Winona Ryder Was Told She Wasn’t ‘Pretty Enough’ To Star in ‘Heathers’

It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Winona Ryder for the role of Veronica Sawyer in Heathers. And although she is considered one of the most talented/gorgeous stars in Hollywood, Ryder was told she wasn’t pretty enough for the industry.

Fortunately, Ryder didn’t listen to the criticism, and fought for her career.

Winona Forever!

Winona Ryder In 'Heathers'
Winona Ryder starring in the film ‘Heathers’, 1988 | New World Pictures/Getty Images

The ‘Beetlejuice’ star’s agent begged her not to be in ‘Heathers’

According to Variety, Ryder’s agent was adamant that she not take the role in Heathers, considering how dark the film is. In fact, her agent begged her not to star in the movie, and literally got down on her knees.

Yet, the headstrong Ryder was obsessed with the script.

She loved it so much, that she was willing to take on any role the producers could offer her.

Winona Ryder, circa 1990
Winona Ryder, circa 1990 | Nancy R. Schiff/Getty Images

“I just got the initial read for one of the Heathers, and I loved the dialogue,” said Ryder. “I didn’t know what the story was — the dialogue was so much fun to read that I basically said, ‘give me any part in this movie.’ I just wanted to be any part of it.”

According to Winona Ryder: The Biography, she adored Heathers so much, that she wanted to get a tattoo from the film.

The book reveals that Ryder wanted to have the words QUE SERA SERA from the Heathers theme song tattooed on her arm.

“I almost got it once, but they ID’d me in the tattoo parlor, and the guy wouldn’t do it because I was too young,” said Ryder.

But as much as she loves the film, she admits that the audition process was a bit unsettling.

Winona Ryder says she wasn’t considered ‘pretty enough’ to star in ‘Heathers’

Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder | The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

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While speaking to Interview Magazine, Ryder revealed the heartbreaking experience when she was told she wasn’t pretty enough for the film.

“I was not the first choice for Veronica in Heathers,” said Ryder, according to CinemaBlend.

After auditioning, the producers pressured Ryder to get a makeover.

“… I knew that they thought I wasn’t pretty enough,” she said. “They were trying to get Jennifer Connelly.”

Winona Ryder embraces being ‘unusual looking’

Winona Ryder In 'Heathers'
Winona Ryder is about to chew on a candy in a scene from the film ‘Heathers’, 1988 | New World Pictures/Getty Images

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Ryder said,

“I was unusual looking—I didn’t have the look of that time. If you look at Lucas—and, basically, my first five or six movies—the characters are not described in the scripts as attractive people. So I scored in the sense that if I hadn’t done those, I don’t know that I would’ve been cast in other things because I wasn’t really considered a beauty…”

The Stranger Things star continued, revealing the one time when she was told she “didn’t have it.”

“I remember one time in particular,” said Ryder. “I was in the middle of auditioning, and I was mid-sentence when the casting director said, ‘Listen, kid. You should not be an actress. You are not pretty enough.'”

Ryder was then told to go back to school because she didn’t have the right look.

“She was very blunt,” said Ryder. “I honestly think that she thought she was doing me a favor … I was around 15 or 16. But it’s funny—and this is a testament to my parents and how they raised me—I wasn’t crushed. They had always instilled in me that it was way cooler to be an individual and to be unique and that you don’t want to blend in.”