LOS ANGELES – Winona Ryder admits she had a hard time transitioning from child star to adult actor.
“My 30s were a little bit tough,” she told reporters at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.
Ryder was memorably arrested for shoplifting in 2001, and she took a hiatus from acting.
“But the last few years, I did a few things I was proud of,” she told the press.
Ryder said she was pleased with her role in HBO’s miniseries “Show Me a Hero.” She’s now starring in her first full TV series, “Stranger Things” on Netflix.
“Stranger Things” explores the story of a young boy who vanishes under suspicious circumstances in the 1980s while his mother, played by Ryder, opens an investigation into his disappearance.
“I adjusted my perspective and used my own confusion to try to figure what was going on for my character,” she said. “The reaction has been completely overwhelming in the best possible way. I don’t think I was expecting it.”
Ryder said she felt compassion for her character, Joyce.
“I did see her as someone who wasn’t perfect,” she explained. “She was complicated, struggling. She carried a lot of guilt that she was leaning on her older son. Like a lot of women I know, she was trying the best she can to get by. I appreciated her flaws… [And] she reacts quite appropriately to these insane things that are happening.”
Ryder has been in showbiz since the mid-‘80s. She said young actors today should appreciate the work they are doing.
“The work is the reward,” she said. “The attention and the love is so great. I want everyone to feel it and savor it, and they so deserve it. But also remember the work itself.”
“Stranger Things” is now streaming on Netflix.
You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.