Winona Ryder Talks Aging, Plastic Surgery, Fame and Social Media

July 16, 2016

Winona Ryder is opening up about aging in Hollywood and shares her thoughts on plastic surgery, the downsides of fame. The 1990s icon who’s returning to the limelight in the Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’ also weighs in on social media, and why she avoids it. The

Winona Ryder

It’s been a few years since the now 44-year-old Oscar-nominated actress was on the promo trail for a project. This time around it’s the Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’ and now the 1990s icon — who rose to fame before we ever imagined such a thing as Netflix — in which movies as ‘Girl, Interrupted’ and the Tim Burton classics ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘Edward Scissorhands.’

For those who were wondering, that was a purposeful act, to more or less disappear from Hollywood. She tells Net-a-Porter’s The Edit that after “working a lot” back in the 1990s she “needed to slow down.” Elaborating, she said, “It’s so important to have a life outside the industry, to not look to it to validate you as a human being.”

She also spoke of weighing the risks and the benefits for herself as she said, “I’d been listening to the people I was working with – ‘You should be doing this, you have to keep working or people will forget you and you won’t be relevant…’ – but my heart wasn’t in it.”

And, as is quite well known, Ryder was arrested and convicted for shoplifting in 2001 at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, while also in possession of several prescription drugs, including Demerol and Vicodin. The surveillance footage from that pre-YouTube era has, nonetheless, found its way to the site and now has more than 400,000 views.

Reflecting on those days, she told The New York Times, ““I think for me, personally, it was good for my soul and stuff to be M.I.A.” Elaborating, she added, “In the big picture, I see it as something that opened the door for me to get away. All I’d ever done was act.”

But as for the deleterious effect on her public image, Ryder went on to concede, saying, “I think I’ll forever be associated with that. Definitely.” She added, “In the grand scheme of things it wasn’t exactly the crime of the century.”

In her interview with Net-a-Porter’s The Edit she reflected upon how much the landscape has changed in these past couple of decades, saying, ““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.”

She went on to say, “I worked with Meryl Streep when I was 19 or 20 [on The House of Spirits], and she said, ‘That’s just b******t. You’re not signing up for that.’”

She weighed in on social media revealing, not surprisingly, that she’s not exactly a rabid consumer of it, to the point that, in her words, she “can’t even take selfies.” She went on to call social media “a bit dangerous, in terms of self-obsession. It’s so important to look outward.”

Ryder also opened up on the topic of aging in Hollywood, and the prospect of plastic surgery. She told the publication, “I love getting older.”

Explaining the surprising and blunt statement, Ryder said, “I think it has to do with always being the kid on set. It’s interesting because, these days, [cosmetic surgery] is treated almost like hygiene. I’ve had people say to me, ‘Oh, you should, you know…’ and they point to my forehead. ‘Get that seen to!’ But I’m like, ‘No! I’ve been waiting so long for that to happen!’”

Probably not a view that many actresses would share, seeing as these signs of aging can literally put a dent in the paycheck, not to mention the heartbreak of “aging out” of roles. Ryder in acknowledging this, said, “I know actresses have a tough time because of their age – they’re just not getting hired.”

She continued, saying, “I know it exists. You’re the girlfriend, then you’re the mother. But I don’t see it as a bad thing – it can be just as interesting, if not more so, than the leading-lady, ingénue phase.”

And in the Netflix series, she’s portraying a single mother, and the actress, who doesn’t have any children, tells the New York Times she relied on some advice from her own mother in playing the part. Years may have gone by, yes, but to many she’s still forever intertwined with those early breakthrough roles, like the revenge-seeking high schooler in ‘Heathers.’

A photo posted by NET-A-PORTER (@netaporter) on

Pictures: PR Photos

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