Winona Ryder Talks Past, Present, And Being “Pretty Enough”

Here are facts: Winona Ryder is beautiful. Winona Ryder is totally unique and you'll never forget her face. Winona Ryder is a pretty awesome actress who paved the way for many off-kilter, vaguely emo young girls. Here's something that's not true: Winona Ryder isn't pretty enough to be in movies.
And yet, there exist confused enough people in Hollywood to tell her otherwise. In the cover story for Interview magazine's May issue, Ryder discusses her early days and how she never let rejection get her down: "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."... I was around 15 or 16."
Now, after reading this, we have two personal letters to write. One is addressed to that casting director to tell them, with all due respect, to shut up. The other is a thank-you note to her parents, for creating a teenage girl with more resilience than many adults: "But it's funny — and this is a testament to my parents and how they raised me — I wasn't crushed. They had always instilled in me that it was way cooler to be an individual and to be unique and that you don't want to blend in." And we are so glad for that.
Ryder is currently living in Williamsburg, though pining for San Francisco, with a new film just out and another in the works. She's been out of the spotlight for a while, but is hoping that will help her break free of some of the typecasting she experienced in her earlier career. Talking about the Reality Bites heyday, she explains that she and her castmates, "were just at that age, and everyone was telling us how great we were all the time, so we were sort of buying into it a little bit. But then you get older and you kind of..I'm not saying you cringe, but you're like, 'Oh, god.'"
Among other things, she talks about her reluctance to get work done — she's proud of her (alleged, no evidence here) forehead wrinkles, thank you very much. And yes, her previous arrest for shoplifting. And Beetlejuice. On top of that, she's looking more lovely than ever in the dark, atmospheric photos shot by Craig McDean. Head over to Interview for the full spread, but please, don't call it a comeback — per Ms. Ryder's request.

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