Winona Ryder’s 80s version is perhaps the most magical of all. It’s nearly impossible to reconcile the fact that the iconic actress wasn’t even a famous actress for half the decade. And she was a child throughout the entire decade. Winona Ryder’s 80s version was a game-changer, and we are here to discuss precisely why she made it big back then.
Winona Ryder 80s Project Lucas Was Not Her Intended Audition
Though she landed her first major role in the 1985 version of Lucas, this is not what the teenage actress set out to do. She was looking for the role held by Annabeth Gish in Franny and Zooey. Using the 80s version of a video camera – cumbersome and without hi-def – the young actress sent her audition tape to David Seltzer. He did not choose her for the job. However, he liked her – and he had another job in mind for the 14-year-old actress. He wanted her for Lucas. He’d already cast Charlie Sheen and Corey Haim, and an unknown teenager was just the person he was looking for.
How Did She Become Winona Ryder 80s Star?
Let’s be clear about something interesting. Winona Ryder was not born Winona Ryder. Instead, she was born Winona Laura Horowitz, and it’s easy to see why she chose not to use her birth name as her screen name. She came up with the name Winona Ryder when the people behind Lucas asked her how they should credit her role in the movie. When asked, she listened to a song by Mitch Ryder, and Winona Ryder was born.
While her role in Lucas was good, it wasn’t the most significant role. She was cast in a film called Square Dance in 1987, and she played a teenage dynamo. She did it, and she was given excellent reviews for her work. It was at that moment that Winona Ryder 80s teenage dream was born. The infamous Tim Burton saw her in Lucas. He heard about her in Square Dance. He knew he wanted to have her in a work he was doing, and he asked that she be cast in a little film he was working on. He’d already cast a litany of famous stars, and the game was changing. The 80s was about the change, thanks to a little movie called Beetlejuice and a rookie actress named Winona Ryder.
Winona Ryder’s 80s Films
Beetlejuice put Winona Ryder on the 80s map. She was serious about her role as an actress and becoming more famous. Alongside Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, and Alec Baldwin, the movie world was shaken by their film. She was a household name. She was cast in another 80s hit called 1969 alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Kiefer Sutherland. The hits kept coming, her work was improving, and everyone wanted a piece of Winona Ryder. By 1988, she was cast in the famous movie Heathers, opposite Christian Slater. Who was bigger? No one knows. What’s amazing is that her agent did not want her to take the role in Heathers. Her agent believed a film about killing high school students and suicidal innuendos would take her down faster than she rose to the top, but it did not happen. It was magic. But, it was the moment she was given a role in Great Balls of Fire that would change her life forever.
Winona Ryder’s 80s Relationships
The 1980s were coming to a close. It was 1989, and Ryder was at a movie premiere for her film Great Balls of Fire. It was then she met a young man named Johnny Depp. He was also an up-and-coming actor doing big things like Ryder, and things went crazy for them. Despite being almost a decade older and Ryder only being around 17 at the time, they immediately began dating and got engaged. They were together for several years, and they even went on to star in Edward Scissorhands together. Their relationship did not last, but it is perhaps the most famous in her life.
Winona Ryder’s Life Since the 80s
While the 80s and 90s were her significant years, she still lives a big life. She continues to book roles despite taking a long break following her 2001 theft arrest. She was arrested for stealing from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills and decided not to pursue her career for years following that. She did come back. Though she is not the “it” girl now that she was in the 80s and 90s, she’s still Winona Ryder, an 80s superstar, and no one can take that from her.
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