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Winona Ryder: 'Shoplifting conviction was a blessing in disguise'

Published 02/08/2016

Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder is still excited about acting after nearly three decades in the industry.

Actress Winona Ryder insists her 2001 shoplifting arrest was not "the crime of the century" some media outlets suggested it was.

The Beetlejuice star was convicted of attempting to steal items amounting to $5,500 (£4,100) from Beverly Hills department store Saks Fifth Avenue, and now almost 15 years on, Winona can reflect on what she was going through at that time, and believes her criminal record was a blessing in disguise.

"Psychologically, I must have been at a place where I just wanted to stop," she told Porter magazine. "I won't get into what happened, but it wasn't what people think. And it wasn't like the crime of the century! But it allowed me time that I really needed, where I went back to San Francisco and got back into things that... I just had other interests, frankly."

After starting out as a teenager, Winona became one of the most famous actresses of the 90s thanks to roles in films like Edward Scissorhands, Mermaids and Little Women, but as she got older, the 44-year-old started to feel like age-appropriate roles were getting harder to find.

"People associated me with the 1990s and I wasn't that anymore," she explained. "And they didn't really buy me as my age. It's that line in First Wives Club: 'There are three ages for women: babe, district attorney and Driving Miss Daisy!' I just never got to play that district attorney."

After taking a few years off following her conviction, Winona returned to acting with a new sense of passion and purpose.

"You can't do something for that long and hate it!" she said. "Acting still excites me. I don't sleep the day before a new job. I'm sure it's psychosomatic but still."

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