6 Things You Didn’t Know About Stranger Things’ Winona Ryder

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Stranger Things’ Winona Ryder
6 Things You Didn’t Know About Stranger Things’ Winona Ryder

There are several interesting facts about Stranger Things star, Winona Ryder, that are not common knowledge. While she is widely known today for starring as Joyce Byers in Stranger Things, this was not the only role that was a huge success for the 80’s rising star. On the contrary, her roles as Veronica in Heathers and Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice enabled the actress jump into the Hollywood spotlight in the 1980s.

Even though Ryder took a step back from the entertainment industry for many years, Stranger Things helped her make an exceptional comeback. With her return to the limelight, there’s renewed curiosity about the actress with new fans wanting to know more about her. The good news is that Winona Ryder has led an interesting life, so here are facts about the actress worth knowing.

6. Winona Ryder Isn’t On Social Media

winona in beetlejuice

In today’s world where many people has multiple social media accounts, it is surprising to hear that Winona Ryder has none. This is largely due to the fact that Ryder is a private person and also because she isn’t particularly fond of technology. In an interview with Net-a-porter she confessed, “I’m not on [social media]. I’m very private, so I can’t imagine what I’d want to share with the world.” Later in the same interview, she admitted to only recently learning about the button that made the screen flip. 

5. The Actress Was Once Arrested For Shoplifting

winona ryder with sunglasses

At the height of her superstardom, the 80’s superstar was arrested (not jailed) for shoplifting from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, California. The shoplifting incident temporarily hampered her career as a Hollywood star. According to Ryder, after the incident, she went back to San Fransisco and invested her time in things she was interested in. 

In an interview with Porter Magazine, Ryder confirmed that the incident was a form of self-sabotage. Taking time to work on herself before her returning to the industry has proven to be the right choice for the actress. The rest, as they say, is history.

4. Winona Ryder Lived In A Tree For A Week

winona ryder behind a tree

Over the course of her career, Winona Ryder also took interest in constitutional law, and learning about environmental activism. To expand her activist pedigree, she then joined the environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill, who lived in a tree for 738 days. However, following a protest attempt, Ryder has since revealed she only made it for six days in the tree. 

3. She Helped Her Best Friend Get Cast In Dracula

winona and keanu staring at each other

Interestingly, it wasn’t the sole decision of Francis Ford Coppola, director of Dracula, to cast Keanu Reeves in the movie. Instead, it was a decision made after Ryder was consulted. Coppola had initially wanted to cast Johnny Depp in the movie, but as these things go, he ultimately went with Reeves as Jonathan Harker. The movie also starred Ryder, Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins.

2. She Took Her Stage Name From A Band

winona in stranger things

Did you know that Winona Ryder isn’t her actual name but a stage name? Her real name is Winona Laura Horowitz. The “Ryder” stage name was actually from a band. The best way to describe how she got the name would be that she was in the right place and time. While listening to Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels’ album in the background, she was asked how she would want her name to appear in the credits of her projects, and “Ryder” was the only thing she could think of at the instant. 

1. Winona Ryder’s Godfather Was “The Most Dangerous Man In America”

timothy leary and winona

While growing up, Winona had familial connections with several popular names of the Beat Generation. The biggest of them all was the link with her godfather, the famous Timothy Leary. According to Richard Nixon (former U.S. president), Leary was recognised as “the most dangerous man in America.” It wasn’t that Leary was actually a dangerous man in the literal sense, but his intriguing personality and prominence in the hippie movement that made him famous. Throughout the 1960’s, he also worked as a writer and psychologist, with his particular skillset lending his influence at the time. Much like his goddaughter, Winona Ryder, Leary has earned a place in popular culture.

READ NEXT: Why did Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder Break Up? The Truth Behind Their 4-Year Romance

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