LOS ANGELES — In an early episode of the new Netflix supernatural drama “Stranger Things,” a single mother played by Winona Ryder sits in a cubby hole communicating with her youngest son through a tangled ball of blinking Christmas lights. He has vanished under mysterious circumstances. To better understand how to sell such a strange, emotional moment, Ms. Ryder looked no further than her own mother, Cynthia Palmer.
“I don’t have kids, so my mom helped me a lot on this,” Ms. Ryder, 44, said while sitting on a big leather couch at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel here, dressed in black jeans and a faded Leonard Cohen T-shirt she bought at a concert in 1988. “I’d call her sometimes and say: ‘Mom, what would you do if every indication is that your child is dead, but you believe that lights are telling you that he isn’t?’ And she’d say: ‘Honey, I’d totally believe that. It’s primal.’”
The pint-size Ms. Ryder storms through “Stranger Things” (available for streaming on July 15), generating what Matt and Ross Duffer, the twins who created the series, described as an essential “Winona-ness,” an air of fragility and feisty determination. “She has a very intense energy about her, Winona does, a wiry unpredictability, a sort of anxiousness that we thought we’d really lean into,” Matt Duffer said about what inspired the brothers to incorporate some of Ms. Ryder’s traits.
The Neo Zealander website Stuff has posted a new interview with Winona, which also feature a new picture of the promotional ‘Stranger Things’ photoshoot.
For Winona Ryder, talk of Beetlejuice 2 is just that – talk.
The female star of Tim Burton’s cult 1988 comedy about “the ghost with the most” says she’s in the same situation as all of us when it comes to when or if a sequel might get made.
“I don’t really know what’s happening. I think it’s a situation where the script has to be perfect and everyone has to be available,” the now 44-year-old Ryder says while promoting her new 1980s-set Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things, which debuts here on July 15.
“It can’t be made without Tim, Michael [Keaton, who played the title character] and a perfect script. It is just an iconic and beloved film. I get stopped all the time, even by little children, by people who want to talk about it, so I don’t want to do it unless its perfect.”
While discussing her career, childhood and latest role as a mother who must confront terrifying forces in order to get her son back, Ryder also revealed that she spent years trying to get a sequel to another of her cult films – 1988 high school black comedy Heathers.
“I always thought there were ‘Heathers’ in the real world, not just in high school. ‘Heathers’ in Washington, for example. But nothing ever came of it, they would all just sort of laugh at me and whatever, because the original movie wasn’t ever a hit, it just became a sort of a cult thing.”
Ryder also says she would love to one day come and visit New Zealand and admits to being a fan of both Whale Rider and Once Were Warriors. “Oh, my god, I love that movie. It was really heavy – about the streets and the underworld and it had the actor [Cliff Curtis] who played the father of the little girl in Whale Rider.”
And, she confesses, that she always thinks of our country in relation to another movie from her heyday.
“I always think of that scene in Point Break with the giant wave and Patrick Swayze saying he’s ‘not going to paddle to New Zealand‘.”
Time has published a very large and great interview with Winona (with the never used before title “making her comeback”). On the interview she talked about the show, her personal life, obviously about Johnny Depp, and nostalgia. Check it:
When you meet Winona Ryder, it’s hard to shake the feeling that she belongs to another era. It’s not just that she doesn’t appear to have aged a day since she reached icon status in the 1990s with films like Edward Scissorhands and Girl, Interrupted. It’s also the way she lives her life. She says that she still keeps old cassette tapes of important voicemails and bootleg VHS tapes of concerts. It took her an “embarrassingly long time” to figure out how to take a selfie on her phone. On the topic of the Internet she muses, “I do wonder sometimes if part of me didn’t want to have kids because it’s such a crazy world. You really can’t control what they see.”
Luckily for her, this era—that is, the present one—also belongs to another era. Nostalgia is the strongest tide in Hollywood, from sequels and reboots to original films that harken back to a bygone era—and nobody evokes the past quite like Winona Ryder.
Now in her 40s, Winona Ryder is finally getting what she wants. “I feel like only recently I’ve hit a point where I’m actually old enough to play my age, which is a tremendous relief,” says Ryder when we sat down at the Crosby Street Hotel last Tuesday. An icon of 90s culture, Ryder became the decade’s go-to “waifish ingenue” with films like Reality Bites, Heathers, and Girl, Interrupted but has moved beyond that in her career, and is now getting to take on the more mature roles she’s always wanted to play. With her latest film, Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter, Ryder portrays Sasha Milgram, the wife of controversial social psychologist Stanley Milgram, whose obedience experiments shocked the 1960s. Starring opposite a compelling Peter Saarsgard, Ryder delivers a delicate yet captivating performance as the woman who was not only his partner, but his emotional anchor. Breaking down the barriers between memory and reality, Almereyda brings his imaginative and intelligent touch to the story of Milgram’s work, crafting a character portrait in the way only he can.
With Experimenter out in theaters this Friday, we sat down with Ryder to chat more about working with Almereyda, the female characters she admires, and re-teaming with Tim Burton for Beetlejuice.
I’m such a fan of Michael’s films. It’s the way he chooses to approach universally known material and make it totally his own that’s so interesting—whether it’s Stanley Milgram or Hamlet.
Me too! He’s actually someone I’ve known since I was 16.
How did you meet him then?
I met him at the Independent Spirit Awards the year Down by Law was there.
A new amazing interview done to The Daily Beast about Homefront, Beetlejuice, Hollywood and… Homeland! Check it:
Winona Ryder is whispering to me.
I have just stepped inside an anonymous suite on the 15th floor of the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, which has been overtaken by the PR team for Homefront, the new meth-head action film written by Sylvester Stallone. Jason Statham, who plays an undercover drug cop turned single dad trying to protect his daughter from drugland lowlifes, is doing his interviews in another room. So are Kate Bosworth (an angry addict) and James Franco (the dangerous local dealer). But itâ€™s Winona Iâ€™m here to see. Winona forever.
The 42-year-old Minnesota native has had her ups and downs. The ups are legendary: Lucas, Beetlejuice, Heathers, Edward Scissorhands, Mermaids, Night on Earth, Bram Stokerâ€™s Dracula, The Age of Innocence, Reality Bites. The list goes on.
Ryderâ€™s downs are famous, too. The shoplifting incident. The prescription painkiller abuse. The anxiety and depression. And the half-decade hiatus that followed.
In recent years, however, Ryder has returned to the screen in a series of smaller, quirkier roles. Each timeâ€”Star Trek, Black Swan, The Icemanâ€”she has proven that her iconic status is no fluke.
Which brings us to Homefrontâ€”and Ryderâ€™s whispering. As the PR folks slip into the bedroom and gingerly close the door, leaving me and Winona alone together, she leans in and makes a confession.
â€œI havenâ€™t seen the movie, so…â€ She smiles apologetically. She looks immaculate: black blazer, dark, longish hair, perfect skin, perfect teeth. If I didnâ€™t know her age, I would say she was about 30. I promise not to interrogate her too aggressively about Homefront.
To be honest, I think Ryder is the best thing about the movie. She brings layers of vulnerability, confusion, and conscience to a drug-moll character that might otherwise have been a one-dimensional clichÃ©.
But like Ryderâ€”who is so eager to tell me about her other new project, the â€œamazingâ€ BBC political thriller Turks and Caicos by David Hare, that I have to gently steer her back to the topic at hand before our interview can startâ€”I would probably prefer to talk about other subjects as well: Beetlejuice 2, Reality Bites, how Hollywood has changed over the last 20 years, why aging is so much more complicated for actresses than actors. Even Homeland.
So thatâ€™s what we proceed to do.