Winona Forever


“I had just had my first real BREAK-UP, the first heartbreak.  Everybody else just thought I had everything in the world, but inside I was completely LOST… I remember feeling, I can’t complain about anything, because I’m so lucky, I’m so lucky.”

Out of the many actresses from the GENERATION X-ers, Winona Ryder is the one that I remember the most from growing up.  It was her movies that I identified with the most and so did most of my FRIENDS.  Winona Ryder is arguably the best known ACTRESS of my generation and has made some of the most influential films of my generation.  Heathers, Beetlejuice, Mermaids, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Edward Scissorhands, Reality Bites, How to Make an American Quilt, Little Women, Night on Earth and The Age of Innocence.  I admire her choice of film roles.  Every film she has done has been really INTERESTING and she really OWNS her characters.
 Winona as Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice (1988). 
Some of her roles have been played out over and over again in my MEMORY – I cannot tell you how many times I have watched FILMS such as Beetlejuice, Heathers, Dracula, Reality Bites…too many times to count.  I think I have taken a little of each character and made it my own over the years.
I LOVED that her Heathers (1989) character Veronica wore a monocle when she wrote in her diary, and I started wearing black a lot more after I became OBSESSED with Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice.  And Lelaini, well lets just say that thrift store fashion became my new obsession.  But it was the CHARACTER Finn Dodd that had the greatest INFLUENCE on me because I named one of my daughter’s after her.  FINN became my daughter Chloe’s second name.  I loved the struggle that Finn goes through, the strength she find within herself by seeking out the guidance of the MATRIARCHS of her family.  The strength and empowerment ILLUSTRATED in the film is so important and very crucial in the development of WISDOM.
As Mina Murray in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1991)

“My career was gradual. I didn’t do a Pretty Woman movie where suddenly I was a huge star. I started so young that I never had time to be AMBITIOUS because I was already working. I never had that, ‘I’m going to be in the movies’, because I already was. It’s strange the way people throw themselves into STARDOM – and that world is not reality. What will you draw on for your performances if you just live in this bubble of Hollywood? . .. People who are OBSESSED with making it and salaries and box office, they have nothing to draw on when they do their work. It’s very apparent on-screen.”

As Kim Boggs in Edward Scissorhands (1990)

She has been nominated for an Academy AWARD twice by the age of 24.  Winona Ryder has the gift of INHABITING her characters.

The House of the Spirits (1993) – Blanca Trueba
Night on Earth (1991) – Corky
Mermaids (1990) – Charlotte Flax
as Lelaina Pierce in Reality Bites
as Finn, my favourite of Winona’s characters.
Finn Dodd in How to make an American Quilt – STRENGTH without knowing it, knowing without being egotisitcal.  Jo March, Lelaina Pierce, Lydia Deetz, these characters are forefront in my MEMORIES of Winona.

How to Make an American Quilt  (1995) – Finn Dodd
Reality Bites – (1994) Lelaina Pierce
The Age of Innocence (1993) – May Welland

I am not going to rehash or go over the DRAMA that Winona has been plagued with since her conviction for shoplifting.  We’ve all been there, i.e. done something we aren’t PROUD of and had to pay the price, no matter how small.  Luckily for most of us, we haven’t had to ENDURE the world’s press and Papparazzi while going through it.

In 1991 Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp were the KING and QUEEN of Hollywood.

“Well, I shouldn’t complain!  I had my first real relationship with Johnny, a fiercely deep love that I don’t know that I’ll ever. .. .The FIRST LOVE is like that isn’t it? I don’t know today.  It was a real wild time back then.”

They were the Natalie Wood/Warren Beatty of their time.  Winona met JOHNNY when she was 17.  He proposed to Winona 5 months after they met.  By 20, she was single, alone and HEARTBROKEN.

Winona went on to make some of her BEST films ever but eventually her constant work and not taking time out brought an end to her favourite actress status and we saw her tumble in the LIMELIGHT in a terrible and humiliating fashion.

Photographs by Steven Meisel.

Winona was Marc Jacobs MUSE for a spell, appearing in advertisements shot by Jurgen Teller.  She is known for her passion for VINTAGE clothing and often wears her own finds on screen.  In her latest role as Sandra in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee she brought basically her character’s wardrobe in her suitcase to the set.  “I saw her as thrift-store girl because it was stuff she could afford, and also because I picture her really ROMANTICISING the other eras because she’s still searching or her own identity.”

Beetlejuice (1988) – Lydia Deetz, goth teenager
Heathers (1989) – Veronica Sawyer, teenage murderess
Little Women (1992) – Jo March, gifted emerging writer

Eternally YOUTHFUL.  The cover on the left is dated July 2009 and the second is dated January 1997.  She still looks the same, she doesn’t look a day older, does she? LUCKY girl.

Alien: Resurrection (1997) – Annalee Call, android
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) – Mina Murray, reincarnation of Prince Vlad’s wife, Elisabetta
Edward Scissorhands (1990) – Kim Boggs, teenage cheerleader
Autumn in New York (2000) – Charlotte Fielding – dying milliner genius

Hanging out, doing her own thing.
“I thought it was COOLER to be interesting than pretty.” – Winona Ryder

“If there are two words I would use to describe Winona, they are ‘ELUSIVE’ and ‘DISARMING’.  she isn’t easy to pin down – for a coffee date or a straight answer.  She is a great changer of plans.  I sense that she lives very much in the PRESENT, in her own emotional reality, and she remains TRUE to that. ” Rebecca Miller, Writer/Director of Winona’s latest film THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE.

“She’s ECCENTRIC, her own person, with her own STYLE.  She follows no one.”

Obviously a very strong and INDEPENDENT woman.  Good for her I say.
I am looking forward to seeing more of Winona on the big-screen.  I have MISSED her.

Ciao for now,
Heidi x

Sources: Vogue, Bazaar, ElleUK,, Style,com, Google, Denimology.

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5 thoughts on “Winona Forever

  1. Wow! Thanks for the amazing post about the amazing Winona! I love her so much. She is absolutely gorgeous! I’ve watched some of her movies and my favourite is Heathers, and want to watch more movies in which she starred. Love…

  2. Lovely post! I adore so many movies that Winona was part of. American Quilt, Reality Bites, Autum in New York, so on, so on… She really is pretty. and I hope she makes more movies, it's good to see her on the screen.

  3. how many times did we watch reality bites or dracula at the movies? remember that premiere mag with gary oldman and winona on the cover? i've still got that! Hx

  4. Yes! I love Winona!!! We grew up with her didn't we? And she's always seemed very relatable to me (even though she is drop dead gorgeous and doesn't seem to age)

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