Winona Ryder: on relevance and strategy

Lainey Posted by Lainey at October 5, 2017 17:22:53 October 5, 2017 17:22:53

Winona Ryder is only four years younger than Julia Roberts. Lucas came out just one year before Mystic Pizza. Winona’s birthday is just a day after Julia’s. Both have had lots and lots of love and life drama. Winona’s dramas are easy to remember. But don’t forget Julia’s had her share of fragility too. Before the Lindsay Lohans of the world checked into the hospital for “exhaustion”, it was Julia at Cedars-Sinai in 1991, officially because she had the “flu”, but it also happened when all kinds of f-cksh-t was happening between her and Kiefer Sutherland. She ended up running out on their wedding straight onto a plane with his friend Jason Patric. Winona and Julia are actually contemporaries, even though they have never, ever seemed like contemporaries.

Like Julia, Winona’s promoting a project right now. Season 2 of Stranger Things premieres on Netflix on October 27. She covers the new issue of Marie Claire UK in support of the series. And they picked the worst photo for it. Do you even recognise her? It’s something about the way they manipulated her face and it’s made more obvious by the fact that the photos in the feature are so much better, so much more HER. Like, compare the shot on the cover to this one:

Winona Ryder in Marie Claire UK

So much better, non?

As for the interview, in the way of gossip, there’s really not much here – as expected. Winona has never played this game. She’s never been good at this game. She knows she’s not good at the game:

“Everything is changing so fast. I’ve never been very strategic. I think if you try to be strategic, you just end up failing.”

I have criticised actors in the past for claiming to not be strategic, when they are actually strategic, and particularly when they are women. It’s frustrating to watch women pretend to not be ambitious, to not be engaged in all aspects of the work. Like somehow that takes away the integrity of the work. Or, worse, because it might be considered unattractive – to be a woman who is the architect of her own career.

That said, I’m not sure the same can be applied to Winona Ryder. Winona Ryder’s ambitions have always been directed elsewhere. There aren’t many of those in Hollywood but she’s definitely one of them, one of the few who doesn’t care about the fame. And became so famous in spite of it. Which is why I laughed when I read her comment about famous people:

“It’s so overwhelming,’ says Ryder of the reception to (Stranger Things), which is soon to return for a second season. ‘I don’t know what it’s like for really famous people… I keep hearing that people are dressing up like me [as her character Joyce]. I’m like, “What?”’

She IS “really famous people”. And I don’t think that the fact that she’s not categorising herself as such is false modesty. Winona Ryder really IS that oblivious. There was a time when I wanted Julia Roberts for Winona. Because I love Winona so much. I only realised until later that that’s not what’s right for her. Winona Ryder isn’t Julia Roberts, has never wanted to be.

Click here to read the full Winona Ryder article and see more photos at Marie Claire UK.

Photos:
Marie Claire UK

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