AN OPEN LETTER TO WINONA RYDER: ^ In one of my pettier moments, I said that Winona Ryder couldn’t get arrested in Hollywood these days. Well, you proved me wrong by doing just that. I’m not going to make mock of your situation, I’ll leave that to the late night comedians. No one with your talent and résumé should go from being an A-List star to end up the ghost of the video remainder bin. Your big “gimme an Oscar” comeback film, Girl, Interrupted, didn’t help, instead it made Angelina Jolie a star, and some of us still haven’t forgiven you for that. Then came that terminal disease flick that was so forgettable I can’t even remember its name.
You were just inches away from doing “erotic thrillers” with Shannon Tweed or a sitcom on the WB, when the proverbial shit hit the fan. Reports say you were caught shoplifting at a pricey department store. Well, if you’re going to steal you don’t go to Wal-Mart you aim high.
My advice if you’re guilty, take a plea, take your lumps, and get some help. Pointless shoplifting is a symptom of deeper problems. Get professional help and use the publicity to rebuild your career. Play this right and you can swing a book deal about your courageous fight against whatever you’re dealing with, a pro-Winona cover story in People Magazine, and then a round of talk show confessional spots.
I’m thinking Oprah for a serious discussion of your story, (book that Dr. Phil if you can) then self-deprecating appearances on Leno and Letterman. Get some top-comedy writers to whip up material that’s both heartfelt yet witty.
Then, once you start getting offers, forego starring roles for the about a year and a half. It’ll look like you’re pandering your notoriety and that turns audiences off. Remember the acting career of Joey Buttafucco?
First, do supporting roles in films for the Sundance festival crowd. Then try out a studio based ensemble piece, preferably a comedy, but it has to be funny. A lame one will do more harm than good.
The Thirties are a dangerous age for someone who’s made her name in eccentric ingenue roles; you’ll have to show that you can adapt to any crap Hollywood throws at you. Follow this simple program and you can be back on the A-list in no time. Don’t, and things can only get worse. Like doing Canadian television and nobody deserves that.
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Posted on February 7, 2002 in Features by Film Threat Staff
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