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Home seven-facts Seven Facts About Stranger Things Star Winona Ryder: Her Childhood, Relationship With Johnny Depp, & Controversies

Seven Facts About Stranger Things Star Winona Ryder: Her Childhood, Relationship With Johnny Depp, & Controversies

Dahlia Published On Mon Feb 24 2020   Modified On Mon Feb 24 2020
Seven Facts About Stranger Things Star Winona Ryder: Her Childhood, Relationship With Johnny Depp, & Controversies

Academy Award-nominated actress Winona Ryder's successful acting career has spanned for more than three decades now. 

From playing a rebellious teenager to a doting mother, Ryder is counted under the A-list celebrity, and there is nothing in the world we would rather do right now than gush about this beautiful actress. 

Seriously, she is no stranger to frequent moviegoers; however, if she is, then you must have drunk water of the Lethe! Nevertheless, these seven facts of Winona Ryder will surely tickle your mind. 

7. She Was Named After a City

Born in Winona city of Minnesota, Ryder was named after the city by her parents Cynthia Palmer and Michael D. Horowitz.

Ryder's parents, who worked as author and editor, had a good friendship with The Doors of Perception author Aldous Huxley's wife, Laura Huxley. From Laura Huxley, Winona got her middle name. Winona Laura Horowitz derived her stage name from her father's favorite musician, Mitch Ryder. 

Moreover, at the age of seven, her family relocated to a remote place called Rainbow that had no electricity or television sets. 

Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder in the photoshoot for Red Magazine. Source: Pinterest

Despite the absence of electricity, her mother ran a theater in a nearby barn that would screen old movie movies. Winona was allowed to miss school to watch the films, from which her penchant for acting emerged.

6. Her Agents were Reluctant to Cast her in Heathers

A teenager who keeps a journal about the things she hates, mostly her three "best-friends" who go by the name Heathers; what could possibly go wrong if someone stepped into the role for this script! 

But Winona's agents were against the idea of her playing the lead role of Veronica. The reason for it was the movie's depiction of dark subject matters. Her agents did everything in their will to stop Ryder from signing the film, even warning then 15-years old Winona that it might ruin her budding career. 

Nevertheless, Winona was so obsessed with the script that she reportedly begged the writer, Daniel Waters, to cast her as Veronica. Walter, who had been wavering between actresses like Drew Barrymore, Justine Bateman, and Jennifer Connelly, eventually placed Winona in the lead cast along with Christian Slater

Interestingly, her co-star Shannen Doherty had also shown interest in playing as Veronica.

5. Her L'Oreal's Commercial Sparked Controversy

A L'Oreal shampoo commercial aired during the 75th annual Golden Globe Award, which showed a mysterious woman all set to make a red-carpet debut. 

After 60 seconds, the woman is shown to be Winona Ryder, who exclaims, "Everyone loves a comeback. Damaged hair deserves one too!" In just a second, the people on Twitter went frenzy over the advertisement. 

Winona Ryder
People voiced their opinion on Twitter regarding Winona's L'Oreal shampoo commercial. Source: Twitter 

While some praised the concept and wanted it to be nominated for best picture at the Oscars, others felt the ad trivialized Winona's career by comparing it to the damaged hair. 

4. Has been Arrested for Shoplifting 

The 48-years old actress was arrested on December 12, 2001, for walking away with more than $5,500 worth of designer clothes and accessories from a Saks Fifth Avenue department store. She was also accused of carrying illegal pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription. 

According to the New York Times, her stolen items include a Marc Jacobs's cashmere sweater, Frederic Fekkai hair adornments, Donna Karen's cashmere socks, and bags. 

In December 2002, Winona received three years of supervised probation and 480 hours of community service. She also paid a total of $3,700 fine along with compensation to the store. Ryder took a long hiatus from her acting career after the incident.

3. Was 18 years old in Edward Scissorhands

In the movie Edward Scissorhands, Ryder's portrayal of Kim Boggs earned her Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress. While filming for the role, Winona Ryder was only 18 years old. Winona dropped out of The Godfather: Part III at the last minute to appear in the film. 

Initially, Drew Barrymore had auditioned for Kim Boggs, but Winona, who had previously worked with the director, Tim Burton, in Beetlejuice, eventually received the role.

2. Had a Relationship with Johnny Depp

The Age of Innocence actress met ten times Golden Globe-nominated actor Johnny Depp at the premiere of the movie Great Balls of Fire! in June 1989. They began dating after just two months of the initial meeting and got engaged in July 1990. Depp even had a tattoo of her name telling People magazine,

“There has been nothing in my 27 years that is comparable to the feeling I have with Winona.”

However, the couple broke off the engagement in 1993, but Depp did not completely remove the tattoo. He modified the tattoo to "Wino forever."

Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp
Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp at the premiere of Cry-Baby. Source: Yahoo

On his break-up, the 56-years old actor told the  Los Angeles Times

"It is very hard to have a personal life in this town. My relationship with Winona, it was my mistake to be as open as we were, but I thought if we were honest it would destroy that curiosity monster. Instead it fed it, gave people license to feel they were part of it."

Winona, who dated actor Matt Damon from 1998 to 2000, prefers keeping her private life away from the prying eyes of the media. Nevertheless, Ryder is currently in a relationship with Scott Mackinlay Hahn and has been dating since 2011. 

1. Feels Like She Might have Gone too Far with her Character 

Winona plays as a single mother, Joyce Byers, in the Netflix series Stranger Things. She has received critical acclaim for her performance in the series along with other fantastic cast members like David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Charlie Heaton, Gaten Matarazzo, Natalia Dyer, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Joe Keery, Maya Hawke, and many more. 

But despite making the audience glued to the television screen from her phenomenal performance, the 48-years old feels like she "may have gone too far" while playing the remorseful character in Stranger Things.

In a conversation with Marie Claire magazine, Ryder talked about seeking advice from her mother adding,

"It’s a weird, primal thing (about refusing to believe one's child is dead until the body is found). But I may have gone too far: it seemed like every day I was crying or freaking out."