Mario Testino/V Magazine
Winona Ryder, is that you?
The 42-year-old actress looks nearly unrecognizable as she becomes a glam biker chick for the cover of V magazine's winter issue to promote her upcoming film, Homefront, but what's even more eyebrow-raising are the stories she shares during her interview with the mag.
One in particular, is the A-lister recalling a time during her adolescence, when she dropped out of school after being bashed by a group of bullies who thought she was a boy and shouted anti-gay language at her.
"I was obsessed with [the film] Bugsy Malone and had cut my hair short. I remember the halls were empty and these kids started shouting ‘f----t,' and I didn't think they were talking to me. Walking home after leaving the nurse's office—and I've never talked about this—I remember pressing on the bandage because I wanted it to look more dramatic," Ryder said.
She imagined what Humphrey Bogart would be saying in her head as it happened. She told the magazine, "I was pretending I was in some gangster movie. It was oddly my way of dealing with it, because if I didn't, I probably would have been really scared," she continued.
Ryder began homeschooling and her parents enrolled her at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco—where she was ultimately discovered and cast in the movie Lucas. "Had I not been homeschooled I would not have been able to go. It's almost weird fate that it happened that way."
Clearly, things turned out in the star's favor, and Winona has scored a number of major roles, but even with an impressive career under her belt, she admits that the industry can sometimes be very difficult.
"It used to be that you commit to something and then basically you spend your year doing that. Now there's a constant conversation of how you have to keep working in order to remind people that you're around. You have to work to be relevant. If you don't then people will forget and the studios won't want you because they won't remember the last thing you did that made money," she said.
"It's all about knowing when to listen to that conversation and—without sounding really hokey—when to tune it out and follow your heart. I was fired from a movie because I did Heathers! I was cast in a movie and the director saw an advance screening and was offended by it and fired me. It wasn't until years later that it became more appreciated."
Ryder is currently promoting her upcoming thriller Homefront, where she plays a meth-dealing biker chick.
"She's this woman who had been in a biker gang, and that is a hard-core scene," Ryder says of her character, Sheryl. "What's creepy is that she's sober and she's running this drug operation with James Franco's character, and to me it's the epitome of evil, in a weird way. If it's possible to be a victim and be diabolical at the same time, I had never explored that. There was also a slightly campy, arm-candy element to her that appealed to me. She's such a complete CHICK. She's what you think of when you hear the words ‘biker chick.'"
Homefront hits theaters Nov. 27.