There was definitely some nervous apprehension on my part before meeting Winona Ryder — which, having done this sort of thing hundreds of times before, doesn’t happen often. This most likely stems from my preexisting notion that she’s shy or reserved — or, at the very least, media shy and reserved in front of the press. Soon after meeting the petite actor — who still doesn’t look all that different from the person who danced to Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line” at the end of “Beetlejuice” — I discovered something that would have put my nervous mind at ease: Winona Ryder is, well … a bit of a nerd.
Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but she is a fan of the original “Star Trek” television series and used to have a life-size poster of Ellen Ripley on her wall.
Ryder’s new movie is “The Iceman,” the latest in a string of recent higher profile roles for the actress, following films as diverse as “Black Swan” and “Star Trek” (yes we’ll get to “Star Trek”). In “The Iceman,” Ryder plays Deborah Kuklinski, who is married to notorious mob killer Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) — only she’s not aware of that whole “mob killer” part.
In a conversation that lasted longer than planned, Ryder dove deep into her filmography to discuss everything from the 25th anniversary of “Beetlejuice” to two of her (somewhat surprising) favorite movie experiences: “Alien Resurrection” and, especially, Richard Linklater’s “A Scanner Darkly” (Ryder’s return to acting after a time spent more in tabloids, not movies). If you take one thing away from this interview, it’s that Ryder really loves “A Scanner Darkly.”
I feel like you’ve been getting a lot of good roles lately, like the one in “The Iceman.”
Are you picky?
Well, I mean, who knows, really? I think there was a time when — and every actor will tell you — there’s a time when you’re sort of at the height of everything and people will tell you that you’re offered everything. You’re kind of under that impression. And then, years later, you find out maybe not. Or that they offered you something that you never even got told about.