Winona Ryder would like the world to know she has nothing to hide.
In the interest of promoting her two new summer movie comedies, Mr. Deeds, a remake of the 1936 Gary Cooper film, with Adam Sandler, and Simone, a futuristic Hollywood satire by writer-director Andrew Niccol—and, no doubt, of doing a little emergency repair work on her tattered public image—the 30-year-old actress welcomes a reporter into her New York abode on Gramercy Park. Answering the door dressed in a creme gauze hippie dress and red sweater, her feet bare (the better to display her bright red toenails), her now-auburn longish hair looking fashionably shaggy (courtesy of Garren), she offers a thorough tour.
Decorated with fringed lamps and supersoft lighting in a style best described as boho feminine, Ryder's apartment is dominated by her black-and-white photography collection, which includes a large format Bruce Davidson shot of Timothy Leary (her late godfather), dancing in a white suit. There are also plenty of personal snapshots and Sixties-era photos of her parents, Michael and Cindy Horowitz, a hippie couple who emigrated to Northern California and raised Ryder and her three siblings on a commune. After proudly displaying her formidable collection of books and CDs (Wilco is a current favorite) and happily showing off her bedroom—"I cleaned it just for you!" she announces—Ryder positions herself on a big fluffy chocolate velvet sofa with pillows that almost dwarf her and settles in with a can of Coke and a pack of Saltines.
Apparently she's in the mood to chat. The one thing Ryder cannot chat about, however, is her arrest outside of Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills on December 12, for allegedly shoplifting and possessing pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription. Contrary to police claims, a store videotape reportedly does not show her removing tags from the items she left the store with. But the case, which was to go to a hearing in Los Angeles on May 8, is proceeding. So on the advice of legal counsel, Ryder declines to discuss any details of the charges. She still finds plenty to talk about.
W [observing photos of her parents]: It seems like you have the coolest parents in the world.
Ryder: Yeah, I do. They are so cool. As I've been growing up as an adult, I've become even more aware of it. I spend as much time as I can with my family in Northern California. And when I'm not there, we're on the phone. I was watching Saturday Night Live over the phone with my dad this weekend! No matter where I am in the world, I call him and we go over the whole show. [Indeed, Ryder is currently in discussions about hosting an episode.]
W: What does this say about your social life?
Ryder: [giggling loudly] It says that it's not as interesting as people think! Winona Ryder's home with her dad watching Saturday Night Live—instead of having this life that I've been reading about that I wish I did have. When I read about all the dates I have, it's like living vicariously through my own supposed life. My parents are so madly in love it's kind of freaky, and I'm going to have to find that, the most amazing soul mate. I have been incredibly lucky with the guys I've been linked to, though. The dream list—oooh! I often wonder if when they read they're linked to me, maybe they'll give me a call. Not to say that I don't date—I do date once in a while, and I've gone out with wonderful people in the past. Although not with Jimmy Fallon, who everyone thinks is my boyfriend. We're just great friends. I'm very, very close to the boyfriends that I've had. Especially Dave [Pirner, lead singer of Soul Asylum].