Winona Ryder: I know people think I'm crazy

Winona Ryder knows she has a reputation for being crazy. Photo / AFP
Winona Ryder knows she has a reputation for being crazy. Photo / AFP

She's experiencing a career renaissance thanks to her star turn in the Netflix sci-fi drama Stranger Things, but Winona Ryder is keenly aware of the public perceptions that have hampered her in the past.

The 44-year-old shot to fame in the late '80s with roles in hits like Heathers and Beetle Juice, and through the '90s was one of Hollywood's most profitable actresses.

By the new millennium, though, her career had cooled, with an infamous 2001 shoplifting arrest damaging her prospects.

Winona Ryder's character in Stranger Things is sidelined and labelled as crazy.
Winona Ryder's character in Stranger Things is sidelined and labelled as crazy.

In a new interview with New York Magazine, Ryder says she can relate to her character in Stranger Things, a mother whose fears for her missing son are dismissed by those around her as female anxiety.

Read more:
Star's insane workout schedule for Suicide Squad
Ghostbusters star floored by 'beautiful' haka

"I'm so sick of people shaming women for being sensitive or vulnerable. It's so bizarre to me," she tells the mag.

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, arguing that those terms - sensitive, vulnerable - are often used as shorthand for weakness.

"There's a line in the show where someone says [of her Stranger 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, 'OK, wait a second, she's struggling.' Two kids, deadbeat dad, working her ass off. Who wouldn't be anxious?

"Even that word, 'anxious'. It's a bad word. And so like all of these words - it's kind of what I tried to do with Girl, Interrupted, and why I was so invested in that book and trying to get it made [as a movie]. My whole point was, this happens to every girl, almost."

Winona Ryder with Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted - a film that was close to her heart.
Winona Ryder with Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted - a film that was close to her heart.

Ryder went public about her battles with depression and anxiety in a candid 1999 interview with Diane Sawyer, speaking out while publicising the mental health drama Girl, Interrupted, which she starred in and executive produced. There were pros and cons to sharing her story - she was aware that in some ways it fuelled the public perception of her as an overly sensitive, waiflike actress.

"I remember I did Diane Sawyer, and I talked about my experiences with anxiety and depression when I was that age. And I think by doing that, maybe coupled with my physical size, there's this 'crazy' thing. And I've realised recently it's literally impossible to try to change that story," she says.

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 02 Oct 2016 09:06:34 Processing Time: 517ms