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GQ Profiles Winona Ryder

The January issue of GQ features a profile of Winona Ryder by Alex Pappademas, who does a good job of not going the typical “everything this famous person does is really profound” route for the piece. Pappademas touches on the shoplifting and the pills incidents, which are completely unavoidable when discussing Ryder, but does so in a way that ensures the article isn’t overshadowed by them.

Ryder is, and always will be, the quintessential ’90s actress, and so Pappademas also takes the time to dive into some of her big roles back then, including Reality Bites (which we all know was just a bad version of Singles):

But there’s one scene in which Ethan Hawke, as Ryder’s asshole-sage roommate–love interest, puts down the Pringles and his copy of Being and Time long enough to tell her, ‘All you have to be by the age of 23 is yourself.’ Ryder was about that age here, and had already checked herself into a psychiatric clinic, for anxiety and depression. (‘I got really wiped out, and I had a semi-breakdown. I wasn’t sleeping, I didn’t know who I was because of different roles,’ she says.)

Toward the end of the piece Pappademas compares Ryder’s roller coaster career/life to that of Robert Downey Jr. and wonders if the public hasn’t let go of her downfalls simply because she’s a woman. A great point to make, especially since Downey Jr. once starred in The Shaggy Dog, and if we can all move on from that, we should be able to do the same with Ryder.

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