Monday, June 17, 2024

Winona Ryder Is Back At Last, Will Headline New David Hare Film


Exclusive: If you’d asked in 1995, I would have said that the young actress most likely to conquer Hollywood, the Oscars, everything would be Winona Ryder. But life and events unwound her trajectory. We needn’t rake it all over now.

“I’m 41 now,” Winona said last night at the Soho House party for “The Iceman,” the movie that could bring her back. (She said after someone suggested she could have played Daisy Buchanan in the new “Gatsby.”) She looks the same as she did at 31, maybe better. She’s still a precise actress with a great gift. In “The Iceman” she plays Deborah the clueless wife of real life hit man and mobster Richard Kuklinski. Michael Shannon is absolutely chilling (and oddly endearing) as the crazy killer. Ryder is his ethereal partner, mother of his children, who maybe gets an inkling of what her husband really does for a living too late in the game.

At last night’s premiere, Shannon and Ryder were joined by co-star Ray Liotta (who’s almost a second lead, and damn good), as well as James Franco– who has a short, moving cameo. Also featured in the film are two well known Hollywood guys — David Schwimmer and Chris Evans–whose looks are so altered that you almost don’t recognize them. They’re terrific, as if the ever-evil Robert Davi.

After a bit, Justin Long stopped by the party to say hello. He, France and Ryder are trying to make a film of “The Beard” together. It’s one of Franco’s many projects.

And Winona? I can tell you she’s just signed to star in David Hare’s sequel to his British film, “Page Eight.” This is a big deal. Hare may use some of the “Page Eight” cast too, like Bill Nighy and Rachel Weisz. But it’s Winona’s turn. There’s an Oscar in her future. You can feel it.

By the way, it’s nice to know that Ryder is living full time in her home town of San Francisco. She’s also got a very boyfriend, her age. and they seem very happy. She tells me she’s very involved with literary doings at City Lights, and is still close to legendary poet, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, age 94. “He still rides his bike to the store,” Winona said and her famous eyes grew even wider with glee.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News