Winona Ryder makes a comeback

Remember those “Free Winona” shirts that were popular in 2001, after Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting? Well, I may have made one myself. I had loved Winona Ryder since I was five years old, when she starred in Beetlejuice. I wanted to show my support.

I would have even considered completing a tattoo tribute to her, unlike her ex-beau Johnny Depp‘s “Wino forever.” (Sure, they say tattoos are the kiss of death, but it’s fine if you’re not with the person, or even know them at all, right?)

But then, Ryder seemed to disappear. She took a four-year hiatus and even after, didn’t do too many projects that got a lot of attention. For example, Richard Linklater’s rotoscope-y A Scanner Darkly had a great cast, but it was animated (and cartoon Winona is just not the same) and got mixed reviews.

Now, shoplifting incident and indie movie flops behind her (hopefully), Winona Ryder is poised to make a comeback. She’s UK Elle‘s July cover model, and inside she’s interviewed by writer/director Rebecca Miller, whose upcoming film, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, stars Ryder, alongside Robin Wright and Julianne Moore.

In the interview, which is available on stands now, Ryder and Miller don’t discuss the infamous Saks Fifth Avenue incident — and why should she, plenty of less-talented celebrities get into trouble these days that is easily overlooked — but the actress is very candid about her break-ups and downs and the fact that despite having a successful career, her life wasn’t as perfect as it seemed.

When she was 20 (here’s where we look at the above cover and think, “Winona Ryder is 37? WHAT?!”), she tells Miller:

I had just done Dracula and Edward Scissorhands. I had just had my first real break-up, the first heartbreak. And I think it was really ironic because, like, everybody else just thought I had everything in the world, you know, I had no reason to be depressed, everything was sort of at its peak, but inside I was completely lost.

Ryder also shares her early thoughts of actors having to be moody, or typical tortured artists to be good at their job, but that working with Meryl Streep on The House of the Spirits helped set her straight.

[Streep] was completely fine and had her family and came to work and did an amazing job and she wasn’t that way. I remember that being a really big deal to me. And I was like, ‘Wow, I can actually be happy and be good at the same time!’ Because you go through that thing, especially as a young actor, when you think you have to make yourself miserable to play misery.

Hopefully now, Ryder over being miserable, because I, for one, am ready to see a lot more of her. In the Elle article, Miller writes, “I can’t pretend to know Winona well. I don’t. I don’t think it’s easy to get to know her — but it’s easy to love her.”

I couldn’t agree more. And now, I’ll just go watch Reality Bites. I’m sensing a Winona Ryder movie marathon in the near future. Which films of hers would you watch again?