In 2000, Angelina Jolie won an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted. There, she worked closely with the late Brittany Murphy and Stranger Things star Winona Ryder who’s now eternally tied to her infamous shoplifting incident in 2001. Although the three women did a lot of scenes together, Ryder revealed that she never became friends with Jolie. According to reports, the Maleficent actress didn’t get along with the entire cast either. Here’s why.
Winona Ryder Was Supposed To Play Angelina Jolie’s Role In ‘Girl, Interrupted’
Ryder was initially asked to play Jolie’s character, Lisa Rowe. But the Edward Scissorhands star knew she wasn’t right for the part. “I knew from the outset that whoever played Lisa was going to get all the attention,” Ryder told Empire Magazine of the award-winning role. “At one point they asked if I wanted to play Lisa and I said, ‘No, I want to be Susanna.'” She has no regrets about handing the role to Jolie whom she thought was perfect to play the complex sociopath.
“There was no resentment,” said Ryder. “When it came out, people almost felt bad for me. But I expected it all along. I was really happy with the film and really proud of it.” The actress went on to praise Jolie for her work ethic. “At the time I worked with her, she was battling her looks because she’s so beautiful,” she said of the Tomb Raider star. “She wanted very much to be taken seriously and not just judged on her looks. And she conquered that.”
Angelina Jolie ‘Kept Her Distance’ From Winona Ryder While Filming ‘Girl, Interrupted’
Ryder admitted to feeling excited about working with Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. However, she was disappointed by the new Marvel Cinematic Universe star’s “coldness” behind the scenes. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh we’re going to turn out to be great friends,'” the Beetlejuice actress said of Jolie. “But I think she needed to be able to look at me just as the character Susanna, not as Winona, so in a very respectful way she just kind of kept her distance.” Ryder added that she’d seen her “at one of the awards shows but I haven’t really seen her since.”
In Angelina: The Unauthorized Biography, it was explained that Jolie’s distant nature was all a part of her method acting. “Playing an openly aggressive, emotionally inert sociopath, Angie kept in character even when the cameras stopped rolling,” the book revealed. “If Winona complained of a headache or tiredness, Angie would shrug indifferently, explaining that Lisa never felt anything. Winona wasn’t the only one to feel Angie’s social freeze.”
Jolie was also not friendly towards Murphy. “One evening, actress Brittany Murphy, who played Daisy, was talking to Angie offset. After a brief chat, Angie told her baldly, ‘Wait a minute- What am I talking to you for?’ Murphy replied, ‘Can’t we take a break for a while?’ Angie just laughed and moved away.” Let’s just say Jolie understood the assignment and took it seriously.
What Angelina Jolie Has Said About ‘Girl, Interrupted’
Jolie felt a deep connection to her Girl, Interrupted role. She even defended Lisa by relating her personal experiences to her. “I loved One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest when I was a little girl, so this was a dream role for me,” she told the Hollywood Foreign Press Association following her Golden Globe win.
“I made her a composite back history, I didn’t really make one up, somehow it ended up being me,” she continued. “They were pieces of my life that made me really want to reach out to people, to feel alive and free. It was my own persona. I didn’t define her; I couldn’t play her thinking I had a mental illness. I don’t think anybody is out-and-out evil, give me somebody who’s really evil, and it’s coming from an insecurity.”
The actress also acknowledged the coldness of her character as a misconception she, herself tried to escape. “When people said that they felt for Lisa, it meant so much to me,” said Jolie. “Because for so long, when we were shooting the movie, I heard that she was a cold-hearted person, a monster, terrible and dangerous, that nobody cared if she died. So, I had to convince myself that I wasn’t a bad person, that I could be a good mother one day and a good wife, and yet somehow for some people I’m still the girl in leather pants with tattoos.”