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Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder stole our hearts in the 90s. The eccentric actors found themselves in a whirlwind romance from 1989 to 1993. And although it has been decades since their unfortunate split, Ryder has recently referred to Depp as a person she considered “family.”

But when the couple had been offered to play alongside each other in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, Ryder was both “nervous” and “afraid” to star in a film with her then-fiance. Keep reading to find out why.

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder
Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder | Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

‘Edward Scissorhands’ is Tim Burton’s first movie with Johnny Depp

Fans of Depp and Burton know how close their relationship is. And as of 2020, the pair has been collaborating on artistic projects for thirty years now. 

Edward Scissorhands is an offbeat film about a man who is forced to live his life with scissors for hands. While studios originally wanted Tom Cruise for Edward’s role, Burton had his eyes set on Depp.

According to Winona Ryder: The Biography, Burton felt that Cruise wasn’t right for the role and that Depp was destined for the part. Ryder, his fiance at the time, was also very keen on her real-life partner taking the role. But as much as she wanted to star alongside her fiance in a film where they play romantic interests, she was also scared to work with Depp.

Winona Ryder was afraid to work with Johnny Depp in ‘Edward Scissorhands’

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

According to the actress, she was genuinely scared and nervous about working alongside Depp, because she was so keen on impressing him. 

“Working with Johnny turned out to be great, but I was scared and nervous about it,” Ryder admits. “I mean, if there’s one person that I want to impress with my acting, it’s him. So there was a lot of insecurity for the first couple of days, but it turned out to be a motivating situation.” 

As it turns out, Ryder wasn’t the only person who was afraid of the pair working together. Director Burton also had some worries that the couple could’ve let their relationship hinder their work.  

“They could have split up in mid-shoot,” says Burton in Ryder’s biography. “But it never happened. And in retrospect, their relationship helped the core romance more than it hindered.”

Depp agrees with Burton. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor thinks his performance with Ryder was even more prosperous because of their real love for each other. “The fact that we were together on set, and in love, only fuelled what was going on between the characters of Edward and Kim,” says Depp.   

Johnny Depp is Winona Ryder’s ‘first real love’

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder
Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder | Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Johnny Depp Describes Meeting Winona Ryder as ‘Love at First Sight’

According to Ryder, the actress considers Depp to be her “first real love,” as well as her “first real heartbreak.” After their unfortunate split in 1993, the Stranger Things actress admitted how meaningful their relationship was and how Depp will always be in her heart.

Ryder spills to, “When I met Johnny, I was pure virgin. 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.”