Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder were the “It” couple of the 1990s. Though the pair were young when they started dating, it was clear they were head over heels in love with each other. So much so that Depp proposed to Ryder a few months into their relationship. To further prove his dedication to her, Depp even got a tattoo in Ryder’s honor.
From an outside perspective, Depp and Ryder had a perfect romance. But despite how in love they were with each other, the couple’s close friend John Waters wasn’t on board with them tying the knot. Keep reading to find out why.
Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder got engaged five months into their relationship
Depp and Ryder first met at a movie premiere back in 1989.
According to InStyle, it was love at first sight for Depp after he locked eyes with Ryder while she was “getting a coke” at the premiere of Great Balls of Fire! in New York City.
Though Ryder was only 17-years-old at the time, while Depp was 25, he still pursued a relationship with her. It took several months for the two to officially meet face-to-face, but once they did, their relationship hit the ground running.
Although their public images were vastly different — Ryder was known as “America’s sweetheart,” while Depp had more of a bad boy reputation — the couple had a lot of common interests, which made them more into each other.
After just a five-month courtship, Depp proposed to Ryder. But despite being crazy for each other, one person in the couple’s inner circle felt like they were making a big mistake by getting hitched.
Director John Water talked Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder out of getting married
John Waters and Depp established a friendship while working on the 1990 film, Cry-Baby. Along the way, Waters and Ryder met and also struck up an immediate bond.
Seeing as Waters was a close confidante of theirs, Depp and Ryder wanted the director to become an ordained minister and marry them after Cry-Baby‘s filming.
However, Waters didn’t think it was a good idea as he felt Ryder was just way too young at the time to get married.
“Before we wrapped[,] Depp’s lawyers did the paperwork to get me ordained as a minister in the Universal Life Church because (he and Ryder) wanted me to perform the marriage ceremony,” Waters recalled in his 2019 memoir, Mr. Know-It-All: the Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder, per the Daily Mail.
According to Waters, he managed to talk Depp and Ryder out of tying the knot so young. He also claims the Beetlejuice star’s parents were grateful that he blocked the marriage and actually “thanked” him.
Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder broke up after four years together
Sadly, after a four-year engagement, the Edward Scissorhands co-stars called it quits in 1993.
Though they were crazy about each other, Depp and Ryder ultimately decided to part ways due to the media interfering with their relationship.
“It’s very hard to have a personal life in this town. My relationship with Winona, it was my mistake to be as open as we were,” the Pirates of the Caribbean star told the Los Angeles Times in 1993 “But I thought if we were honest it would destroy that curiosity monster. Instead, it fed it, gave people license to feel they were part of it.”
After calling it quits, both Depp and Ryder struggled to come to terms with their breakup.
While Depp was “never the same” after the split, the Stranger Things actor fell into a deep depression.
“I was very depressed after breaking off my engagement with Johnny,” she previously told Cinema.com. “I was embarrassingly dramatic at the time, but you have to remember I was only 19 years old.”