Winona Ryder: Angelina Jolie battled her beauty, conquered it

Winona Ryder wants everyone to know she could have won the Oscar for 1999’s Girl, Interrupted, but she chose not to, handing the award off to Angelina Jolie. Winona doesn’t actually say that, she just kind of insinuates it, in a nice way. This comes from an interview Winona did with Empire Magazine (story via US Weekly). About the film that won Angelina her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for playing Lisa, the sociopath, Winona says that “At one point they asked if I wanted to play Lisa and I said, ‘No, I want to be Susanna.'” Susanna being the lead character, Susanna Kaysen.

Winona also claims that she knew that “whoever” played Lisa would get the attention, because it was such a meaty, dynamic role. I actually buy that – Winona was not only the star who made sure the film got made, Winona was the executive producer. She knew any publicity, any award for the film would be good, so seemed very gracious towards Angelina at the time, and now. Winona also says she bad for Angelina because Angie “was battling her looks because she’s so beautiful… She wanted very much to be taken seriously and not just judged on her looks. And she conquered that.”

Winona Ryder says she has no ill-will toward Angelina Jolie, who received most of the praise for their 1999 mental hospital drama Girl, Interrupted.

Although Ryder was the film’s lead (and executive producer), Jolie’s performance garnered more buzz and landed her a 1999 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

“I knew from the outset that whoever played Lisa was going to get all the attention,” Ryder tells the July issue of Empire Magazine. “At one point they asked if I wanted to play Lisa and I said, ‘No, I want to be Susanna.'”

“But there was no resentment,” Ryder went on. “When it came out, people almost felt bad for me. But I expected it all along. I was really happy with the film, and really proud of it.”

If anything, Ryder said she felt bad for Jolie.

“At the time I worked with her, she was battling her looks because she’s so beautiful,” she said. “She wanted very much to be taken seriously and not just judged on her looks. And she conquered that.”

Ryder also confirmed a sequel is in the works to her 1988 cult film Heathers.

“Whatever you hear, there is a sequel in the works. I swear to God,” she told the magazine. “But for some reason the writer Dan Waters and director Michael Lehman don’t want to talk about it. I’ve been wanting to do a sequel forever. There is a story, and Christian [Slater] has agreed to come back as a kind of Obi-Wan character.”

[From US Weekly]

What is with all of these women who think beauty is something horrible to be overcome professionally? There’s been a rash of it recently, as if it’s the new thing to say in interviews, “Oh, I wasn’t hired because I’m so gorgeous” or “Every producer tells me I’m not plain enough to play this part, woe is me.” Beauty really isn’t a curse, no matter what all of those pretty girls tell you. They love being beautiful. They’re just trying to make everyone else feel better.

I don’t even get the “she was too beautiful” argument about Angelina during that period of her life, either. During that time (let’s call it the end of The Drug Years), Angelina wasn’t so gorgeous. She looked strung out most of the time – it worked well for her character in Girl, Interrupted, but for a few years, the girl looked rough. Whoops, I mean, “acting”.

Thanks to AllMoviePhoto for these pictures from Girl, Interrupted.

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21 Responses to “Winona Ryder: Angelina Jolie battled her beauty, conquered it”

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  1. andy says:

    winona, lost girl, megan fox….

    love Angelina lol

  2. Nony says:

    I’m trying to imagine that film with those actresses in one another’s roles and can’t do it. I think they were each right for the part they played, and I think it wouldn’t have been as good had they reversed. Winona made the right choice.

  3. teleskier says:

    jolie doesn’t mind taking risks in her roles, her looks, hair , make-up….she can look beautiful, old, scary, young or old….she is a very talented actress deserving of the Oscar.

  4. MSat says:

    I just had to comment on Winona’s sideburns in that picture. Yikes!

    Great movie though – but I really thought all of the actresses in it were great, not just Angelina. Brittany Murphy was amazing.

  5. cc says:

    I think Winona is as pretty as Angelina, just diferrent.
    And, It”s not that I don’t think Angelina is beautiful, because she definitely is pretty but I just think her physical looks are a bit overated.. I don’t dig exaggerated features like she has. Anyway, I would have liked to see them in those roles reversed. In that movie, the acting didn’t seem to be a huge stretch for either one of them. Angelina is fitting as the crazy tough girl sociopath, and Winona in her role as the introspective depressed girl. . It seems she always plays that part. Didn’t Winona actually go to a mental hospital in real life? Anyway, they were both really good in those respective roles, but I wonder how much of a stretch it really was for them? But it was a good movie overall and all the actors were really good in it.

  6. Gloaming says:

    Since she produced the movie, she could have had any part in it, that was well known at the time.
    Certainly Anjelina’s was the most showy role in the whole film.

    So maybe Winona should be commended for taking the more unobtrusive role and giving a restrained performance.

  7. Lucky says:

    I think when these actresses talk about being ‘too pretty’ for a role, they’re talking about serious movies. The pinnacle of success in Hollywood is to win an Academy Award. More often than not, an actress wins when she’s taken a role that makes her ‘uglier’…Think: Nicole Kidman in The Hours; Charlize Theron in Monster; Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball.

    It’s a double edged sword… An actress must be attractive enough to make a commercially successful start in Hollywood, but then she must be plain enough to play a dramatic role and win critical acclaim.

    Still, who needs to hear about the problems of being beautiful? Shut up and get some acting lessons. Maybe one day you will get a serious role, until then bide your time and work on self-improvement…(I’m talkin to you Megan Fox, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba)

  8. lena says:

    I think AJ’s past drug abuse harmed her body a little, don’t get me wrong I think she’s pretty, BUT I think she looks way older than 33, I would’ve guessed late 30 early 40s

  9. Jenna says:

    Oh how I love this movie. Girl; Interrupted made me sit back and go “Oh hey, Angelina can act”. I have an urge to pop it in now.

  10. lrm says:

    Why do people so often imply that it’s the ‘role’,not the actor,that gets the Oscar?
    It’s the chemistry between the role/script AND the actor,that makes for an award.
    I love when they do these lists of ‘actors who passed on an Oscar’,like if they’d taken the role,the Oscar would be theirs.

    Perhaps Winona would’ve won an Oscar if she’d taken that role,perhaps not.
    AJ had the right look,chemistry,timing in the industry,and yes,some talent,and that is why she won the award.

  11. Rosanna says:

    What is with all of these women who think beauty is something horrible to be overcome professionally?

    Because they are beautiful people! Beautiful people know by experience that beauty is an asset and a curse. Only average (and ugly) people romanticize beauty.

  12. truth-SF says:

    Msat, I agree with you about Brittany Murphy. I definately think that she should’ve been nominated for an oscar as well.

  13. clare says:

    Everyone was cast perfectly in that movie. Good for Winona to recognize this at the beginning.

  14. mollination says:

    No, I think Beauty is somethibng to overcome in Hollywood. My mom and I love Angelina and it never seems like she gets taken as seriously as she should. But now it’s more because of her personal life and less about her beauty. But for a time she was so beautiful and I think people do let the jealousy that stems from that affecct the way they view the acting. The audience at least, I don’t know about casting directors.

  15. BlueSkies says:

    Neither one is beautiful but pretty, yes.

  16. Granger says:

    I’ve never been a fan of Winona’s. I just don’t think she’s a great actress. As someone already said, she plays the same introspective, kind of sad/depressed character in every film (except maybe Little Women — and she was woefully miscast in that one! Teeny- tiny delicate-looking Winona Ryder as tall, clumsy Jo with the big hands and unruly hair??? So ridiculous). She never would have won the Oscar if she’d played Lisa. And maybe that’s why she didn’t take the role — because she knew how much attention it would get, and didn’t feel confident enough to play such a strong, cocky character that had Oscar written all over it. Which probably makes her smarter than I think — but I still don’t understand her appeal.

  17. enchantress says:

    “When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go…DOWN-TOWN!”
    Loved that movie!

  18. Asiont says:

    Angelina was really amazing in that movie, it was a perfect role for her 🙂

  19. Stacy says:

    If Angelina wanted so badly to be taken seriously and “overcome” her good looks, maybe she shoudn’t have gotten so much plastic surgery done to make her look the way she does.

  20. Ella says:

    Angelina went from pretty to gorgeous after her nose job.

    She was awesome in that movie, but I am less inclined to feel bad for someone who may have struggled due to their good looks, when they most definitely choose those good looks (not that she was not attrative before, but to a lesser extent).

  21. QUEEN says:

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