By Stephen Mooallen for Interview Magazine
Winona Ryder knows her Simple Mindsâ€”and not just “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” to which she enthusiastically lip-synchs while propped up on her elbows on a dark red comforter on the set of our cover shoot. “Will you recognize me, call my name, or walk on by? Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling, down, down, down, dooowwwnnn . . .” But like most things with Ryder, her connoisseurship is not half-assed. She requests deeper cuts, like “Alive and Kicking,” off the band’s Once Upon a Time (1985) album: “Staaayyy . . . until your love . . . is . . . love . . . is . . . a-live and kicking!” We listen to that one twice, which is probably appropriate since Ryder’s own romance with actingâ€”that thing that kept her very busy throughout most of her teens and her twentiesâ€”is a recently rekindled affair. She will appear in two films this year, the second of which, Gary Fleder’s drug-lord drama Homefront, with James Franco and Jason Statham, is due out this fall. The first of them, though, hits theaters this month: Ariel Vromen’s The Iceman, a period piece set mostly in the 1960s and ’70s that stars Michael Shannon as Richard Kuklinski, a real-life contract killer for the mob in New York and New Jersey who is said to have murdered more than 100 people. The real Kuklinski, who was arrested in 1986 and died in prison in 2006, is said to have hid his bloody business from his wife, Barbara, who is played in the film by Ryder (the character is renamed Deborah), while she and their two daughters enjoyed a life of relatively affluent suburban idyll. The film is dark, at times difficult, and unlike anything that Ryder has ever done. But in her hands, Deborah emerges as something much more complicated than a dutiful wifeâ€”in one sense, a sympathetic figure, but in another, a woman whose blindness seems as much a product of a darker, more conflicted willfulness as ignorance.
I spoke with the 41-year-old Ryder recently in New York.
STEPHEN MOOALLEM: I heard that you’ve been under the weather.
WINONA RYDER: I don’t know if it’s a coldâ€”it’s just that my voice was kind of going. But it’s back, so I’m actually okay. In a weird way, I was actually hoping that whatever voice thing I’ve got could stay so that I could sort of have a Debra Winger thing going on. I’ve always loved her voice. But it’s getting better, so I’m going to sound like me.
MOOALLEM: Well, you can take advantage of it while it lasts. I’m just going to make sure that we’re recording. Our recorders are digital now, and for some reason, I always doubt that they’re recording.
RYDER: And they used to do this with tape recorders . . . The world.
Continue reading The Return of Winona Ryder