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Ageless Winona Ryder on the Bullying Incident That Led Her to Acting

Yahoo Celebrity

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Winona Ryder (Mario Testino/V Magazine)

Everyone knows the tales about Winona Ryder's most infamous relationship (Johnny Depp), most infamous incident (shoplifting), and her most infamous role ("Heathers").

However, in a new interview with V Magazine, the seemingly ageless 42-year-old actress, who next stars in "Homefront" (an action film written by Sylvester Stallone), shares a few lesser-known details about her storied — and infamous — past.

"I was obsessed with Bugsy Malone and had cut my hair short," she tells the mag of enduring a gay-bashing incident while attending Kenilworth Junior High School in Petaluma, California, which caused her to drop out of school.. "I remember the halls were empty and these kids started shouting 'faggot,' and I didn't think they were talking to me. I remember pressing on the bandage [after leaving the nurse's office] because I wanted it to look more dramatic. I had this inner monologue going of Humphrey Bogart, like, 'being roughed up!' I was pretending I was in some gangster movie. It was oddly my way of dealing with it, because if I didn't, I probably would have been really scared."

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(Mario Testino/V Magazine)

It was because of her newfound free time while being homeschooled that led her parents to enroll her at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

As a result, the actress went on to have a career that's produced the likes of "Beetlejuice," "Edward Scissorhands," and "Girl, Interrupted," as well as the cult-classic "Heathers," which she says caused her to lose out on another role.

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(Mario Testino/V Magazine)

Fortunately, Ryder's taken those career hiccups — and her successes — in stride.

"It's easy to get lost in the pressure," says the two-time Academy Award nominee. "But there is a general sense of support and there's a very nice camaraderie. I remember when Tom Hanks had won for 'Philadelphia' and then won again for 'Forrest Gump' the next year. I was sitting in his row and I was eavesdropping on some of the other actors talking, and he said something like 'It's kind of better to be one of the four who should have won than the guy people think didn't deserve it.' It's kind of a perfect metaphor for fame and success, and it's a funny thing with awards. There's always the inevitable backlash. But I love voting, and I always love watching them when they're on TV." Spoken like a true movie fiend.

"Homefront" opens Nov. 27.

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