Winona Ryder Once Recalled an ‘Upsetting’ Fan Encounter

Winona Ryder has been a famous actor for so long, it’s not surprising to hear that, unfortunately, she’s had some unpleasant fan encounters from time to time. One moment with a fan was particularly “upsetting” for Ryder, however.

Winona Ryder attends the 25th anniversary screening of 'Reality Bites' during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival
Winona Ryder | Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Winona Ryder said she’s ‘super-private’

In a 2016 interview with New York Magazine, Ryder shared that she’s a very private person yet she felt it important to share some of her mental health journey in a 1999 interview with Diane Sawyer.

“I’ve always been super-private and protective of certain experiences and certain friends,” she explained. “I don’t regret opening up about what I went through [with depression], because, it sounds really cliché, but I have had women come up to me and say, ‘It meant so much to me.’”

“It means so much when you realize that someone was having a really hard time and feeling shame and was trying to hide this whole thing … And even the whole, like, sensitive, fragile thing,” she shared. “I do have those qualities, and I just don’t think there’s anything wrong with them. There were times when I let it feel too overwhelming and almost, like, shamed, but I had to just get over that.”

Winona Ryder shared an ‘upsetting’ fan encounter

Ryder also explained that taking a break from Hollywood helped her mental health, but she was still recognized.

“I did get a chance to explore during my ‘hiatus,’” she shared. “I was really lucky, because when all you’ve done is this one thing, you become sort of insecure because this town can be isolating and you don’t feel like you’re capable of doing other things.”

In the past, people only occasionally had a camera with them so there wasn’t quite so much of an invasion of privacy as there is now because of cell phones.

Ryder recalled one instance where she told a fan no, she didn’t want to get her picture taken, and the experience became “upsetting” to her.

“I’ve been called a c*nt to my face by someone who was just saying they were a fan,” she explained. “I was with my parents having dinner. It was actually kind of upsetting, because it upset my parents, and then I got upset.”

“You know that scene in The King of Comedy where Jerry Lewis is at a pay phone? ‘Will you sign the thing, will you sign the thing?’ ‘I hope you get cancer!,’” she added.

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Ryder avoids social media

Ryder is able to fly a little more under the radar because she doesn’t engage in social media.

“I’m not on social media. I don’t actually know how to use it,” she explained. “And I hear that awful people could then — I say that, and it makes me sound too sensitive.”

When the interviewer remarked, “I guess you wouldn’t even know how it feels to confront a whole mob of haters. I mean, unless you had a stalker,” Ryder shared her experience.

“Yeah. I did. I had a few,” she said. “One was really nice. He kept showing up as an extra on movies, and you don’t know. You have to be careful. So I told the director, because he was kinda creepy.”

Ryder continued, “And I got this letter in my trailer the next day that was like, ‘I was just trying to get work as an extra! Just so you know, I’m not even obsessed with you anymore, I’m obsessed with Alyssa Milano now!’”

“So he kind of left me for Alyssa Milano,” she added.