Night & Day

Marie Claire, January 1998

Night & Day

By Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow asks Winona Ryder about how she spends 24 hours

GP: Tell me how you began your day.

WR: If I’m not working, I get up around 10 a.m. and make a cup of Celestial Seasonings Morning Thunder Tea. Then I lie around and read The New York Times.

GP: Then what?

WR: I spend the rest of the morning making and returning phone calls and taking care of various business things. If I’m in L.A., sometimes I will take a long walk behind my house — either in the morning to get going or in the evening to relax and wind down. At some point, my assistant, Sandra, comes over to help me with calls and sorting out scripts, and anything organizational. Depending on the day, I either have lunch with friends or attend business meetings.

GP: Then you come back home and have to deal with 75 messages from all your suitors.

WR: Exactly! And then in the latter part of the afternoon, I’ll read a book or a script — or I’ll go shopping.

GP: With me! And apart from the infamous trips to Fred Segal, you do a lot of charity work, which is something I don’t think many people realize about you. You made a tremendous effort to help Polly Klaas and her family when she was missing, and I know you are currently organizing a benefit; tell me about it.

WR: It’s an event to raise money for a clinic that my mother runs in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. It is the only clinic that does not turn anyone away — regardless of lack of money or insurance. Its patients mostly consist of young people with HIV, and the homeless. It is a wonderful and very human place that relies largely on private donations. I am organizing the benefit to take place on January 31, and I’m working to promote the event and to encourage people to donate and get involved.

GP: Tell me more about your life in San Francisco. What do you like to do on a typical day?

WR: My brother has a comic book store and I usually go there and work behind the register for a couple of hours, which is fun. Then I’ll go out with friends or hangout with my family.

GP: You are very close to your family, aren’t you?

WR: I’m extremely close to them. Whenever I’m in San Francisco, we’ll all have dinner together every night. I spend most of my time with them when I’m there. It is very centering and comforting; they are amazing people.

GP: I know. That’s wonderful. What do you do in the evenings when you are in Los Angeles?

WR: I order in food and rent Prime Suspect.

GP: The British television series?

WR: Yeah, or another show called Cracker.

GP: It’s great to cuddle in like that in L.A. and not go out and have to interface with the Angelenos.

WR: L.A. is all about staying in and ordering food. If you go out, it’s to the Virgin Megastore or to a movie.

GP: G.I. Jane for the third time?

WR: Totally.

GP: And when in New York?

WR: I hang out with you and tell you all of my problems.

GP: You don’t have any problems. Except that you have to listen to all of my problems, that’s your problem.

WR: Right.

GP: And then you go to the record store and I make you buy the Spice Girls CD and pretend that you are buying it for yourself.

WR: Actually, I told the guy at the counter that I was buying it for my niece.

GP: And you don’t even have a niece, but thank you for protecting me.

WR: What are friends for? I would never expose you as a Spice Girls fan.

GP: I just exposed myself. So, where are your favourite places to go when you’re in New York?

WR: I like to take walks. I like to hear music and go to museums. I go to my favourite restaurant near my house. They have delicious grilled chicken with homemade biscuits.

GP: And a mean cosmopolitan. Do you ever go to premieres or anything like that?

WR: I’ll go to a premiere if a friend has worked on the film and I want to support them. And I go to my own because they make you.

GP: They sure do.

WR: But you want to if you’re proud of the movie you’re in.

GP: I’ll be your date to Alien Resurrection if you don’t have a proper one.

WR: Vice versa for Sliding Doors.

GP: What do you do at the end of the day to relax?

WR: I listen to music, read or play drums. I have a drum set that’s very Drummer Girl.

GP: You are Watts from Some Kind of Wonderful.

WR: I auditioned for that part when I was 12. I love to play drums. I played “Eye of the Tiger” for my eighth grade talent show.

GP: I would love to have that on video. How much would I get from Hard Copy for that? Do you know what film you’re going to do next?

WR: I’m deciding that now.

GP: One of the things I admire most about you is the choices that you make. Every film you do is good, in that even if the final film isn’t brilliant, there is a very good artistic reason behind it. You make really interesting films. And you don’t sell out. What do you look for when choosing?

WR: A well-written script is the most important thing. Sometimes you get in trouble if you commit to a good idea that isn’t on paper yet. But it is all a good learning process.

GP: And you are still so young.

WR: As opposed to you?

GP: We have a lot ahead of us. OK, we got off track. What do you do at the very end of the day?

WR: Put on a comfortable pair of pyjamas, have a cup of hot tea with you and reach for the remote control.

GP: Unsolved Mysteries on Lifetime, from midnight to 1 a.m., is the only way to go.