Winona Ryder’s Comments on the Pressure Young Actresses Face in Hollywood Reminds Us Little Has Changed

After decades, Winona Ryder is ready to talk about the “brutal” Hollywood career she’s had — and how she wants to help the next generation of actors.

In a very recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Ryder talked about everything from Stranger Things to how she’s handled the media over the years. However, the interviewer Heather Havrilesky noticed that Ryder would clam up when talking about herself. After some digging, Ryder opened up, saying: “Being talked about, being reviewed … realizing that someone could pause you, could rewind you? It was so overwhelming,” she said.

The Heathers star said that her business in Hollywood “is brutal,” adding: “You’re working constantly, but if you want to take a break, they tell you, ‘If you slow down, it’s going to stop.’ ”

She added,  “And then it did slow down. So then you’re hearing, ‘It’s going to be impossible to come back.’ And then that changes to ‘You’re not even part of the conversation.’ Like, it was brutal.”

Ryder has remained quite private about her personal life over the years, but her ongoing superstardom has made her more open about her experiences. She wants to help her growing co-stars on Stranger Things not face the scrutiny and anguish she felt. “I want the kids to understand, this does not happen,” referring to the insane cult following around the show and the stars. “This is really unusual. And I’m always telling them, ‘The work is the reward!’ Because when I was that age, it was so hard to enjoy the fruits of my labor.”

Havrilesky also reached out to Ryder’s co-star David Harbour and the creators of Stranger Things, the Duffer Brothers for more of an inside look into the star. Ross Duffer said Ryder’s guidance has been so amazing for her co-stars. “She’s talked to the kids about what celebrity is like and how the press can be and the anxiety and confusion that comes along with celebrity.”

Ross Duffer added, “I think she’s really helped them. I know she’s specifically helped Millie Bobby Brown a lot to work through that. And that’s something that no one else can help with, really, because so few people have experienced it.”

Not much has changed on media scrutiny, with many young actresses facing a plethora of overwhelming attention, bullying, and underage sexualization. Stars like Brown, Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney, and Miley Cyrus are only a few of the many who have spoken out about this. But it’s amazing to have stars like Ryder work to help the new generation of stars.

Before you go, click here to see celebrities who have spoken out about being sexualized too young.

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