Winona Ryder graces the cover of New York Magazine’s August 8-21 issue, and if you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think her photo shoot was from 20 years ago. The Stranger Things actress looks as though she’s barely aged at all, rocking minimal makeup, a white t-shirt, and slicked-backed hair for the magazine. But while her fierce look is enough to make any ’90s kid happy, it’s her accompanying interview that proves how badass she still is. Winona opens up about everything from dealing with anxiety to why she’s not on social media to a particularly awful encounter with a fan. See her best quotes below!
- On dealing with anxiety and being sensitive in the public eye: “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. 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, ‘Okay, 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. 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 realized recently it’s literally impossible to try to change that story.”
- On the press’s tendency to pathologize female emotions: “I’m so sick of people shaming women for being sensitive or vulnerable. It’s so bizarre to me.”
- On being a celebrity in the age of social media: “In the old days, you could ride the subway and maybe occasionally someone happened to have a camera with them. These days, people are shooting footage of you everywhere you go, and if they ask and you say no . . . I’ve been called a c*nt to my face by someone who was just saying they were a fan. I was with my parents having dinner. It was actually kind of upsetting, because it upset my parents, and then I got upset. You know that scene in The King of Comedy where Jerry Lewis is at a pay phone? ‘Will you sign the thing, will you sign the thing?’ ‘I hope you get cancer!'”
- On refusing to be on social media: “I don’t actually know how to use it. And I hear that awful people could then — I say that, and it makes me sound too sensitive.”
- On her Stranger Things character, Joyce Byers, and motherhood: “I actually felt tremendous compassion for her. I feel like she was one of these people that had dreams [for her life]. But she had kids. And it made me think of all the women that I know who have kids, who when they talk about [anything negative about their lives as mothers], they always say, ‘But I love my kids, I wouldn’t trade them for the world.’ Like they feel guilty for even hinting that they’d want something outside of kids! It’s a weird thing.”
- On the questions she’s received from the press while promoting Stranger Things: “I’m getting asked a lot, ‘You don’t have kids, so how do you know how to act like a mother?’ I know nothing could compare, and I haven’t had that experience, but when my niece was born, I felt like I would jump in front of a car and die for this little person I didn’t even know yet.”
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