She was a darling of the 1990s. Considered unconventional, strange, beautiful, and intelligent, Winona Ryder was once upon a time one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. After a bit of a virtual disappearance from the movie and television scene, she’s comeback rather strong in the public eye. A lot of it may be thanks to her starring in everyone’s favorite new classic Stranger Things. And in that time before, we’ve missed Winona. So here’s a list of all the cool things you may not have known about this talented actress.

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6. Petite But Not Weak
  Standing at 5 foot 3 and with a rather slender build, it may seem like Ryder’s a rather petite woman, but that doesn’t mean she’s not tough. When filming a scene for the film Mr. Deeds in 2002, Ryder ended up breaking her arm because the scene required she and Adam Sandler to ride motorcycles down a flight of stairs--a pretty dangerous task, whether or not it’s for a movie. Not only that, but during that time she had to go to a hearing for shoplifting, she had to ask for it to be delayed. Why? Apparently, someone from the crowd of paparazzi outside the courthouse had whacked her arm. And it turns out she had re-broken the same arm.

5. Winona Ryder’s Dracula
  Lots of people watched Francis Ford Coppola’s take on Bram Stoker’s famous vampire novel Dracula, a book that would fuel the popularity of vampire lore into the next century. And apparently, the film directed by Coppola and released in 1992 might have not happened if it weren’t for Winona Ryder, who stars as the main female lead, Mina Murray. Apparently, after receiving a Dracula script, she pitched the idea to Coppola. And according to the director, the others who starred in the film such as Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman, Richard E. Grant, and Anthony Hopkins were all Ryder’s choices for the cast. 

4. Her Wardrobe
  Not only has Winona Ryder been considered a strange yet striking brunette beauty, people dig her style, too. Back in the 90s, Ryder was a fashion icon, though she didn’t necessarily dress to fit the trends. Instead, Winona’s aesthetic showed that you can be an outsider and still be incredibly stylish. While she dressed with class on the red carpet, Ryder’s casual style has been admired by many, from oversized clothes to all black attire, and to this famous outfit she wore to The Commitments premiere in 1991. The outfit featured Levi’s 501 jeans, a leather jacket, and that iconic Tom Waits t-shirt. Here she is in 2016 wearing that same shirt at the screening of Paterson in New York.

3. Hand-Me Downs From Hepburn
   According to Ryder, Audrey Hepburn used to send Winona Ryder her old clothes, which surely says something of how highly someone like Hepburn regarded a young Winona Ryder. And it seems that sort of tradition is something Ryder wants to continue since actress and style blogger Tavi Gevinson said Ryder had passed down a pair of Hepburn’s gloves to her in 2014. 

2. Speaking Out About Mental Health
  In an interview with Dazed, Ryder comments on how she thinks it’s bizarre that people shame women for “being sensitive or vulnerable.” Ryder suffers from depression and anxiety, conditions she has opened up about fairly recently, admitting that the 90s were a tough time for her mentally. Ryder admits she’s a sensitive person, though she also thinks those who note that as a negative should rethink the way they see things. She’s been famous since a very young age and because of this, a lot of her life has been very widely documented, such as her clear mental breaking point during the early 2000s. Since then, Ryder has been on the comeback, most recently starring in the hit Netflix original Stranger Things. Ryder comments that it’s okay to not be perfect and that it’s fine if you’re a little confused. 

Raised In A Commune
  So let’s go back to how we mentioned Winona Ryder’s parents were hippies and friends with a psychedelic guru doctor and John Lennon. Among that friend list includes the likes of Allen Ginsberg, if that gives you a better clue as to what her childhood must have been like. Ryder does want to stress, however, that she did not grow up in a cult. Rather, she grew up partly in a commune, one located in Mendocino, California near the redwood forests. She remarks how her parents leaned more on the intellectual side of hippie culture and that while her parents did not encourage them to do drugs, should she or her brother get curious, their parents recommended they come see them and not get substances off the street. In what she calls an “unconscious rebellion” Ryder says she ended up staying away from a lot of parts of the hippie movement when she got older. 


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