I like her a lot, and love watching her, but never got a fantastic acting vibe from her.

      • Esmom says:

        I haven’t seen the show yet, waiting for my busy teen to pencil me in, but I hear what you’re saying because I noticed it in the trailers I’ve watched. I was thinking she was rusty and hadn’t really gotten back into her comfort zone as an actor. It’s what makes Matthew Rhys so unwatchable for me in The Americans, which I want to love. I have had the same issue with some of Brad Pitt’s performances, where I’m so conscious that he’s acting and that he’s less subtle than his co-stars.

        Side note, she’s really lovely. I love her in the copper metallic dress.

      • Little Darling says:

        You are not alone. I love and support Winona4Ever, but I was feeling like she was kind of miscast in this. I had a hard time deciphering if she was doing things because it seems like something the character would do, but I can’t tell if it’s the character was really weird or her acting was just subpar.

      • Becki says:

        My husband hated her acting in the show. Everything else was phenomenal though!!

      • Nameless says:

        She reminded me of my mom, who has a mental illness. She’s emphatic, prone to hysterical outbursts, and pushy. I thought that’s what Winona was going for as a mom missing a kid that’s talking to her through light bulbs — someone on shaky ground completely mentally strained.

        I liked her performance and think she did a good job. I love the HBO stuff too but sometimes I find it contrived (True Detective, I’m looking at you).

      • Kitten says:

        Thanks for weighing in, guys.
        I’m glad to see it wasn’t just me.

        @Nameless-Yeah I get what you’re saying and during a few moments, I thought she played the hysterical mom perfectly, but I feel like she should have tempered it a bit–maybe dialed back the crazy-hysteria and showed some vulnerability and sadness. Overall, it was just too extra for me…but meh, I’m not an actor, so what do I know really?

        Sorry to hear about your mom’s struggles BTW.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree, Nameless. They also made references to her being known for being kind of “kooky”, even before the situation with her son. I think her character was unhinged, and I didn’t think it was over the top. But that is just my taste.

        She does have a kind of affected way of speaking, though. I used to mimic her lines from Reality Bites, because it is just such odd notes that she hits. That is still there, but now I find it endearing…because it is honest. That is her vocal pattern. Kind of valley-ish.

      • tealily says:

        I agree, she was a bit over the top, but I didn’t mind! I found her performance enjoyable.

      • Samtha says:

        I couldn’t disagree more (in a friendly way!). I thought her performance was phenomenal–she was a woman already brittle and barely hanging on before her son went missing, and she perfectly captured that feeling of being on the edge, and then pushed over and scrambling for a handhold, any handhold at all.

        A lot of things that her character went through and did would have been ridiculous in the hands of another actress. There aren’t many people who could make talking to a ball of Christmas lights so affecting, but she did. Even my husband got teary-eyed at the scene where she has the white lights!

      • Kitten says:

        @Tiffany-I was thinking that as well: maybe I just forgot about the strange tonal quality to her voice. I admit to being really happy to hear it again because as I said I love her. Also, fair point about the kookiness.

        @Samtha-You make a good point about her being a mess before her son went missing. Regardless of our differing opinions, I think we can all agree that Ryder has a really unique acting style and one that I think most of us appreciate.

        There were SO many great scenes in Stranger Things..sigh. The Duffer bros did such a great job striking that delicate balance of scary and melancholy, heart-warming and heart-breaking. I texted my big bro after I was done watching it (he was the one who clued me in) and told him that I was experiencing a “palpable sense of loss” now that I’m done with the first season lol. Dramatic but true 😉

      • angie_o717 says:

        Agree w Kitten 100%. Winona was meh. Her acting seemed over the top, dated, squirrely. She reminded me of her performance in Bram Stoker’s Dracula – breathy, confused. But I will always love her.

      • Trillion says:

        ITA Kitten. When you see the acting effort, it’s no good. And as I mentioned in a post above, her “normal everyday mom” scenes with Will were so stilted and awkward. Like an unenthusiastic babysitter pretending to like kids.
        Story was great though and I’m on board for season two for sure.

    • Diana B says:

      She was great at the emotional outbursts I liked the way she did that. I guess the crying scenes felt a little off…? like it lacked sadness or something? I don’t know. But that is a minor complaint from me in a show I loved otherwise.

      • Kitten says:

        Oh ITA. She definitely didn’t ruin the show for me or anything. Hell, just her mere presence was a welcome addition in terms of the nostalgia factor.

  7. Cee says:

    I really can’t understand how that shoplifting incident destroyed her career when others are accused and charged of worse things and just carry on with their shiny careers.

    • OrigialTessa says:

      Because she let it. She was obviously wanting out, and wanting to get away… She says as much. If she really wanted to recover, a good publicist and lawyer would have made it right for her somehow. Obviously there were some real issues, and instead of just completely covering them up, she dealt with them away from Hollywood.

      • Cee says:

        I understand that, and I’m glad she went away and worked on whatever was going on, but every publication keeps bringing that incident back every. single. time.

        I’m just glad she’s back. Hopefully Stranger Things will translate to more work.

    • lizzie says:

      right? mickey rourke shot his girlfriend at close range, nearly killed himself with drugs and alcohol, had his face beaten in and poorly reconstructed and STILL got a big hollywood comeback with hundreds of praise articles and a Best Actor nomination – which he lost to SEAN PENN – who is a convicted criminal, drug and woman abuser. meanwhile we’re still talking about winona ryder stealing a scarf from barneys?

      • perplexed says:

        I think she would have faded even without the shoplifting incident.

        She was/is beautiful, but not extremely talented. People were starting to clue into the latter. The shoplifting incident seems to have made people remember her as a better actress than she actually was.

      • Cee says:

        Compared to them, what she did is so small! (obviously I don’t condone stealing!).
        Is there any other woman who got to keep her career? Oh, to be a man…

      • Jwoolman says:

        She stole several thousand dollars worth of merchandise from Saks. And that was just the time she was caught. Typically shoplifters steal dozens of times before they are first arrested and they don’t start at that level but work their way up to it. She was caught on surveillance tape cutting off the security tags. She had prepared ways to hide the items. Really, she didn’t just impulsively steal a scarf because she was overworked.

        She was delusional to go to trial. Should have just pled guilty, fulfilled her probation, and gotten intensive therapy. Maybe therapy was ordered by the court, it often is in such cases.

    • Fanny says:

      It wasn’t just the shoplifting incident. Her career had been in a major decline for years before the shoplifting. She also had a hard-core prescription drug addiction going on and there were rumors of her being difficult AF.

      Then she made the decision to drag out the shoplifting thing by going to trial, which made her look foolish and entitled because she was obviously guilty. And she never really fessed up and explained why she did it, so it all just kind of looked bad. It was kind of a perfect storm.

      I’m just surprised her comeback took this long. I thought after Black Swan people were happy to have her back.

      • perplexed says:

        “Then she made the decision to drag out the shoplifting thing by going to trial, which made her look foolish and entitled because she was obviously guilty”

        Wasn’t there actual video of her doing the stealing? Maybe it’s up somewhere on Youtube.

      • Cee says:

        Thanks for the context. I was pretty young back then and read no digital publications.
        But I love her as an actress and really want to see her make a real comeback.

  8. Craig says:

    That was the year Letterman hosted the Oscars and had what I still think is the best Winona shoplifting joke:

    “Winona Ryder went home with three Oscars tonight–and she wasn’t even nominated for anything.”

    That said will always love her for “Heathers”

  9. molee says:

    She seems to be in a better place nowadays – good for her. Sometimes it takes something big to knock a person off a wrong path.

  10. Brandy says:

    If you haven’t watched it, prepare to be completely sucked in and binge for 8 hours (only 8 episodes). I am 46, so it was like magic to me and to everyone that is my age or a little younger and has seen it. We are all agog with the authenticity of the 80s sets, hair, costumes, and culture – sure don’t miss a single cell phone and love seeing the kids playing outside all day long. It’s a wonderful mix of “The Goonies,” “Stand by Me,” a little bit of “ET” and “Close Encounters” – and TONS of references to other movies (you have to have eagle eyes, which is hard, because you get so engrossed in the characters and plot). It is a huge opportunity for us to see more of Winona, who showed up in “Black Swan” and chewed the hell out of that small role. She’s perfect in this – and so believable. It’s a great series. Definitely catch it.

    • zinjojo says:

      I can’t wait. It’s in my queue, and this is my weekend.

    • Kitten says:

      I’ll say it again: it’s the ONLY show I’ve ever binge-watched. And I’ve seen some FANTASTIC shows over the past decade, but I’m usually really good at “saving” them and not falling victim to the time-suck that occurs when you binge on TV.

      It’s def. a must-see for any child of the eighties. That being said, as much as the show is an incredibly nostalgic trip to an era that is very special to me (land-lines! Atari! Leggo my Eggos! Synthesizers!) do you REALLY want to go back to a time when smart phones didn’t exist?

      Because I sure as hell don’t.

    • Cee says:

      I’m waiting for the next long weekend to do so! I barely have any free time to watch TV and this makes me so sad.

  11. Samtha says:

    Now I really want to hang out with her and Keanu.

    • Belle says:

      Those two are vampires, they do not age.. She’s looks really nice here.

      • my3cents says:

        She’s so gorgeous. As in unphotoshoped, makeup free beautiful. She looks like she hasn’t aged a day.
        Love her and the 80s and 90s.
        She is such a nostalgic trip in time for me.

        I think she’s actually smart to have disappeared for a while. People miss her and her fans didn’t get a chance to grow tried of her, as sometimes happens.

  12. silken_floss says:

    She looks fantastic!

  13. stinky says:

    geez she’s hardly some old crone…. .. . (?)
    and its really not necessary to act like one (whether you are or not)
    shes talking like she’s taking herself out of the game.
    again – NOT NECESSARY.
    she has a serious fan-base.
    she’s eternally gorgeous.

  14. boredblond says:

    She gave up stealing because she found other interests? Oh, brother…

  15. Steph says:

    So happy Winona finally had her comeback with this series. I was a fan of.her since i was little. She wasn’t the stereotypical leading actress.

  16. mkyarwood says:

    She looks surprised, and threatened to be wearing that dress. I LOVE HER in Stranger Things. She’s not helping her ‘image’ to be flippant about her arrest, and I’d rather she talked about what extreme anxiety can make people do, but she’s right. There are far worse, far more horrendous crimes that go unpunished or are put out of public view. Dylann Roof still hasn’t gone to trial, for example.

  17. perplexed says:

    She’s not really good at playing a fully grown adult. I always felt that hurt her more than the shoplifting. I think she was fading even before the shoplifting event — listen to her voice (it’s not a good acting voice for an adult).

    She is extremely beautiful but we’re no longer in the silent film era.

  18. ellie says:

    I was just 8 went the shop-lifting incident happened so I had to google it and I don’t know why…I didn’t think it was a big deal. I mean, she probably had a mental breakdown just like Britney shaving her head but it happens to people under extreme pressure and stress. I just find it super weird that women’s lives and careers are destroyed because of small incidents like these where as pedophiles like Woody Allen walk free. I am glad she is back. I’ll probably check Stranger Things out.

    • Josefina says:

      I agree. Shoplifting is on a whole ‘nother realm from beating your wife, raping and even killing. Men have been forgiven all of those.

      • perplexed says:

        The problem in Winona’s case I think is that she got convicted. With someone like Sean Penn, I instinctively know he’s a bad person, but there’s no conviction on his record to cite that he did the things that he’s rumoured to have done. Even in that recent lawsuit where he sued the guy for claiming he beat up Madonna (or something to that effect), he managed to escape any proof coming forward even though my instincts tell me he’s a terrible human being. Sean Penn has been able to rely on saying everything is a rumour and that we can’t prove that he did what everyone is saying he did. I’m using Sean Penn as an example because he’s an actor; there are directors who have gotten away with a lot of bad things, but I’m not sure if being behind the camera as opposed to being in front of it helps them out to some degree.

  19. Lucy says:

    I still think that she got way more punishment than she deserved. I don’t have Netflix, but I’m so happy her show is doing so well!!

    • Eleonor says:

      I agree.

    • Jwoolman says:

      They didn’t toss her in prison for years. So how was it awful punishment?

      I think I would feel shafted if someone broke into my house and stole several thousand dollars worth of stuff from me (for example, my computer equipment that I need to make a living) and was treated so lightly especially if they were so much in denial about it being a “big deal” as Winona still seems to be. I would worry about the person continuing to steal because the consequences were relatively light. Also remember that she was caught once but certainly stole many times, as is typical for shoplifters. She knew exactly how to do it and that generally suggests experience.

      Ask your local merchants how they feel about shoplifters and how such thefts affect the way they have to do business including prices on goods and the need for constant surveillance and suspicion. The prices you pay even in the local grocery store are significantly higher because they need to cover such losses. I’ve run into places online where people brag about their shoplifting skill and give tips to others. It’s a sport to them but a serious problem for the stores. If I owned or managed a store, I also would feel it was a morale problem for me and my staff. It does not feel good to be the target of thieves.

      It isn’t fair to compare this with other alleged crimes by others that have never been tested in a court of law. In many cases, the assumptions made here on this site simply are not absolutely verified and there are actually valid reasons to doubt the accusations because of serious problems with the accusers and lack of evidence. We just don’t know for sure if the individuals “did it” or not, even if we don’t like them for various reasons. But in Winona’s case, we know that she very deliberately, with preparation beforehand, committed grand theft. We also know from the nature of the crime that she virtually certainly was not a one-time thief. We also know she doesn’t think it was any big deal, then or now. If she was not a famous actress that many people liked, the reaction to her criminal activity and attitude would be very different.

  20. Kate says:

    I think time away has been good to her. I always loved her as a teenager. I wanted to BE her so much so that I think it frightened my parents.

    She’s definitely got a sense of humor and it’s awesome.

  21. Itsme says:

    I will always love her simply because she’s an icon of my youth.

    • my3cents says:

      This. She transports me back to my teens. Sort of like when you meet and old crush. Love her!

  22. jinglebellsmell says:

    Wino Forever

  23. Fanny says:

    It was said at the time that Winona had been shoplifting from all of the major upscale department stores in LA for a long time before she was arrested. They were all looking the other way because she’s a celebrity, but Saks just got sick of it.

    In Winona’s probation report it talked about her and a famous female musician (who was not named but was obviously Courtney Love) getting prescription narcotics from a crooked doctor and stealing clothes from fashion shows. It said Winona had gotten painkillers from 20 different doctors over 6 years using fake names. EW article with details here:

    Winona can play it off as no big deal now, but she was obviously very troubled at the time. People are always outraged when a celebrity OD’s “How come nobody did anything!” but somebody did do something in Winona’s case and she’s still sort of acting like they were victimizing her.

    • Liz says:

      Yes, they found eight drugs on her, including liquid Demerol, liquid Valium, morphine , etc. These are hardcore drugs. I think she took time off to address her addiction. This goes beyond being “troubled.”

  24. Margo says:

    I think Ryder was deeply troubled at the time of the shoplifting incident (and those issues went back years, to the fiasco with The Godfather Part 3), but the way she was vilified in the press and the repercussions on her career speak volumes about double standards when it comes to gender.

    • Fanny says:

      I agree to a certain extent. There have also been rumors over the years about her being a nasty, nasty person IRL – like not just a diva, but a truly vicious person who abuses assistants and that sort of thing. It’s a bit hard to reconcile because she comes across as very nice, but there really have been a lot of rumors over the years.

      So if people stopped wanting to work with her because she’s so unpleasant, and at the same time the world figured out that her acting really wasn’t that great, and she got tremendously bad publicity from shoplifting, and she was a drug addict…she didn’t really make herself very employable.

  25. Josefina says:

    Stranger Things was very well written and very well acted, but Im not a big fan. A lot of people say it’s like American Horror Story, but good. I like AHS better because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I felt like Stranger Things was seriously lacking some comedic releif, because (—Spoiler Alert?—-) when you find yourself using terms like “faceless alien monster” or “portal to alternate dimension” to describe a plot, you must be aware that sounds a lot like a Scooby Doo episode. It lacks the charming camp of ’80s horror movies.

    I hated Winona’s acting in the beggining, but as you learned more about her character, her portrayal started making more sense.

    I liked the show alright. Gave it a shot because Netflix usually produces stuff of great quality. I don’t share the fascination but I can see why people like it.

  26. orangecrush says:

    She is fantastic in Stranger Things. I grew up watching (and idolizing) Winona and I was so glad to see that she has not lost that acting “edge” that’s always made her unique to me. I don’t doubt that she went through some serious crap back in the day, with drug abuse and who knows what else. She was an “It” girl in Hollywood before cell phones and the Internet were even really a thing, so I’m sure she did a lot of stuff that no one even knows about that could have contributed to her… er, lack of judgement.

    I personally always saw her shoplifting trial as a way for her to get out of Hollywood for awhile. A weird way, but it gave her the break she apparently needed.

  27. khaveman says:

    Always liked her – Mermaids was amazing. Liked her in Star Trek. Yes, people do stupid things, but in today’s world, although shoplifting is not cool and a prosectutable crime, it’s not something I’m going to be totally mortified by.

  28. Rocío says:

    I don’t know how old she was by the time the shoplifting happened but I was just thinking about Meryl Streep quote about believing every movie was her last. Once you hit certain age in HW you are ancient and another starlet replaces you. Maybe she felt her star fading plus hardcore drugs and hell unleashed. I hate when people compare her to Lindsay Lohan. Wino might not be as remorseful (sp) as we want her to be but she’s in a good place right now.

  29. Therese says:

    I like that there are a variety of opinions here about Winona’s acting; that she doesn’t have to be sacrosanct because she was in supposed disgrace and then made a come back. I think people don’t want their favorites or great beauties to be common, or to have some really bad problems. Remember how lovely Hedy Lamar was, and brilliant, and she descended into mental problems, and was caught shop lifting.

    So I appreciate that some people didn’t like her acting in Stranger Things, or were put off by it, or thought it was too much. I was not so compelled by her acting. I don’t think she’s that great an actress, and I have to mention that although she is still a beautiful woman, I don’t think she had that bug-eyed look before, and I think possibly she had a tiny bit of eye lift, and I find it tremendously distracting, as I do with Julia Roberts. She has the same thing where all of her iris shows and it looks like the eye lid was pulled up too much. I can’t stand that, as it is distracting in a movie, and distracts from a woman’s looks.

    I liked Stranger Things. just finished watching.

  30. Rebecca says:

    I thought that her shoplifting was around the time she lost a ton of money because Matt Damon had convinced her to invest with Bernie Madoff. Is it possible that at the time she really couldn’t afford those clothes, but needed them?

  31. aenflex says:

    Many critics don’t agree, but I think she is fabulous in Stranger Things, though female parts do feel underdeveloped in comparison. I’m glad to see her back in this way.
    The show is as close to the real thing as you can get nowadays.

  32. Sammy_dog says:

    She’s looking great. I wish her all the best.