Winona Ryder Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (119)  | Personal Quotes (46)  | Salary (3)

Overview (4)

Born in Winona, Minnesota, USA
Birth NameWinona Laura Horowitz
Nickname Noni
Height 5' 3½" (1.61 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Winona Ryder was born Winona Laura Horowitz in Olmsted County, Minnesota, and was named after a nearby town, Winona, Minnesota. She is the daughter of Cynthia (Istas), an author and video producer, and Michael Horowitz, a publisher and bookseller. Her father's family is Russian Jewish and Romanian Jewish. She grew up in a ranch commune in Northern California which had no electricity. She is the goddaughter of Timothy Leary. Her parents were friends of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and once edited a book called "Shaman Woman Mainline Lady", an anthology of writings on the drug experience in literature, which included one piece by Louisa May Alcott. Ryder would later play the lead role of Josephine March in the adaptation of this author's novel Little Women (1994).

Ryder moved with her parents to Petaluma, California when she was ten and enrolled in acting classes at the American Conservatory Theater. At age 13, she had a video audition to the film Desert Bloom (1986), but did not get the role. However, director David Seltzer spotted her and cast her in Lucas (1986). When telephoned to ask how she would like to have her name appear on the credits, she suggested Ryder as her father's Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels album was playing the background. Ryder was selected for the role of Mary Corleone in The Godfather: Part III (1990), but had to drop out of the role after catching the flu from the strain of doing the films Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (1990) and Mermaids (1990) back-to-back. She said she did not want to let everyone down by doing a substandard performance. She later made The Age of Innocence (1993), which was directed by Martin Scorsese, whom she believes to be "the best director in the world".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Family (3)

Children None
Parents Horowitz (Istas), Cynthia
Horowitz, Michael
Relatives Uri Horowitz (sibling)
Jubal Palmer (half sibling)
Sunyata Palmer (half sibling)

Trade Mark (3)

Frequently plays a character who writes. In most of her films, she has played a journalist, a reporter, a writer or just a teenager who writes in a journal or diary.
Dark hair, brown eyes and pale skin
Delicate high cheekbones

Trivia (119)

Her real hair color is blonde but when she made her first major film Lucas (1986), her hair color was dyed black. She was told to keep it that color and with the exception of Edward Scissorhands (1990), it has stayed that color since.
Her December 22, 1999 guest spot on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) was her second-ever appearance on a talk show. She did it to promote Girl, Interrupted (1999), the first film on which she served as executive producer. She clearly had jitters but settled in comfortably. She made her first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) with Mermaids (1990) co-star Cher.
Injured her knee while filming Girl, Interrupted (1999) on March 22, 1999.
Has been part of several public polls. In 1996, she was chosen as one of the "Top Players Under 35" list by People magazine. In 1997 she was chosen by People magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" and ranked #42 in Empire magazine's the "Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. She has also ranked #49 on Empire magazine's 100 sexiest movie stars, #7 on VH1's "100 Greatest Teen Stars" (2006) and #183 on the list of VH1 Greatest Pop Culture Icons.
Born two days before Halloween, in a farmhouse in Olmsted County, Minnesota.
She briefly checked herself into a hospital when she was 20, because she was suffering from depression, anxiety attacks and exhaustion, resulting from constantly working on films.
Attended and graduated from Petaluma High School in Petaluma, California with a 4.0 GPA (1989).
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 6, 2000. She was voted Best Dressed Celebrity of the Week by Entertainment Weekly for the event. Her great friend Anthony Hopkins attended the ceremony.
Helped Italian designer Giorgio Armani promote his Manhattan chain of stores.
Began work on Girl, Interrupted (1999), which took four more years to succeed to the screen (1996).
The role of Nola in Celebrity (1998) was actually written for Drew Barrymore.
Although there was no electricity on the commune where they resided, when Winona was seven, her mother began to manage an old movie theater in a nearby barn and would screen movies all day. She allowed Winona to miss school to watch movies with her.
Independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch wrote a role specifically for her in Night on Earth (1991), as a tattooed, chain-smoking cabdriver who dreams of becoming a mechanic.
She dedicated the film Little Women (1994) to Polly Klaas, a young girl from her hometown of Petaluma, California, who was kidnapped and brutally murdered. She offered a $200,000 reward for anyone with information on the subject, and remains a strong supporter of the Polly Klaas Foundation.
Auditioned for the role of Marla Singer in Fight Club (1999), which eventually went to Helena Bonham Carter.
Beat poet Allen Ginsberg was close friends with her parents.
Upset with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for refusing to pre-screen Autumn in New York (2000), saying she was very proud of the film and that the studio was giving it a bad name before it was even released.
Refused to do promotion for the horror film Lost Souls (2000).
Signed on to "The Girl You Want". After a few weeks of preproduction, she received a new version of the script, which she hated, and tried to get out of her contract. Touchstone Pictures threatened to sue her if she did, and so she completed the film. The film's title was changed to Boys (1996) and sat on the shelf for more than a year. After it finally got its release, it was released in less than 100 theaters in North America and grossed less than five hundred thousand dollars.
In late 1999, she started her own music company, Roustabout Studios.
Has appeared on the season finale of Saturday Night Live (1975) as herself on May 19, 2001.
The film Lost Souls (2000), though was released in late 2000, was actually shot in 1998, and New Line Cinema kept the film on the shelf for two years.
Had one date with Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller, who wrote the song "Rollerskate Skinny" about her.
She turned down the lead role in Sabrina (1995) because she felt she could not fill Audrey Hepburn's shoes and that the role was marked by sexism.
Her agent begged her not to do Heathers (1988), saying her career would be over.
Enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco at age 12.
The first house she bought was in the Hollywood Hills. She soon moved, saying she never fitted in.
Says Sarah Miles' performance in Ryan's Daughter (1970) inspired her to become a professional actress.
First auditioned for the role of Blanca Trueba in The House of the Spirits (1993) when she was age 16, but the role went to Pernilla August. The film took years to get made, and when it finally did, August had to drop out at the last minute because of pregnancy, and Winona replaced her.
Dropped out of The Godfather: Part III (1990). She said in an interview later that year that she arrived in Rome to film and simply could not get out of bed. A doctor was called and ordered her to return home and sleep.
Dated Johnny Depp for many years. He had a tattoo of her name and after they broke up, he had this reduced to "Wino forever".
She was considered for the role of Janet Wood in a big-screen remake of Three's Company (1976) opposite Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz, but the project was eventually cancelled.
(August 16, 2001) Suffered severe stomach pains and doubled over in pain. She was sent to her hotel room in London, England, and later was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with a severe gastroenterological disorder. She left the United Kingdom on August 24th. The sickness caused her to drop out of the (unreleased) film Lily and the Secret Planting (2002) and her role eventually went to Kate Winslet instead. Winona was said to have been very passionate about her role in the film and was heartbroken to leave. The incident brought to mind the similar 1990 stomach flu that caused her to drop out of The Godfather: Part III (1990) two days before filming began, causing a great deal of controversy.
(December 12, 2001) Was arrested in Beverly Hills for allegedly stealing clothing items and carrying illegal pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription. Her lawyer denied the accusations, and Winona was released later that evening on $20,000 bail. Despite her alleged crime, Beverly Hills police described her as "very friendly, polite and cooperative" and "a nice lady".
Has appeared on the cover of the June 2002 cover of W magazine wearing a "Free Winona" T-shirt. "Free Winona" T-shirts became popular over the Internet following her December 22, 2001 arrest, with many fans sporting them and purses in support.
Broke her arm during the filming of Mr. Deeds (2002), in the scene where she and Adam Sandler are riding bikes down a flight of stairs.
(November 6, 2002) She was found guilty of vandalism and grand theft in connection with the shoplifting charges dating from back on December 12, 2001. Sentencing is scheduled for December 6, 2002. She was acquitted of a third charge, burglary.
(December 6, 2002) Sentenced to 480 hours of community service, three years' probation, $3700 in fines, and $6355 in restitution for her arrest on shoplifting charges.
Was the host during Will Ferrell's final episode as a regular cast member of Saturday Night Live (1975).
She turned down the role of Katrina Van Tassel in Sleepy Hollow (1999), which went to Christina Ricci.
Is a huge fan of the documentary film Grey Gardens (1975).
Suffers from insomnia. She allegedly has had a habit of talking on the phone with actor Al Pacino, who also suffers from insomnia.
Suffers from aquaphobia due to trauma she suffered at age 12 when she nearly drowned. This caused problems when she had to act in some of the underwater scenes in Alien: Resurrection (1997). The scenes had to be reshot numerous times because of this.
Was a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998.
Her friendship with best friend Gwyneth Paltrow ended in the late 1990s because their lives grew apart.
Persuaded Universal Pictures to turn the February 1994 Los Angeles premiere of Reality Bites (1994) into a benefit for the Polly Klaas Foundation. She also had enough clout to see that Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" - Polly's favorite book - was made into Little Women (1994), with Winona in the title role and the film dedicated to Polly Hannah Klaas.
Billy Wilder and William Holden are two artists for whom Ryder has great respect.
She serves on the Board of American Indian College Funds.
(March 17, 2000) San Francisco International Film Festival awarded the prestigious Peter J. Owens Award to her for brilliance, independence and integrity.
Had several films that were announced but later canceled in the mid-2000s: Robert Altman's "The Widow Claire", Norman Jewison's "Embers", Jonas Åkerlund's "Oskur Fishman", and Élie Chouraqui's "Beyond Friendship". She also dropped out of Eulogy (2004).
Her participation in The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004) was reported by Italian newspapers months before the official announcements were made; Ryder claims she met author Laura Albert in 1993 at an opera.
She was harassed her first week of junior high school when a group of bullies mistook her for an effeminate, scrawny boy. Ryder said she came to school in Salvation Army clothes and one of the bullies cried out, "Hey, faggot!" They charged her and beat her down. She was injured so badly, she needed stitches. She was expelled from the school for her own "safety". She was then home-schooled from thereon in.
Received an honorary Master's degree in Fine Arts from the American Conservatory Theater.
In 1995, she made yet another significant artistic departure, recording a spoken word reading of the famous diary of Anne Frank, for which she received a Grammy nomination. Winona became one of the few non-musicians to have been nominated for both an Oscar and a Grammy for different projects.
She has a younger brother Uri Horowitz (named after Yuri Gagarin), an older half-brother Jubal Palmer and an older half-sister Sunyata Palmer.
Her father's family was originally named "Tomchin", however she stated that they were wrongly assigned the name of the family that they were travelling with when they arrived at Ellis Island, in 1906.
Is an avid reader of 1960s literature (Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac), but also F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen, Aldous Huxley, Oscar Wilde and many more. Her all-time favorite book is "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger.
She is also into music and plays the guitar. Her favorite band at one point was The Replacements, but she also loves Tom Waits, Cocteau Twins, Wilco and many others.
She owns some of Hollywood's stars' most priceless possessions (Louis Armstrong's bongo drums among others). She also has a collection of vintage Hollywood costumes, including Russ Tamblyn's jacket from West Side Story (1961), Leslie Caron's dress from An American in Paris (1951), Claudette Colbert's gown from It Happened One Night (1934), Olivia de Havilland's blouse from Gone with the Wind (1939), and Sandra Dee's bikini from the "Tammy movies".
Most of her childhood was spent in Petaluma, Sonoma County, California. The family spent some time in Columbia with Chilean revolutionaries in the mid-1970s. They moved to a 300 acre commune in Elk, Mendocino County with seven other families in the late 1970s, where they resided for four years.
Her godfather is Timothy Leary.
She was considered for the role of Velma Kelly in Chicago (2002), but Catherine Zeta-Jones was cast instead.
Good friends with Courtney Love and the late Brittany Murphy.
She was considered by director Neil LaBute for a role in The Wicker Man (2006), which she turned down.
Took her last name "Ryder" from singer Mitch Ryder of Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. She saw one of his albums in her father's record collection.
Her idol is actress Sigourney Weaver. She was a huge fan of Alien (1979) and jumped at the chance of appearing alongside her idol for that reason. Ryder starred opposite Weaver in Alien: Resurrection (1997).
Turned down two roles later taken by Julia Roberts; Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie in Steel Magnolias (1989) and Alice Sutton in Conspiracy Theory (1997). She also turned down the role of Nina Borowski in The Object of My Affection (1998), which went to Jennifer Aniston, because of scheduling conflicts.
Was engaged to Blake Soper, having been in a relationship with him since October 2007. [March 2008]
Owns a three bedroom house on Union Street in San Francisco that she purchased in 1995 for $1,300,000 as well as her long time four bedroom mini-manse on North Doheny Drive in Los Angeles that she purchased in 1998 for $2,600,000.
Sold her Manhattan co-operative apartment located at 1 Lexington Avenue in the relatively halcyon Gramercy Park neighborhood for $2,200,000.
Joined Amnesty International at age 12.
Received the "Prix Marie Claire Icono Fashion" during the Marie Claire Awards Party in Madrid, Spain. [November 2008]
She was discovered by a casting director at Salmagundi.
Bought her current Spanish-style Beverly Hills home from Rene Russo's sister, Toni Lynn Russo, who is also the ex-wife of Bernie Taupin, Elton John's lyricist.
In early 2011, she maintained a personal box office record, when she for the first time in her career had two movies placed in top 5 of highest grossing movies over the weekend at the domestic box office - Black Swan (2010) and The Dilemma (2011). Previously, when her two films Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Mermaids (1990) played in theaters over the 1990 holiday season, they were both placed in the box office top 10.
Is six years older than her Star Trek (2009) co-star Zachary Quinto, who plays her son in the movie. She was cast as Spock's mother Amanda because the opening scene originally featured her giving birth to Spock. However, the scene was deleted and replaced with a more action-packed scene. Incidentally, Captain James T. Kirk's mother in the movie is named Winona.
Beat out Kate Beckinsale, Carla Gugino and Uma Thurman for the role of Geneva Brannen in The Dilemma (2011).
She pitched Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) to Francis Ford Coppola. She had been given a pile of scripts by her agent, one of which was titled "Dracula: The Untold Story". This was the first time Ryder had ever read anything to do with Dracula, let alone see a film about him. She gave Coppola the script, when they met to discuss a possible adaptation of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road". Coppola was interested in Dracula as he saw it as a bridge-building exercise between him and Ryder after she had inexplicably dropped out of The Godfather: Part III (1990).
In 2009, on Paramount Pictures' website with "For Your Consideration" banners for award season, they featured one for Winona's performance in Star Trek (2009) despite her limited screen time.
According to Francis Ford Coppola, much of the cast for Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) was assembled as Winona's "dream cast".
For the first time in 17 years, she would have to audition for a role, as the film crew of The Dilemma (2011) wished to see what actress could create the right chemistry with Vince Vaughn. She originally auditioned for Beth, put they found her perfect for Geneva.
Has collaborated with Tim Burton, on film, three times now. There was a 21 year long gap between their second and third project. They also worked on the music video for the song "Here With Me" by the rock band The Killers (2012).
She was Martin Scorsese's first and only choice for the role of May Welland in The Age of Innocence (1993). For years, she kept the message she left on her voicemail, informing her she got the role.
She turned down the role of Maggie Hayward in Point of No Return (1993), which went to Bridget Fonda.
She was considered for the role of Ravenna the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), which eventually went to Charlize Theron.
When she was living with Johnny Depp in 1991, he once sent 200 packets of her favorite food, Oriental-flavored Ramen noodles, to her hotel room when she was away working on a film.
In 1997, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Joseph Califano Jr. publicly referred to her as a negative role model for having done "more damage to young girls" than any other actress "because she smokes all the time in every movie she makes".
Her Walk of Fame star resides directly in front of the Johnny Grant building next to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard, where Grant says he can "watch over her every day".
Winona's father is from a Jewish family (from Russia and Romania). Her mother has Belgian, German, Irish, and English ancestry. Winona's mother's maiden name, Istas, is Belgian.
Was due to appear at the 2nd Beckett's Festival in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland but had to pull out due to a sudden bereavement.
Angelina Jolie thanked her in her Oscar acceptance speech when she won 'Best Actress in a Supporting Role' for Girl, Interrupted (1999), adding that "Winona, you're amazing and thank you for supporting all of us through this.".
One of her favorite actresses is Barbara Stanwyck.
Wanted to be a competitive skateboarder when she was younger.
When Joyce Maynard released private letters from J.D. Salinger to the public for an auction, Ryder bid on them in hopes of sending them back to Salinger to honor his privacy or to ignite them if he did not wish to keep them. Salinger is one of her favorite writers.
Cut her eyelashes for her role as a city council woman in Show Me a Hero (2015) after writer David Simon sweet-mannered said they made her look too endearing.
In December 2015, she was announced as the new face of Marc Jacobs Beauty for the label's spring/summer 2016 campaign. She and the label's owner, Marc Jacobs have been close friends for years.
Was a member of the jury at Sundance Film Festival in 2015.
She portrays a ballerina in Black Swan (2010). In real life, she only took several ballet lessons as a child, but quit because she was intimidated by her teacher.
Is admittedly a late bloomer in terms of electronic devices. She did not know what streaming was, when she was approached to do the Netflix series Stranger Things (2016).
Did her own singing in Frankenweenie (2012). She agreed to do this when director Tim Burton said this had to sound imperfect.
Audrey Hepburn used to send her clothes.
Woody Allen had initially wanted her for the title role in Melinda and Melinda (2004), but was unable to insure her on the film's low budget. The role eventually went to Radha Mitchell.
Before becoming an established actress, Winona once babysat for Tom Waits, one of her favorite artists.
She was considered to play the lead role in the mystery drama Passion of Mind (2000), which went to Demi Moore.
Despite playing her granddaughter in The Age of Innocence (1993), Ryder is just 30 years younger than Miriam Margolyes.
The rock band "The Winona Ryders" named themselves after her.
Her name is very much the same as her birthplace.
Counts The Americans (2013) as one of her favorite television series.
She was Janet Tamaro's original choice for the role of Dr. Maura Isles in Rizzoli & Isles (2010). The role eventually went to Sasha Alexander.
Was the poster indie girl in the 80s and 90s. She was starring in the most eccentric movie roles at the time, proving to the world that it is perfectly okay to be different. In fact, it's more interesting if you are. The Tim Burton starlet was taking on roles in the biggest films in Hollywood before being old enough to get her driver's license.
In high school, she would get bullied constantly for wearing boyish clothing and for living an offbeat lifestyle. The actress also believes that her eccentric interests played a role in her outcast status.
Had such a tremendous impact over the course of those two decades, but in school, she was far from "icon status". After starring in Beetlejuice (1988), the bullying and torment only multiplied when school bullies called her a 'witch'.
Despite everyone wanting to snap a picture of her on the red carpet, no one wanted to sit next to her at the lunch table. She was seemingly living two different lives: One as the greatest star in Hollywood, and the other as a total outcast, with her nose hidden behind a paperback copy of "Franny and Zooey". (Ryder had a thing for J.D. Salinger in the same way that most girls her age had a thing for Bon Jovi).
She has played three characters named Charlotte so far in her career: Charlotte Flax in Mermaids (1990), Charlotte Fielding in Autumn in New York (2000) and Charlotte Morris in The Last Word (2008). She also came close to playing three characters named Beth: Beth Karr in 1969 (1988), Beth MacIntyre in Black Swan (2010) and came close to being cast as Beth in The Dilemma (2011) though she ultimately cast as Geneva Brannen.
She was ready to play Jupiter "Joon" Pearl in Benny & Joon (1993) and at the time was dating Johnny Depp. She dropped out of the project upon her break-up with Depp. The role eventually went to Mary Stuart Masterson.
She, Gretchen Mol and Famke Janssen starred in Woody Allen's comedy drama Celebrity (1998). 9 years later, the trio would star together in The Ten (2007).
Sean Astin played her love interest's overprotective best friend in Stay Cool (2009). 8 years later, he would play her boyfriend Bob Newby on Stranger Things (2016).
Born at 11:00 AM (CDT).

Personal Quotes (46)

When asked why is she always playing teenagers, during a press junket for Mermaids (1990): Like, I'm nineteen. What am I supposed to do, play a judge?!
I read biographies of the greats, and they were so messed up that I thought I'd better mess myself up. But I couldn't. I'm too small.
For a long time, I was almost ashamed of being an actress. I felt like it was a shallow occupation. People would be watching my every move.
[on Heathers (1988)] It's a brilliant piece of literature, and I call it literature because it really is. I held it up next to "Catcher in the Rye" and all the great books that I've read.
I don't feel threatened like Julia Roberts. Pretty Woman (1990) turned her into an overnight celebrity rather than an actress. Now her whole career is about box-office -- if her movies don't break $l00-million. It's not a burden I'd ever want to carry.
[on Alien: Resurrection (1997)] I couldn't hold my own against Sigourney Weaver and those special effects. I still don't know what I was doing in that movie. I look at it now and realize I really didn't belong. I'm just this little girl running around.
I still practice Buddhism to a certain extent and I believe in karma.
My father is an atheist. My mother is Buddhist. They encouraged my siblings and me to take the best part of other religions to make our own belief system.
I live in San Francisco, I have an apartment in New York, but I'm here all the time. Nobody knows... You can't stay away. I'm a San Franciscan to the bone.
I love Westerns. John Ford is one of the 10 best directors.
Focus should be on the art of film, not on the business of film.
My godfather Timothy Leary coined the phrase "question authority", it is one of my favorites. To question our government is the most important thing people can do right now in the United States.
[on why she never felt guilty about her shoplifting arrest] I didn't have this tremendous sense of guilt because I hadn't hurt anyone. Had I physically harmed someone or caused harm to a human being, I think it would have been an entirely different experience.
[on The Godfather: Part III (1990)] I was devastated because I love the Godfather movies so much. What happened was I'd done Mermaids (1990) and we were shooting for spring in the coldest winter in Boston's history, and I got an upper respiratory infection. The day I wrapped I had to get on a plane to Italy. I actually passed out in the costume-fitting. I was just exhausted, and the next thing I knew I was at home with my parents. The film's insurance people said I needed to be in bed for a few weeks. I was heartbroken, but at the same time I was so sick it was a relief. And Al [Pacino] and Francis [Ford Coppola] and Diane [Keaton] all called me and were really nice, which meant a lot. I felt bad in a way because they were so mean to Sofia [Coppola], who's always been so nice to me.
[on Kate Winslet when Winona was on Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993) in 2000] I'm captivated by her. I think that she's the most beautiful, talented, extraordinary actresses ever to grace the screen. I watch her movies over and over. It's kind of like one of those kids how they were with Elvis. I mean, I worship her... I met her once, and I was tongue-tied, and palms were sweating... There's something about her that I'm sort of in love with. I just think she's amazing.
I'm the happiest I've ever been. I'm not going to turn into Gloria Swanson and sit in my mansion watching my movies, with a crazy cigarette holder... but I feel so blessed to have done the things that I've done.
I don't know if it's because of my love of books and the pages and the print-there's just so much romance in them-but I hate all these doublespeak abbreviations like "OMG" and "LOL". I still don't know if that means "Laugh Out Loud" or "Lots of Love".
I was out at a bar with a friend who said, "Do you realize that in America you're never going to be able to meet a guy who knows nothing about you? Everyone will have preconceived ideas about who you are." I got so bummed out. I'd never really thought about it that way.
What's awful about being famous and being an actress is when people come up to you and touch you. That's scary, and they just seem to think it's okay to do it, like you're public property.
I think too much. I think ahead. I think behind. I think sideways. I think it all. If it exists, I've fucking thought of it.
[on Tim Burton] He gave me my career. Actually, if you think about it, I don't think I would be an actress if Beetlejuice (1988) hadn't come along, because I really wasn't thriving in those auditions. I'd just done a couple things, but I had black hair and was very pale, and that movie led to other things. So yeah, he gave me a career.
I don't know if it's a cold - 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.
Looking back - and this is all in retrospect - I did have a lot of success and a lot of great opportunities earlier in my career. But I did also have this thing that was sort of happening in my late twenties where, whether it was because of how I looked or because I started so young, even though I was the right age for things, people didn't think that I was old enough.
I was starting to have some trouble before that. I think a lot of people think that that is what sort of sent me off in another direction, but I was actually starting to have some trouble a few years before. And then there were also a couple of movies that I was going to do, that were all set up, and then, at the last minute, they fell apart... And with what happened... I was living up in San Francisco and I really needed the time off, which ended up being a couple of years. In a weird way, it was almost like the best thing that could have happened because I'd never asked myself the question before of, "Is it okay if I'm not going to act? Is there anything else?" because that was all that I really knew.
I have to admit, though, that every time I hear "comeback, blah, blah, blah", it's kind of hard for me. I'm not trying to be super-sensitive at all, but there is a little bit of defensiveness because I do feel like I have contributed. Even if I'd just made Beetlejuice (1988) and Heathers (1988), I put in work.
I'm in Brooklyn. I'm actually trying to do the bi-coastal thing now for real. I did it before, but not really. My home is San Francisco - that is definitely what I consider my home. But I have a little place for when I'm in L.A., and then there's this apartment in Williamsburg, which is the part of Brooklyn where my dad grew up. He came to visit... It's just so hip now.
I remember one time in particular. I was in the middle of auditioning, and I was mid-sentence when the casting director said, "Listen, kid. You should not be an actress. You are not pretty enough. You should go back to wherever you came from and you should go to school. You don't have it." She was very blunt - I honestly think that she thought she was doing me a favor.
[on her childhood] I was once told that I was playing, and John Lennon was there. I was too young to know who he was. I got in trouble because I gave something to his son Sean. I get told all these amazing stories, but at that time, they were just grown-ups. Now I'm older, I'm like "What!?". Because now I have the appreciation.
[2013] Recently, they were showing Lucas (1986) and Beetlejuice (1988) and it was a part of "The Golden Oldies". And I was so psyched by that, and I think I secretly like getting older and it's so cool to be in a "old Goldie".
[on the rumor that she turned down Sleepy Hollow (1999)] To be honest and boring, I was in the middle of switching agents so it could've come up. I don't know. Maybe people thought that because of [Johnny Depp] and I, but we were fine at that point. We did go through the whole year of, you know... So maybe people thought that was still an issue. It was a dramatic relationship because it was my first and they're always dramatic, but the press made it so much more. Actually I do remember talking to [Tim Burton] about Sleepy Hollow, but way before he did it. But I was interested to see it, because it was [Christina Ricci]'s first grown-up role - my little sister from Mermaids (1990).
[on Mean Girls (2004)] I'd always hoped that in some ways it was an homage to Heathers (1988). But then I read an interview with Tina Fey and she said, "Oh no, it has nothing to do with it." I got a little defensive, because I really think Heathers created something new.
[on Angelina Jolie, her co-star of Girl, Interrupted (1999)] She was so open about everything. I remember doing interviews with her and she would talk about things I never would. She's a completely different person these days and I have the utmost respect for her. And I think, at the time, she was also battling her looks because she's so beautiful. She wanted very much to be taken seriously and not just judged on her looks. And she conquered that. (2009)
There was a girl at my school who was kind of a Goth, and she got really picked on, absolutely tortured. People called her a witch. And she committed suicide. As soon as she did, all the kids who tormented her were like, "Oh, she was such a wonderful person." They were all at her funeral, crying. I got the script for Heathers (1988) that week. I thought it was a great commentary on that aspect of school life.
[on Star Trek (2009)] I really don't have much more than a cameo. I was kind of thinking I'd be like Marlon Brando in Superman (1978). Not that I'd ever compare myself to Brando!
I always loved the Patti Smith lyric, "Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine." I got sent home from school wearing a Patti Smith T-shirt with that line on.
I'm on the board of human rights organizations. One is for the West Memphis Three. We have to get these kids out because they are innocent. It's about justice. We have finally got permission to do a DNA test, which should have been automatic in the first place but was denied. There were so many inconsistencies in the case against them dental impressions didn't match the three boys in prison. But the trial happened so fast - the state wanted a result. Right now, they are saying DNA has been tampered with and is not admissible as evidence. It's a catch 22 situation. The case needs serious funding. It's a gross miscarriage of justice, I hope to see them freed soon.
In every article I've ever read - and my parents keep everything - it's like 'waif, pixie, waif, pixie'. There are worse things to be called, but I feel a little stronger than people may perceive me.
I tend to binge watch shows that were on a long time ago, but I don't know that, so I start telling everybody. Like I love Damages (2007) and I thought it was still on... and I was like "There's this great show, Damages," but it was over a long time ago.
There was a whole era where I got linked to everybody. People that I had never met. I was like "How? I'm home alone reading chapter 12 of a book.".
There were times where people might have seen me and said, "Wow, she's so lucky." But I was depressed, I was going through something. That time I went through led me to make Girl, Interrupted (1999). Most girls go through that at around that age - 20, 21. It's much more common than we think, which is why I wanted to make that movie. It worked in the sense that I still have girls come up to me and say that it really helped them, and that was nice to hear.
In my first apartment in L.A., Jodie Foster lived upstairs, and we'd do laundry together. She's so smart. She told me to resist doing things that other people say you should do. Don't be 'strategic'! I was up for this movie, Mobsters (1991), and everyone said I should do it. But Jodie said, "You have to feel very connected to something before you do it." So I turned it down. And it was a flop.
I get asked a lot, "What does it feel like to be a '90s icon?" And I'm like "You think I sit around and think of myself like that?" You can't think about yourself in those ways, because who does that? I did feel like it was a little bit of a struggle because when you achieve a lot of success when you're that age, in your late teens and early 20s, it was then harder to play roles when I was a little bit older that I was the right age for. People just thought of me as this person from Reality Bites (1994), or whatever. My thirties were a little bit tough, for various reasons. But I do remember work-wise, people thought of me as the ingenue. But I was too old for that.I know there's a lot of conversations right now about ageism, and I know a lot of actresses who have a tough time, and I've gotten offered those mom parts. But you can make something of it. For me, I'm finally getting to play my own age, and it's liberating. I would not want to go back to playing the ingenue. I'm not someone like Norma Desmond who's harking back to her younger days. I think because I started so young, I secretly wanted to be older all the time.
I can't imagine starting as an actress now. In my day, you did it because you loved acting. I know everyone says, "Well, the press harassment goes hand in hand, you can't complain about it", but I just never believed that. I worked with Meryl Streep when I was 19 or 20 and she said, "That's just bullshit. You're not signing up for that.".
It's interesting because The First Wives Club (1996) was the first movie that made a shitload of money that starred all women over a certain age. That was a milestone that made you think, "Oh, things are going to change." All those actresses are fantastic. I binge-watched this show Damages (2007). Glenn Close and Rose Byrne are so good. Lily Tomlin is in it. You see all these great actors and the writing is terrific. There are a lot of shows like that. And there are all these conversations right now about roles for women and being paid equally and all of that, but I think what it really is, is opportunity.
I don't regret opening up about what I went through [with depression], because, it sounds really cliché, but I have had women come up to me and say, "It meant so much to me.".
[observation, 2016] I took some years off and I didn't realize that was very dangerous in terms of my career. When I was ready to come back, I was like "Oh, where did everyone go?".

Salary (3)

Alien Resurrection (1997) $2,800,000
Stranger Things (2016) $100,000 per episode (Season 1 & 2)
Stranger Things (2016) $350,000 per episode (Season 3)

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