Joyce Byers is the mother of lost boy Will. Ryder has now admitted she asked her own mother to get her perspective on how a ‘normal’ parent would react to the news that her son had gone missing.
Speaking to Marie Claire, the actress said she asked her mother, “Mom, if every bit of logic is telling you your kid is gone, would you still [refuse to believe it]?” According to Ryder, her mother replied “Absolutely,” a reaction conveyed strongly in Ryder’s portrayal of Joyce. “What if they show you a body?’ asked Ryder. “She said, ‘If you don’t see it happen, you don’t believe it.’”
Speaking about her emotional performance in the role, Ryder called her portrayal of motherly instinct “a weird, primal thing.” However, she added, “I may have gone too far: it seemed like every day I was crying or freaking out.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Ryder admitted to being bullied as a child after performing in Beetlejuice. “I remember thinking, ‘Ooh, [Beetlejuice] is like the number-one movie. This is going to make things great at school.’ But it made things worse. They called me a witch.”
Winona Ryder stars in the new season of Stranger Things, out later this month.