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Winona Ryder Says She Gets Questioned About Playing a Mom on 'Stranger Things' Because She Doesn't Have Kids

by Jackie Willis 10:34 AM PDT, August 08, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Winona Ryder is back on everyone's radar thanks to Netflix's new series, Stranger Things, but she reveals that despite the show's rave reviews, she still gets questions about her role on the show.

"I’m getting asked a lot, ‘You don’t have kids, so how do you know how to act like a mother?" she tells New York Magazine. "I know nothing could compare, and I haven’t had that experience, but when my niece was born, I felt like I would jump in front of a car and die for this little person I didn’t even know yet."

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Ryder says she felt "tremendous grief" for her Stranger Things character, Joyce Byers, who is struggling to raise her children without much help from her deadbeat ex. "I feel like she was one of these people that had dreams [for her life]. But she had kids," she explains. "And it made me think of all the women that I know who have kids, who when they talk about [anything negative about their lives as mothers], they always say, 'But I love my kids, I wouldn't trade them for the world.' Like they feel guilty for even hinting that they'd want something outside of kids! It’s a weird thing."

The 44-year-old actress does, however, experience feelings of anxiety and depression like her character, and is fed up with the stigma that goes with admitting to having such emotions. "I'm so sick of people shaming women for being sensitive or vulnerable. It’s so bizarre to me," Ryder exclaims. "Even that word, anxious. It’s a bad word."

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While Ryder is quite candid when talking about her personal struggles, she has no desire to start tweeting about her life. "I’m not on social media," she confides. "I don’t actually know how to use it."

With a career spanning decades, the actress has come in contact with a few crazed fans along the way. "Yeah. I did. I had a few [stalkers]," she shares. "One was really nice. He kept showing up as an extra on movies, and you don’t know. You have to be careful. So I told the director, because he was kinda creepy. And I got this letter in my trailer the next day that was like, ‘I was just trying to get work as an extra! Just so you know, I’m not even obsessed with you anymore, I’m obsessed with Alyssa Milano now!’ So he kind of left me for Alyssa Milano."

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Last October, Ryder spoke to ET about aging in Hollywood. "I feel like when you’ve had a lot of success in your teen years and 20s -- and I’m not trying to speak for anyone else -- but something kind of happens where you are in your 30s and people associate you so much with those other roles,” she explained. “So, they don’t really think of you as old enough, even though you are old enough.”

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