Winona Ryder is one of the most acclaimed actresses of the 1990s, but after a public breakdown in 2001, the star stepped out of the limelight and it seemed we’d lost the quirky beauty with a penchant for dark roles. A small but haunting role as an aging ballerina in 2010′s Black Swan brought Ryder back to our attention, and since then the actress has appeared in a select few projects but still stayed more or less under the radar. Now it’s been announced that Ryder is set to star in a new, six-episode HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero alongside Alfred Molina and Walking Dead star Jon Bernthal, The Hollywood Reporter has said.
Show Me a Hero addresses the contemporary civil rights struggles in the small city of Yonkers, New York where the young mayor Nick Wasicsko (played by Oscar Isaac) is required to build a number of low-income housing units in white neighborhoods by a federal court order. Based on a nonfiction book by Lisa Belkin about low-income housing being built around the country, the show will tell the story of how the decision as to where the units must be built tears apart an entire community and ultimately ruins both Wasicsko’s career and his personal life.
Ryder will play Vinni Restiano, a member of the city government who loses her city council seat after her housing vote only to make a comeback four years later and get elected city council president. Alfred Molina will play councilman Henry J. “Hank” Spallone, a former detective for the NYPD from the Bronx who was the most vocal opponent of the housing project. Bernthal will play the Harvard-educated lawyer for the NAACP that fights in the government’s anti-segregation case against the city.
Show Me a Hero will be Ryder’s biggest television role to date, after appearances on Drunk History, Friends, and The Simpsons. In recent years, television has proven to be the desirable place for serious actors to work, with movie stars from Maggie Gyllenhaal to Billy Bob Thornton going to television for what many consider to be superior writing in comparison to the current landscape in film. An HBO miniseries could be the perfect place for Ryder, like the character she’s playing, to stage a comeback.