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Winona Ryder Admits She Was Bullied in School for Looking Like Gay Boy

By Alexandra Ward   |  

Winona Ryder may now be an A-list actress with a handful of Oscar nominations under her belt, but as a junior high student in California in the '80s she was bullied by kids who thought she was a gay boy.

"I was obsessed with [the film] 'Bugsy Malone' and had cut my hair short," Ryder, now 42, told V Magazine. "I remember the halls were empty and these kids started shouting 'f—t,' and I didn't think they were talking to me. Walking home after leaving the nurse's office — and I've never talked about this — I remember pressing on the bandage because I wanted it to look more dramatic."

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The incident was the reason why she left the school and began homeschooling. Her parents later enrolled her at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco where she was discovered by a casting agent.

"Had I not been homeschooled I would not have been able to go [to the ACT]," Ryder said. "It's almost weird fate that it happened that way."

The actress appears on the cover of V Magazine's winter issue this month clad in black leather, a nod to her role in the upcoming drama-thriller "Homefront."



Ryder plays Sheryl in the film, a meth-dealing ex-biker.

"She's this woman who had been in a biker gang, and that is a hard-core scene," she told the magazine. "What's creepy is that she's sober and she's running this drug operation with James Franco's character, and to me it's the epitome of evil, in a weird way. If it's possible to be a victim and be diabolical at the same time, I had never explored that. There was also a slightly campy, arm-candy element to her that appealed to me. She's such a complete chick. She's what you think of when you hear the words 'biker chick.'"

"Homefront" hits theaters Nov. 27 and also stars Franco, Jason Statham, and Kate Bosworth.

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Winona Ryder may now be an A-list actress with a handful of Oscar nominations under her belt, but as a junior high student in California in the '80s she was bullied by kids who thought she was a gay boy.
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