New World Pictures
New World Pictures
Did you know Winona Ryder almost didn't star in Heathers?
Before there was Mean Girls, the 1989 cult film was the ultimate dark female clique comedy. Ryder played Veronica Sawyer, who hates her friends and other fellow popular classmates and hooks up with new kid and bad boy loner Jason "JD" Dean, played by Christian Slater, to enact some mild revenge. Things take a turn for the crazy when she realizes her new boyfriend's homicidal tendencies.
"I was not the first choice for Veronica in Heathers," Ryder, 44, told Interview magazine in comments posted Wednesday. "I auditioned and they were like, 'Oh, thanks.' And I went to the Beverly Center to Macy's and had them do a makeover on me."
"I went back because I kind of knew that they thought I wasn't pretty enough," she added. "They were trying to get Jennifer Connelly."
Connelly, now 45, had given her breakthrough onscreen performance a few years earlier in another cult movie, Labyrinth, and later appeared in films such as Seven Minutes in Heaven and Some Girls with Patrick Dempsey. Ryder had just filmed Beetlejuice.
"I remember actually saying to them, 'I don't care if it even comes out. I just want to say the words. You don't have to pay me,'" Ryder said about Heathers. "That was the only time that I wanted something so bad."
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Heathers screenwriter Daniel Waters, whose brother Mark Waters coincidentally directed Mean Girls, told Cosmopolitan in 2014, "Winona likes to tease me that I wanted Jennifer Connelly instead of her and I didn't think Winona was pretty enough. Because she was—at that time, she had only done Lucas and Square Dance, not even Beetlejuice, so I thought she was this scrawny little unattractive girl. So I said, 'It can't be!' But of course now everyone makes fun of me, so."
He added that when he met Ryder, he was like, "Oh my God. She's great. She's perfect."