Stranger Things Star Winona Ryder Blasted Hollywood, Claimed No One Knew “What the hell to do with me” After She Aged Out of “Weirdo Teenager” Roles

Stranger Things Star Winona Ryder Blasted Hollywood, Claimed No One Knew “What the hell to do with me” After She Aged Out of “Weirdo Teenager” Roles
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Winona Ryder, an icon to an entire generation, shocked the world with her comeback in Netflix’s blockbuster series, Stranger Things. Beginning her Hollywood journey at a young age, she mostly portrayed “teenage weirdos” throughout her career. Interestingly, she continued to play teenagers well into her thirties. However, as she began to appear her age, she expressed frustration, stating that Hollywood struggled to find suitable roles that actually fit her.

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Following the infamous shoplifting arrest incident in 2001, her public image underwent a drastic transformation. While it did offer some assistance, she found herself once more confined to stereotypes, this time for older women roles. In an interview with the New York Times, she shared her experiences.

Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder

Also Read: Winona Ryder Faced a Potential Career-Ending Controversy after Stealing $5,560 Worth of Items When She Failed to Get Gigs

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Winona Ryder Claimed Hollywood Didn’t Know What to Do With Her

Winona Ryder was 28 years old when she portrayed an 18-year-old in Girl, Interrupted. Although her Stranger Things era is now considered her rebirth, her fame prior to this period was incredibly unfathomable. She was the epitome of the Hollywood A-list, starring in movies like The Age of Innocence, Heathers, Little Women, Edward Scissorhands, and Beetlejuice. It was too hard for her audiences to pick and choose their favorites as she quite literally dominated the theaters with her releases. However, as time passed and she grew older, Hollywood faced uncertainty about which roles to assign her. While speaking to New York Times she stated,

“I went from weirdo teenager to pixie waif to them not knowing what the hell to do with me,”

Winona Ryder in a still from Girl, interrupted
Winona Ryder in a still from Girl, interrupted

Even though it did eventually change, it was all stereotypical older women roles that failed to excite her. A life with a husband and kids was what she was offered by the industry at the time. With the exception of a very few roles here and there, such as Black Swan, mostly after her shop-lifting arrest incident in 2001, she stated,

“I felt like for the first time in a long time people really responded to me,–That was a very liberating thing, because I was playing my age. In my mind, and I think in a lot of people’s minds, that really helped. I sort of graduated.”

Subsequently, she encountered a series of poorly written characters, which further contributed to her extended hiatus from the industry. While she eventually embraced the role of a mother of two wholeheartedly, it did require some time for her to adjust.

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Also Read: Stranger Things Cast Salary: Millie Bobby Brown’s “Ridiculously Lucrative” Netflix Deal Might Dwarf Winona Ryder’s $9.5 Million Salary

Winona Ryder on Her Return With Stranger Things

In her conversation with Collider, the actress explained what about the character in the Netflix hit series impressed her the most and ultimately persuaded her to embrace it as a challenge. She said,

“It didn’t always make a lot of sense. I’ll admit, there were times when I was confused, but that was sort of the point. She really does start to unravel and seemingly lose her mind, even though it ends up that she’s not losing her mind. She’s actually right. And that was something that was interesting to me.”

Winona Ryder in a still from Stranger Things
Winona Ryder in a still from Stranger Things

She further stated,

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“I talked to my mom about this, for a long time. I’m one of four kids. She said, “Yeah, it absolutely makes sense that he’s talking to you through the lights. As a parent, you just have to believe that.” She just doesn’t give up. She’s not a perfect person. She’s very flawed and she’s struggling, even before everything happens. I liked that she wasn’t this perfect mom. She has a lot of guilt that she doesn’t spend enough time with her kids. It all felt very much like something I had never done before.”

Despite her occasional confusion, her own mother helped her to grasp the character more accurately and assured her that she could confidently take on the role. And it was indeed true, as she won the world all over again with Joyce, with a battalion of fans now ready to fight with her in the battle against the upside down.

Also Read: “I was only 19 Years Old”: Watching Johnny Depp’s Pictures Everywhere Made Winnona Ryder’s Life a Living Nightmare After They Decided to Break up

Stranger Things is available on Netflix to stream.

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Source: New York Times

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Written by Sampurna Banerjee

Articles Published: 955

Sampurna Banerjee, an ardent enthusiast of pop culture and movies, pours her passion into her role as a writer for FandomWire. With a penchant for Marvel, DC, and sitcoms, she has contributed over 400 articles, staying up-to-date to the entertainment industry's latest buzz. Moreover, she's penned over 300 articles for Animated Times and shared her work across several Instagram pages. Currently she is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Calcutta University.