Supersensitive Winona Ryder
Have you finished Stranger Things yet? Stranger Things is the hit of the summer. And while it’s not a perfect series, as Sarah writes in her review, it’s a compulsively watchable – and terrifying, at least for me – show that stars Winona Ryder. This is great for Winona Ryder. Or, maybe, it’s great for fans of Winona Ryder, like me. Because it’s been so long since Winona’s been able to claim a career win. Which is something that means more to people who enjoy watching Winona Ryder than Winona Ryder herself.
Winona covers the new issue of New York Magazine. And it’s basically a conversation about how she’s perceived. More specifically, how we perceive her. How her sensitivity has drawn us to her but, at the same time, has been used against her. I am guilty of this, I think. I am guilty of being enchanted, perhaps unfairly, to her enigmatic vulnerability. Do I shame her for it though? She rejects the idea that her being supersensitive means she’s somehow weak, unreliable:
“I wish I could unknow this, but there is a perception of me that I’m supersensitive and fragile. And I am supersensitive, and I don’t think that that’s a bad thing. To do what I do, I have to remain open.” She says that sensitive is so often used as a bad word — a euphemism for weak or crazy. “There’s a line in the show where someone says [of herStranger Things character], ‘She’s had anxiety problems in the past.’ A lot of people have picked up on that, like, ‘Oh, you know, she’s crazy.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, wait a second, she’s struggling.’ Two kids, deadbeat dad, working her ass off. Who wouldn’t be anxious?
But it’s exactly that quality, her supersensitivity, that has made me care about her for 25 years. I don’t want any less of it. I don’t want that to ever go away. She’s right though. Because at the same time, those eyes, I have worried about those eyes. And I suppose that’s what she’s saying here, that’s what’s unfair about the way she’s perceived. If you acknowledge that her sensitivity makes her endearing, makes her relatable, being concerned about what’s in those eyes also traps her in a place where she risks us believing somehow that she can’t truly be whole when, really, she’s just allowing herself to not have to live up to being whole all the time, which is impossible.
Click here to read the full piece on Winona Ryder in New York Magazine. The pictures are gorgeous.