Winona Ryder talks depression and says she’s ‘sick of people shaming women for being sensitive’

'Stranger Things' comeback star opens up in new interview

Winona Ryder has spoken in a new interview about her history of anxiety and depression, hitting out at the “shaming” of women for being “sensitive or vulnerable”.

The actress made her comeback in Netflix’s recent hit sci-fi drama Stranger Things, which is expected to return for a second season. Ryder plays grief-stricken mother Joyce Byers in the show.

Speaking to New York Magazine, Ryder said: “There’s a line in the show where someone says [of her character Joyce], ‘She’s had anxiety problems in the past.’ A lot of people have picked up on that, like, ‘Oh, you know, she’s crazy.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, wait a second, she’s struggling.’ Two kids, deadbeat dad, working her ass off. Who wouldn’t be anxious?”

“Even that word, anxious. It’s a bad word,” Ryder added. “I remember I did Diane Sawyer [interview on 20/20 in 1999], and I talked about my experiences with anxiety and depression when I was that age. And I think by doing that, maybe coupled with my physical size, there’s this ‘crazy’ thing. And I’ve realised recently it’s literally impossible to try to change that story.”

“I wish I could unknow this, but there is a perception of me that I’m super sensitive and fragile,” Ryder continued. “And I am super sensitive, and I don’t think that that’s a bad thing. To do what I do, I have to remain open.”

“I’m so sick of people shaming women for being sensitive or vulnerable. It’s so bizarre to me… I do have those qualities, and I just don’t think there’s anything wrong with them. There were times when I let it feel too overwhelming and almost, like, shamed, but I had to just get over that.”

READ MORE: Winona Ryder’s Guide To New Netflix Show ‘Stranger Things’


Ryder recently gave her blessing to a potential sequel for 80s cult classic Beetlejuice.

A follow-up to the 1988 movie has been mooted for some years. Ryder, who played the role of Lydia Deetz in the original, said that a second Beetlejuice film “would be great if it happened” in a recent interview.

“I don’t really know what’s going on with that. Obviously, it was an iconic film. The only way it could really ever be done is with Tim [Burton] and Michael [Keaton],” she said.

“I don’t know. There’s something that really resonates with all ages, with that film. It’s interesting. I think it would be great if it happened, if it was the right circumstances.”