Get the latest from TODAY
Winona Ryder raised eyebrows in the 1990s when she opened up about struggling with depression at the height of her Hollywood career. Now, nearly 20 years later, the actress joins a growing chorus of celebrities speaking out against mental health shame.
"I'm so sick of people shaming women for being sensitive or vulnerable. It’s so bizarre to me,” the 44-year-old actress told New York magazine.
Ryder, who's now starring in Netflix's critically acclaimed sci-fi thriller "Stranger Things" after a near-decade-long Hollywood hiatus, is glad she was honest about her depression all those years ago.
“I don’t regret opening up about what I went through [with depression], because, it sounds really cliché, but I have had women come up to me and say, ‘It meant so much to me.’ It means so much when you realize that someone was having a really hard time and feeling shame and was trying to hide this whole thing," said Ryder.
The Golden Globe-winning actress first charmed audiences playing edgy teens in "Beetlejuice" and "Heathers" and went on to become a Hollywood A-lister in the 1990s.
Her own struggle, and her belief that "every girl, almost" experiences depression and/or anxiety, compelled her to make the 1999 drama "Girl, Interrupted," set inside a women's mental institution.
After a 2001 shoplifting arrest, Ryder took a decade off from making movies, only to resurface in 2010's ballerina drama "Black Swan."
The actress, who portrays a frantic single mom searching for her missing child in "Stranger Things," said she even notices her TV character being shamed.
"There’s a line in the show where someone says [of her character], ‘She’s had anxiety problems in the past.’ A lot of people have picked up on that, like, ‘Oh, you know, she’s crazy.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, wait a second, she’s struggling.’ Two kids, deadbeat dad, working her a-- off. Who wouldn’t be anxious?" Ryder asked.
Because of her openness in the past, Ryder said people perceive her as "supersensitive and fragile."
"And I am supersensitive, and I don’t think that that’s a bad thing," said Ryder. "To do what I do, I have to remain open."