Why No One In Hollywood Cast Winona Ryder Until 'Stranger Things'

For most of the 2000s, fans wondered where exactly Winona Ryder went. Following her 2001 shoplifting scandal, Winona Ryder was ousted from Hollywood for the better part of a decade. It was a strange fall from grace for the once-ubiquitous star.

Ryder was on top of the world in the late '80s and early '90s. As a young actor, she had starred in soon-to-be-classics like Beetlejuice, Heathers, and Edward Scissorhands. Her cool girl vibe and fascinatingly off-kilter performances made her a pop culture icon. Parlaying her early fame into bigger roles, Ryder worked with Martin Scorsese in The Age of Innocence and Woody Allen in Celebrity. She starred in the indie darling Reality Bites and with Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted, and earned two Oscar nominations. She seemed poised for even bigger and better things - so the Winona Ryder shoplifting scandal and the ensuing fallout was perplexing to fans of the immensely talented performer.

Thankfully, Ryder has now returned to the spotlight in all her glory on Netflix’s Stranger Things. But her time away from Hollywood - whether from personal choice or supposedly tarnished reputation - shows just how harshly celebrities, particularly female ones, are judged by the public.