Winona Ryder is well known to us 80s kids, being that she starred in some of the greatest films of our youth, including Beetlejuice, Heathers and Edward Scissorhands. So we thought it was about time that we paid tribute to this queen of the screen with the following ‘15 Interesting Facts About Winona Ryder’…
1. Ryder Isn’t Her Real Surname
Her real name is Winona Laura Horowitz. Her stage surname comes from Mitch Ryder, who is a soul and rock singer that her dad was a fan of.
2. She’s Jewish
Her father’s family, who emigrated from Romania and Russia, are Jewish, and Ryder has also described herself as Jewish.
3. She Grew Up In A Commune
Winona lived on a hippy commune with her parents for four years, and apparently her mum allowed her to miss school to watch films.
4. She Was Bullied For Looking Like A Boy
During her first week at High School she was bullied by other children who mistakenly took her for a scrawny boy, circumstances which led to her being home schooled for a year.
5. She’s Petrified Of Water
Ryder suffers from aquaphobia due to a traumatic near drowning incident when she was 12 years old. This caused problems when shooting the underwater sequences in Alien: Resurrection, and meant that some scenes had to be shot numerous times.
6. She Was Advised Against Starring In Heathers
Her agent advised her not to take the role in Heathers, saying that it would ruin her career.
7. She Should Have Appeared In The Godfather Part III
Ryder withdrew from the role of Mary Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part III due to exhaustion.
8. She Called Out Mel Gibson
Winona has said that no-one believed her when she claimed that Mel Gibson was anti-semitic. This was referring to an incident more than 15 years ago when he called her a racial slur at a party after finding out she was Jewish.
9. She Appeared In A Cher Video
She appeared alongside Cher and Christina Ricci in the video for ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’, which was the theme from the film Mermaids.
10. She Was Arrested For Shoplifting
Winona was arrested for shoplifting in 2001 when she stole $5’500 worth of designer clothing and jewelry.
11. She Tried To Help Find A Kidnapped Child
In 1993, Ryder offered a $200’000 reward for the safe return of a kidnapped child called Polly Klaas. Polly lived in Petaluma which is the same town where Ryder grew up, but sadly the young girl was later found dead.
12. She Has Struggled With Mental Health Issues
She has long been open about her personal struggles with depression and anxiety.
13. She Had A Spat With Gwyneth Paltrow
Former friends Winona and Gwyneth Paltrow now have an ongoing feud after Gwyneth allegedly stole the Oscar winning role in ‘Shakespeare In Love’ from her. Paltrow has since been quoted as saying that Ryder is “venomous, dangerous and hellbent on taking me down.”
14. She’s A Pop Culture Icon
Ryder was listed at number 183 on VH1 and People magazine’s ‘200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons’.
What is your favourite Winona Ryder film? Please do let us know with a comment!