This morning in the Hyatt Regency, I saw Winona Ryder in the flesh for the very first time. I wish I could say we met at some sort of party and hit it off and decided to blow off the party and drink wine at her hotel room while discussing love, life and the pursuit of happiness. But sadly, I had to settle for the “Black Swan” press conference, where I eagerly sat in the front row and just stared longingly at her nervous eyes.
She seemed really anxious being up there, and stuttered through the answers to some her questions. It made me just wanted to put up my hand and tell her that everything was going to be okay. And, well, that my childhood room was adorned with hundreds of her photographs. And that I could mouth the words to every line of dialogue she has in “Heathers,” “Reality Bites,” “Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands” and “Great Balls of Fire.” And that she’d been this strange presence in my life… like this imaginary beacon of boyish femininity that guided me through the first 14 years of my life. I’d even like to tell her I used to fantasize she was my older sister and demanded we named my actual sister after her when I was 8 years old (which thankfully didn’t happen).
But then I realized that would not only would that make her more anxious, I would probably also be kicked out of the conference for sounding so insane.
Anyway, here’s a video from when Ryder and co-star Natalie Portman had been asked about the pressures they felt by being in the public eye since they were children, a pressure that is eerily mirrored in “Swan.” Free Winona: