Winona in Paris
My all time from times past slowly inching her way back – here’s Winona Ryder at the Valentino show today in Paris for fashion week
She was 18 when she met Johnny. And it was 17 years ago. 17 years!
Arguably the first modern supercouple – some say it was their loved that kicked off a tabloid paparazzi frenzy that became the predecessor of Brad and Gwyneth, Brad and Jennifer, Bennifer, and of course Brad and Angelina.
Back then, I was obsessed. Still am a little…
Excerpt from Rolling Stone 1991:
On my second day with Depp, Winona Ryder showed up. She is nineteen and all pluck, the thinking man"s actress for her generation. Depp is the thinking man who thinks of her most. He wells in her presence. When they hug, they hug fiercely, in focused silence; their squeeze keeps re-grouping. They seem to be lost in each other. She smokes his cigarettes, and she is not a smoker. ("You"re on the filter, babe", he will coach her).
Hands locked, they descended upon Barney"s Beanery, a frequent haunt, for caffeine, which they now took in desperate helpings. She wore a Tom Waits T-shirt and Depp"s engagement ring. She was saying, `I"d never seen anyone get a tattoo before, so I was pretty squeamish I guess." Depp chuckled and said, `She kept taking the bandage off and staring at it afterwards." They were speaking of WINONA FOREVER, the third and final (for now) Depp tattoo, eternally etched onto his epidermis: locus, right shoulder. (Depp told me he plans to have his tattoos pickled after his death as keepsakes for his children, should there be any). This one was carved on at a nearby tattoo parlor as Winona watched with awe. `I sort of was in shock," she said. `I kept thinking it was going to wash off or something. I couldn"t believe it was real." Her eyes widened. `I mean, it"s such a big thing, because it"s so permanent."
`It ain"t goin" nowhere," Depp said, and by this I knew he meant business. Over hash and eggs, they then traced the history of their romance for me. He knew her work ( Beetlejuice, Heathers), and she knew his, but they did not know each other. At the premiere of Great Balls of Fire!, a film in which she played Jerry Lee Lewis"s child bride, they spotted each other from across the lobby. `I was getting a coke," Ryder said. `It was a classic glance," he said `like the lenses in West Side Story, and everything else gets foggy." She said, `It wasn"t a long moment, but it was suspended." he said, `I knew then." They did not meet that night. Months later, a mutual friend dragged her to Depp"s hotel room at the Chateau Marmont, where John Belushi last drew breath, and this is where they began. `I thought maybe he would be a real jerk," she said. `I didn"t know. But he was really, really shy."
They knew it was love when they both professed deep feelings for Salinger and the soundtrack of the film The Mission. Their first date, a few weeks later, was a party at the Hollywood Hills home of counterculture guru Dr.Timothy Leary, who is her godfather. `We were kinda blessed." said Depp, a beat disciple. As it happens, Winona"s father is an esteemed Beat bookseller in Petaluma, California, where she and Depp weekend often. `My parents really love him a lot." she told me. Depp said: `It could have been easy not to like me. Other people might have just seen tattoos."
Tim Burton calls the couple "kind of an evil version of Tracy and Hepburn". Which is to say, as celebrity couples go, these two are dark, spunky, glamourous and resilient, all requisite traits in this cynical age. For they are beset. Tabloid photographers terrorise them at airports, and tabloid reporters regularly report imaginary squalls and breakups. So he gets angry, and she gets incredulous. Winona: `They try to trip me at airports!" Depp: `What"s sh-tty about it is that they feel like you owe them! That you should stop dead in your tracks and let them piss on you!" Winona: `I will say that there are some really nice ones." Depp: `A couple of them are real nice." Winona: `But aren"t we allowed to be in a bad mood sometimes? Everybody else is."