Winona Ryder, for someone as famous as she is and as influential as so much of her work has been, remains very opaque. She’s found privacy and hung onto it, to the point where a lot of people didn’t even know she had a longtime boyfriend, much less his name. It’s great, and it’s clearly what she needed. And she’s still very much that way. The story is a lot of words which don’t say a ton about her that we can’t already surmise, precisely because she is private. For example, she talks about struggling with the breadth of her fame, but not with a ton of specificity:

“I remember, I was playing this character who ends up getting tortured in a Chilean prison [in the 1994 drama The House of the Spirits],” says Ryder, who credits “an incredible therapist” for encouraging her to imagine being gentle to a younger version of herself. “I would look at these fake bruises and cuts on my face [from the shoot], and I would struggle to see myself as this little girl. ‘Would you be treating this girl like you’re treating yourself?’ I remember looking at myself and saying, ‘This is what I’m doing to myself inside.’ Because I just wasn’t taking care of myself. […]

“I’ve never talked about it,” Ryder says. “There’s this part of me that’s very private. I have such, like, a place in my heart for those days. But for someone younger who grew up with social media, it’s hard to describe.” 

I respect her not wanting to go into much detail, but it also makes for an awkward profile. I don’t think anyone QUITE got their hands around what the hook is here. The cover line isn’t really quite it, and the photos feel like what you’d shoot if an actor is transitioning into directing (which she isn’t, or at least, it’s not mentioned in the piece). If she’s naturally reticent, maybe THAT is when you rely on a celeb-on-celeb interview for your hook — and in truth, this is one of the first times I’ve ever wished for one of those. Winona Ryder Talks to Keanu Reeves — who is quoted in this article — is the piece I think we all really want to read.

[Photos: Dan Martensen]