After starring in mostly indie films over the past 15 years, Winona Ryder has revealed that the born-again fame she’s experienced thanks to the success of Stranger Things is both exciting and overwhelming.
The 45-year-old found international stardom in the ‘80s but later scaled back her career following a shoplifting scandal in the early 2000s. Now, she’s back and better than ever, starring as a mother desperate to find her missing son in Netflix’s bona fide hit Stranger Things. The show’s spooky second season debuts Oct. 27, just in time for Halloween.
Opening up to Marie Claire UK about her comeback, the Heathers actress spoke candidly, “It’s so overwhelming. I don’t know what it’s like for really famous people… I keep hearing that people are dressing up like me [Joyce Byers]. I’m like, ‘What?’”
Winona also shared her experiences as a teen growing up in the limelight, and admitted that fame came with a price. "I remember thinking, ‘Ooh, [Beetlejuice] is like the number-one movie. This is going to make things great at school,’” she shared with the magazine. “But it made things worse. They called me a witch.”
The star's legal troubles resulted in a much needed break from the limelight. Speaking to Portermagazine, Winona admitted, “Psychologically, I must have been at a place where I just wanted to stop. It allowed me time that I really needed. I just had other interests, frankly."
When it came time came to get back into the game, she turned to a very special person to help her prepare for her comeback role.
“I said, ‘Mom, if every bit of logic is telling you your kid is gone, would you still [refuse to believe it]?’ And she said, ‘Absolutely.’ I said, ‘What if they show you a body?’ She said, ‘If you don’t see it happen, you don’t believe it.’ It’s a weird, primal thing,” Winona explained candidly. “But I may have gone too far: it seemed like every day I was crying or freaking out.”
The cast of Stranger Things were front and centre during the 2017 awards season, even picking up the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama series at the SAG Awards. And while her career on the small screen is keeping her busy, Winona is making her mark on the big screen, too. Next, she’ll star alongside Canada’s Keanu Reeves in the 2018 film Destination Wedding.