Why Winona Ryder Had To Send Natalie Portman an Apology Letter After ‘Black Swan’

Winona Ryder had a difficult time filming Black Swan. In the movie, the actress plays a washed-up ballerina who berates Natalie Portman throughout the film. Because Portman’s character is about to snag her leading role as the Black Swan, Ryder hurls insults her way with a look of disgust gleaming in her big brown eyes. 

But in real life, Ryder is a massive fan of Portman. And because of the way the Edward Scissorhands actor treated Portman throughout the film, Ryder felt the need to send her a letter of apology once filming wrapped up.

Winona Ryder, Natalie Portman and Barbara Hershey attend the 'Black Swan' Premiere
Winona Ryder, Natalie Portman and Barbara Hershey attend the ‘Black Swan’ Premiere | Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Winona Ryder says she can relate to her ‘Black Swan’ character

In Black Swan, Ryder‘s portrayal of Beth points out how difficult it can be to get caught up in a business where youthfulness is exclusively idolized. Once you reach a certain age in the ballet world, it’s time to give up your point shoes along with your greatest passion in life: dancing.

At least this is true in the world of Black Swan, where Beth is unfairly pushed to the side due to her age. Similarly, in Hollywood, many actresses have called out how ageist the business can be, especially for women. 

Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder | Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Because of this, Ryder says she can relate to Beth’s character and the idea of “no longer being considered an ingenue.” 

“I did relate to Beth on a certain level,” she admitted to The Hollywood Reporter. “Just the thing of, you know, when I’m told I’m not the ingenue anymore. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to be older because I was always the kid on the set. I was always younger than everyone else. Now I’m older than a lot of the people I work with.”

*Cough Cough Stranger Things.*

Why Winona Ryder felt the need to send Natalie Portman an apology letter 

Winona Ryder and Natalie Portman attend the 'Black Swan' Premiere
Winona Ryder and Natalie Portman attend the ‘Black Swan’ Premiere | Jeff Vespa/Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Black Swan’: How the Director Tried To Pit Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman Against Each Other

After filming Black Swan, Ryder was riddled with guilt. Why? Because Portman had been training for a whole year to master her ballerina role in the movie. Meanwhile, Ryder had only spent 10 days on the film set playing the role of Beth. And because of all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into Portman’s character, Ryder felt terrible for snapping at her in the movie. Even if they were just acting, Ryder was adamant in her decision to write an apology letter to Portman

Natalie Portman and Winona Ryder
Natalie Portman and Winona Ryder | Jemal Countess/Getty Images

“It was very difficult,” Ryder says, according to The Independent. “Because I love Natalie so much, and I’m so thrilled with all the accolades. She’s just so deserving, and she works so hard for it.” 

“I wrote to Natalie,” she said, according to CTV News. “And got her something when I had finished filming, saying ‘I’m so sorry I had to say all those horrible things.'” 

Winona Ryder makes a potential shoutout to Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder attend the 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 19, 1991
Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder attend the 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 19, 1991 | Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

RELATED: Why Johnny Depp Was ‘Never the Same’ After His Break Up With Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder talks about how she had to trash her dressing room in Black Swan. She says that her first boyfriend used to smash everything, so it brought her back to those dramatic youthful days. Johnny Depp, who she has labeled as her “first real boyfriend” before, is known for trashing rooms.

The Pirates of The Caribbean actor admits he trashed his trailer in an attempt to get fired from 21 Jump Street. He also got arrested for trashing his hotel room in the early 90s with Kate Moss. Could she be referring to Depp here? 

“The scene where I trash my dressing room was my last scene,” she told CTV News. “I remember my first boyfriend used to smash everything.”

Ryder on Depp being her first “everything”: “When I met Johnny, I was a pure virgin,” she said. “He changed that. He was my first everything. My first real kiss. First real boyfriend. My first fiance. The first guy I had sex with. So he’ll always be in my heart. Forever. Kind of funny that word…”