Below is a clip of Darren Aronofsky introducing “Black Swan” and its cast members at the film’s New York premiere last night. Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey and, yes, Winona Ryder were all in tow, and they all showed face at the film’s swanky St. Regis Hotel after party.
Thanks to some quick moves care of my colleague and friend Anne Thompson (who I am forever indebted to now), I finally achieved my boyhood dream of meeting Ryder herself at the party. I’d come this close at the Gotham Awards the night before but chickened out, but after basically following Ryder around the party for an hour, Anne took matters into her own hands and made it happen.
It was sadly underwhelming. I wish I had some amazing story or a photo of us embracing, but it basically went something this (though I’ll admit it’s all a bit of a blur):
Anne: I’d like you to meet my colleague, Peter Knegt, who works for indieWIRE
Winona: Hi, Peter. Nice Meet You.
Peter: [Stares awkwardly in Winona’s eyes, wondering if she’d noticed him stalking her for the past hour, and struggles to come up with anything to say and then finally just goes with a squeaky noise].
Winona: I wouldn’t know indieWIRE I don’t use the internet.
Winona: Never. I read a lot.
Someone else: What have you been reading?
Winona: I really love Philip Roth, I was just re-reading American Pastoral.
Peter: [Realizing he’s read American Pastoral tries to come up with something clever to say but instead just mumbles something incoherently.]
Winona: I also just read Patti Smith’s memoir about her relationship with the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
Peter: [Wishes he’d actually read the book, which was on his nightstand for two months after he borrowed it from a friend]. I’ve heard it’s amazing.
Winona: You should read it. [Her handlers or friends then motion that its time to move through the room, then Winona’s bulging eyes suggest to me our conversation is done].
Peter: Well…. it was very nice to meet you.
[We cheers glasses, she takes off, I immediately think of 10,000 better things I could have said]
At least now the ice has been broken for our next meeting’s certain evolution into a lifelong friendship. And here’s the clip of Aronofsky introducing the film: