This is what Winona Ryder thinks about being a ’90s icon

Winona Ryder is coming to our screens July 15th in the new Netflix series Stranger Things, but most of us know her from her various hits (Reality Bites; Edward Scissorhands; Girl, Interrupted) back in the ’90s. Being the It Girl of the decade looks fun from the outside, but in a recent interview published today with Time, the actress revealed there are some major downsides.

First, Winona never thought of herself as an icon. “I get asked a lot, ‘What does it feel like to be a ’90s icon?’ And I’m like, ‘You think I sit around and think of myself like that?’” She said. “You can’t think about yourself in those ways, because who does that?”

Plus, striving to be an icon at such a young age has repercussions later in life.

“I did feel like it was a little bit of a struggle because when you achieve a lot of success when you’re that age, in your late teens and early 20s, it was then harder to play roles when I was a little bit older that I was the right age for,” she explained.


Plus, if women do want to embrace the older roles, they’re often subjected to stereotypes based in ageism, because female actresses are only valued when they’re young. For instance, Elizabeth Banks was deemed “too old” for Spiderman at 28. It’s an unfortunate reality, and Winona has coped simply by leaning into it.

“I’ve gotten offered those mom parts,” she admits. “But you can make something of it. For me, I’m finally getting to play my own age, and it’s liberating.

Winona said that because she started in the business so young, she always wanted to be older. Now, she appreciates that she’s able to step back and let other people take the spotlight. While Winona will always be an icon to us, no matter how old she is, we’re glad she’s comfortable with exactly the way things worked out.

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