Believe it or not, it's been almost 30 years since Winona Ryder had her first big movie role, playing Lydia in 1988's Beetlejuice. That movie was followed by roles in Heathers and Edward Scissorhands, and her career was off and running. In 1994 and 1995, she received Oscar nominations for The Age Of Innocence and Little Women, respectively. However, around 2001, she scaled back her career quite a bit. This was, in part, due to her 2001 arrest for shoplifting.
Then in 2016, Ryder came back in a big way with her role as Joyce Byers on Stranger Things. Her portrayal of Will's frazzled mom even earned her a Golden Globe nomination. And she drew possibly even more attention for her odd facial expressions at the 2017 SAG Awards.
Ryder said that, in seventh grade, "I was wearing an old Salvation Army–shop boy’s suit. I had a hall pass, so I went to the [girls’] bathroom. I heard people saying, 'Hey, (homophobic slur).' They slammed my head into a locker." Unfortunately, getting bullied is something many kids go through, but there was more.
"I fell to the ground and they started to kick the s*** out of me," she continued. "I had to have stitches. The school kicked me out, not the bullies." So the school's priorities were just a bit out of whack.
However, several years later, Ryder had a second encounter with the bully. "Years later, I went to a coffee shop in Petaluma, and I ran into one of the girls who’d kicked me," Ryder continued. "She said, “Winona, Winona, can I have your autograph?"
What do you do when your old school bully asks for an autograph? In Ryder's case, she said, "I said 'Do you remember me? I went to Kenilworth. Remember how, in seventh grade, you beat up that kid?' and she said, 'Kind of,' and I said, That was me. Go f— yourself!'” And that's how it's done.
The interview was from 2000, but for then it came back again on Twitter in 2017. Twitter user bleuvalentine posted this old picture of Ryder along with a (somewhat rephrased) quote of Winona's story. And then the tweet blew up.
The story of Winona's bully caught on because many people can relate. If you had a bully, then their actions can stay in your memory for a long, long time. Whether the bully remembers is a different story.
One Twitter user posted this proverb that seems to make a lot of sense. In Winona Ryder's case, the as not only forgot, but then went back and asked the tree for an autograph. And the tree wasn't too interested in being friendly.
For this person, Ryder telling the bully to "Go f— yourself" wasn't quite enough. Instead, he thinks she should have taken the more violent approach to getting revenge. Then again, a famous actress beating up someone asking for an autograph probably isn't great PR.
And as this person pointed out, the bully really shouldn't need an autograph. Instead, she has the story she can tell instead. Sure, it's a story where she comes off like a horrible monster, but it's a story nevertheless.
This person looked away from the story part of the tweet, and instead focused on the old picture of Winona that was included. And there really is a resemblance between her and Noah Schnapp, the actor who plays Will. But is there anyone else young Winona looks like?
Another person felt like young Winona Ryder resembles a young Eminem. Whether she would find that comparison to be favorable or not is unclear. But even if she doesn't like the comparison, she's definitely been through much worse.