Winona Ryder has recently come back into the spotlight after something of a hiatus from show business, blowing audiences away with her performance as frantic but determined mother Joyce Byers in the Netflix series “Stranger Things.” As part of her re-emergence, Ryder (born Winona Horowitz) gave an interview to New York Magazine’s Heather Havrilesky, in which she revealed details about her life, her method, and existing in the spotlight. Here are the top five things we learned about Winona through the interview:
1) She used her hiatus to engage intellectually.
Ryder explained that during her break, she got really into constitutional law, linguistics, and etymology. She describes an “archivist gene” that takes effect when it comes to her intellectual interests, possibly inherited from her father, Michael Horowitz, who served as Timothy Leary’s official archivist.
2) She doesn’t have kids, but that doesn’t mean she can’t play a mother.
When discussing her character in Stranger Things, she mentioned that people point out the fact that she doesn’t have kids herself, and therefore would not know how to act like a mother. Ryder disagrees. “I actually felt tremendous compassion for her,” Ryder said. “I feel like she was one of these people that had dreams, but she had kids. And it made me think of all the women I know who have kids, who when they they talk about [anything negative about their lives as mothers], they always say, ‘But I love my kids, I wouldn’t trade them for the world.’ Like they feel guilty for even hinting that they’d want something outside of kids! It’s a weird thing.”
3) She was raised in part on a commune in California.
Ryder’s parents were of the general hippie persuasion. She spent some of her earlier years on a commune in California (having originally been born in Minnesota), and developed an interest in acting after watching old films her mother would play in the family barn.
4) She’s not on social media.
Contrary to most celebrities these days, Ryder is not on social media. She says she doesn’t know how to use it, and is glad to be off of it because it spares her the experience of being stalked and/or harassed online.
5) She works to break the stigma against openly discussing depression and anxiety.
Ryder is passionate about doing work that confronts societal typecasting of women who struggle with anxiety and depression, such as her 1999 film “Girl, Interrupted.” She has been stigmatized herself for talking openly about her own struggles with anxiety and depression, but continues to challenge norms that prohibit people from being honest about their experiences.
Lana Adler is the Forward’s summer opinion fellow. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @Lana_Macondo
Actress Selma Blair apologized after being taken off a plane on a stretcher following a mid-air outburst on a trip home from a family getaway.
A source told People Magazinethat Blair, who was heading back to Los Angeles from a vacation in Cancun, Mexico with her 4-year-old son Arthur Saint, had allegedly started screaming and crying in mid-air.
Once the plane landed at LAX, Blair was rushed to the hospital by local medical professionals.
“She was met by paramedics at LAX as soon as her plane arrived,” the source said. “It looks like she had taken a combination of prescription medication with alcohol. We don’t know what sort of prescription medications.”
According to TMZ, who broke the story, other witnesses heard Blair crying that she was afraid of an unnamed man.
“He burns my private parts. He won’t let me eat or drink,” Blair allegedly said. “He beats me. He’s going to kill me.”
Blair has since apologized for the incident in a statement she gave to Vanity Fair.
“I made a big mistake yesterday. After a lovely trip with my son and his Dad, I mixed alcohol with medication, and that caused me to black out and led me to say and do things that I deeply regret,” said Blair. “My son was with his Dad asleep with his headphones on, so there is that saving grace. I take this very seriously, and I apologize to all of the passengers and crew that I disturbed and am thankful to all of the people who helped me in the aftermath. I am a flawed human being who makes mistakes and am filled with shame over this incident. I am truly very sorry.”
On her Twitter account, Blair replied to a comment of support from “Orange is the New Black” star Lori Petty, saying that she had a “super bad day.”
I love you. Super bad day. https://t.co/tsKEKsuSoH— Selma Blair (@SelmaBlair) June 22, 2016
Earlier in the week, Blair posted an Instagram photo of her and her son on a plane, saying that they were “leaving on a jet plane.”
For people who keep track of these things — and naturally, The Shmooze is far too refined for such behavior — today is the second straight day that private photos of a major Jewish celebrity have been released by hackers.
Yesterday’s victim was Scarlett Johansson; today’s is Mila Kunis. Both appear to be victims of a hacking ring devoted to releasing personal photos of young female celebrities. Earlier casualties include “Gossip Girl” star Blake Lively, bad-movie staple Jessica Alba and former Disney princess Vanessa Hudgens. The FBI is apparently investigating the Johansson hacking.
Other than Kunis and Johansson’s respective backgrounds — the latter’s mom is Jewish, so we’ll claim her — there’s nothing “Jewish” about this scandal. And of course the family-friendly, high-minded Shmooze would never post — or even glimpse at — the leaked photos, which in Kunis’s case are reportedly far tamer than her “Black Swan” scenes with that other Jewish goddess, Natalie Portman.
We merely bring these facts to your attention during our brief breaks from studying the Talmud and reading Joyce and Keats.
These days, all you need is a little chutzpah and some social networking to make your dreams come true. At least, that is all American-Israeli Molly Livingstone needed to achieve her goal of meeting Sarah Silverman on the comedienne’s first trip to Israel.
The 28-year-old Los Angeles native, who lives in Jerusalem and does improvisational and sketch comedy with the HaHafuch troupe, has long admired Silverman. “I’ve been a fan of Sarah Silverman since I first found out about her. She’s a successful Jewish-American woman comedian and, and that’s something special. I am fascinated by her. She pushes all the buttons and is a very smart person,” Livingstone said.
So, Livingstone wrote a post on her blog, The Big Felafel, titled “Be My BFF Campaign: Sarah Silverman Be My Friend,” in which she comically declared her admiration for Silverman and listed several compelling reasons why the performer should agree to meet her. First on the list: “We are both Jewish (I only use this as a reason, because people think when they are setting people up, as long as they have one thing in common, like age, race or religion, that they must be perfect for each other…just trying to cover my bases. And this is kind of like the perfect shidduch).”
Who knows what evil lies in the hearts of celebs? In the age of cell-phone cameras, radio talk shows and YouTube, the answer is: nearly everyone.
At least in the last couple weeks, that evil has been a familiar one: anti-Semitism, with everyone from Charlie Sheen to (allegedly) Julian Assange to a Japanese rock band making what were at best questionable statements (sartorially or otherwise) about Jews and/or Nazis.
The Shmooze, in recent days, has come to resemble nothing so much as a running tally of anti-Semitic celebrity behavior, as well as a log of other celebrities making excuses for the anti-Jewish ranters and ravers.
What gives? (Or as our editorial yesterday asked, “Who raised these guys?”) A quick scan of the news rules out the normal explanations. Relations between Israel and its neighbors are relatively calm, for once, with the main drama in the Middle East unfolding in repressive Arab police states. The global economy, sadly, is still limping along, but there haven’t been any specific developments that would stir up the old hatreds and conspiracy theories.
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