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Famous friendships can be fickle sometimes. There’s the problem of making friends with actors who may or may not be portraying their true personalities. Then there’s the inevitable issue of competition.

Winona Ryder claims that’s exactly what happened to her close kinship with Gwyneth Paltrow. The two A-listers were inseparable in the ’90s. However, that friendship soured to the point of animosity after Paltrow allegedly stole a leading role from under Ryder’s nose.

Adding insult to injury, Paltrow won the Academy Award for Best Actress for that exact part. No wonder Ryder started slandering her all over town — and no wonder Paltrow fought back with some snarky comments of her own.

Winona Ryder and Gwyneth Paltrow used to be close friends

Winona Ryder and Gwyneth Paltrow
Winona Ryder and Gwyneth Paltrow | KMazur/WireImage

Back before they became super famous, Ryder and Paltrow were allegedly roommates and even dated best friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, which helped solidify their budding friendship even more. These two women might have remained close over the years, even after breaking up with their respective boyfriends, if it wasn’t for one life-altering event, Pop Sugar reported.

Ryder claims Paltrow stole an award-winning part right out from under her nose — literally. The story goes that Paltrow found the script for Shakespeare in Love in Ryder’s house one night and became enamored by it. Next, she finagled an audition for the role of Viola and got the part.

Gwyneth Paltrow denied she stole the ‘Shakespeare in Love’ role

Gwyneth Paltrow and Winona Ryder
Gwyneth Paltrow and Winona Ryder | Dave Allocca/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

After Paltrow got cast in the 1998 movie, Ryder went public with the story of deceit and treachery. However, Paltrow categorically denied she stole anything and instead claimed Ryder’s jealousy caused her to make up lies. Regardless of the real story, the incident ended the friendship between the two actors.

A few years later in 2001, Ryder was arrested and jailed for shoplifting. Paltrow’s reaction to her former friend’s misfortune might be the most revealing part of all.

Fans think Gwyneth Paltrow referenced Winona Ryder on her Goop blog


Gwyneth Paltrow Shares Which Performance of Hers She Considers a ‘Disaster’

Though she didn’t name names, Paltrow wrote a thinly disguised Goop blog post to a “frenemy” that most Hollywood insiders believe was directed at her former friend, Ryder. The Goop founder seemed to indicate she experienced feelings of karmic retribution following Ryder’s arrest.

“This person really did what they could to hurt me,” Paltrow wrote. “I was deeply upset, I was angry, I was all of those things you feel when you find out that someone you thought you liked was venomous and dangerous.”

She went on to say she felt “happiness” when that person experienced bad outcomes in life.

“One day I heard that something unfortunate and humiliating had happened to this person,” she wrote in the post “Evil Tongue and Living in Negativity.” 

“And my reaction was deep relief and…happiness. There went the high road. So, why does it feel so good to hear something bad about someone you don’t like?”

We’ll never know for sure if Paltrow was dissing Ryder in the post. But it is clear that these two A-list actors probably won’t reconcile their friendship anytime soon. And, it’s safe to assume Ryder isn’t a big fan of the movie Shakespeare in Love.