Everything you forgot as a girl, interrupted

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As all the 20-year retrospectives that emerged this year remind us, 1999 was a great year for movies.

Since 10 things I hate about you and american foot to The sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project, then Fight club, Virgin Suicides, Rushmore… all were films that left a mark on pop culture, even those that were not appreciated at the time.

Then, there had already been a shame of riches, but when 1999 came to an end, just in time for the winter holidays, memorable in its intensity for every teenager who bought a ticket, it arrived Interrupted girl.

Five years after starring Little woman, also a Christmas launch, Winona RyderI came back with another story of young women doing their best closely, in this case a mental institution rather than a cozy little house in Massachusetts, but interestingly it is still a story about girls who find comfort between them when their lives are spiraling. of control, again starring Ryder as an intelligent and rebellious heroine who wants more from life than the opportunities traditionally offered to women in her time.

1860, 1960 …

Susanna KaysenMemories of the same name of 1993 deal with the time he spent in an institution since 1967 after a suicide attempt. At that time, when there was no open talk about such things (ie, mental health problems) in educated society, the commitment was called "rest a little." Kaysen, 18, was told he would go for two weeks to "get some rest," but he ended up at McClean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, for a year and a half after being diagnosed at the limit. Personality disorder.

Producer Douglas Wick acquired the rights of Interrupted girl even before he left and "immediately all actresses in the United States sent polls saying they wanted to do it," he recalled on an HBO Making Of Featurette

Ryder was 21 when his father gave him a copy of the book's galley, and she immediately wanted to make a movie. She tried to get the rights herself and, finding out that Wick already had them, got in touch. Then, she was attached to the project from the beginning and Wick said she was "a very vigorous partner,quot; in the creative process.

"When I read the book, I was sad not to have read it as a teenager. I could have really used it when I was 16, 17, 18," said Ryder, who was executive producer. with his manager Carol Brodie, he said in the HBO segment.

And yet Interrupted girl It took place in the 1960s, "it could take place at any time and have the same emotional result," said the Oscar-nominated actress. "Anyone could end up in one of these places, you or me, or anyone we know."

Ryder, in fact, registered at a treatment center when he was 20 years old, suffering from anxiety and insomnia after his painful break with Johnny Depp.

"I was overworked and too tired, too tired to sleep," Ryder told New York Times prior to Interrupted girl he left. "I was in a really bad state."

In a meeting with ABC News & # 39; Diane Sawyer, the actress recalled driving one night in 1991 and seeing herself on the cover of Rolling Stone. The bright headline "broke my heart," he admitted, "because there I was, in so much pain and feeling so confused, so lost in my life. I was not allowed to complain because I was & # 39; very lucky & # 39;. You know, and very blessed, and I made a lot of money. My problems were not & # 39; real problems & # 39; … and I'm as disgusted as the next person when the actors complain about their lives, you know. They are blessed They are lucky, but what was happening was difficult. "

He only stayed at the facility for a week and, when he left, he didn't feel that being there would have helped at all. "What I learned was that, no matter how rich you are and how much you pay to a hospital or doctor, they cannot repair you," he reflected in another interview. "They can't give you a pill or a secret answer to anything that can improve everyone."

That was before the Internet turned celebrity observation into a sport 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, before social networks turned everyone into armchair psychologists, and some years before the term "5150 hold "will enter the popular lexicon.

To this day, the collapse of a celebrity is generally treated more as a headline show than as a teaching moment, although at least now, slowly but surely, discussions about mental health are much less taboo and increasingly common among high profile people. Which, in turn, can be vital for those who may feel that there is something excessively wrong with them, when in reality they are having an experience shared in one way or another by countless people.

"I hope teenagers who feel lonely will watch this movie and say:" Thank God & # 39; "Ryder said in 1999." Because movies like this aren't really offered, and I'd like to offer it. If I had seen this movie at age 19, it would have comforted me a lot … Life is simply strange Life is a disaster This world is a disaster, and anyone who understands this world would worry me It is normal to feel crazy , in a way. "

In fact, almost everyone knows what it is like to feel like they are losing their mind, or at least be seen by others as if they were.

James Mangold, known primarily for the gritty independent drama of 1997 Land of police that got a lot of attention before it came out Sylvester StalloneThe weight gain for the film (some things do not change), was "the first person who had a clue,quot; on how to carry Interrupted girl to life, Ryder recalled. She had admired his directorial debut, Heavy, about a lone cook whose life receives a necessary jolt when an abandonment of the energetic university played by Liv Tyler He comes to work as a waitress, and thought that Mangold was the man for the job.

It's easy to forget that the Oscar-nominated writer and director of Johnny Cash biopic Walk the line and the intense X Men spin-offs Badger and Logan was behind Interrupted girl, but he was the one who had the brave vision of the movie that won the day. (Coincidentally, Mangold's latest film, the expansive epic of car racing Ford v Ferrari, is also in the conversation of the awards season at this time).

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According to Entertainment Weekly in 1998, before filming began, they included the young actresses of the moment considered for roles Gretchen Mol, Alice Witt, Christina Ricci, Katie Holmes,Kate Hudson, Reese witherspoon(who would later win an Oscar for Walk the line) and Alanis Morissette (who had just made her acting debut playing God in Dogma)

"It's the only decent thing that doesn't involve taking off your clothes." Rose McGowan, One of the many who read for the movie, told Ew.

At that moment, indie darling Sarah Polley I was prepared to take on a role (ultimately, it didn't), as promising Angelina Jolie, Who did it.

Jolie was earning high praise (and would be nominated for an Emmy and win a Golden Globe) for her outstanding performance in the HBO biopic Gia, about the rise and the horrible fall of the supermodel Gia Carangi, but he was not yet a movie star, all of which would change in 1999. But Ryder insisted that they choose Jolie, and the role of the diagnosed sociopath Lisa, Susanna's best friend in the institution, attracted him a lot.

Which, in hindsight, is not surprising at all.

"They are just normal people who follow their impulses and instincts completely," Jolie said on HBO at the time about the set of patients in the movie. His Lisa, in particular, is infinitely charismatic, obviously intelligent and, as seen through Susanna's observant eyes, undeterred by the psychopath who are being fed by a variety of doctors. However, Susanna finally realizes that Lisa, despite her wisdom of the world, is unstable.

"She lived too big, she was too honest, she was very hungry, she was too full of life," Jolie described the character. Rolling Stone in 2001, by then she did not understand herself as half of the "most dangerous marriage in the United States,quot; and a behavioral joker with too many tattoos, too many peculiarities and a seemingly unhealthy fixation on the husband Billy Bob Thornton.

The actress, who acknowledged having identified with Lisa, continued: "At the end of the movie there is a certain sense that they say to Lisa: & # 39; Nobody wants you to live, nobody likes how you are; you would be better if you were sedated, bound and quiet … If you feel that you are the type of person she is, then it is really difficult, because you are struggling with, & # 39; F – k, am I hurting people everywhere?

"Am I too loud and too wild and I just need to let everyone live their lives and shut up and calm down?"

The conversation had obviously touched a nerve.

By last Interrupted girlThe main set consisted of Ryder, Jolie, Brittany murphy, DuVall Clea, Elisabeth Moss and Jillian Armenante, with Whoopi Goldbergplaying nurse Valerie, Vanessa Redgrave and Jeffrey Drum as resident psychiatrists, and Jared Letolike Susanna's boyfriend from the outside who knows she's not crazy and can't understand why, after a while, she doesn't care so much about being there.

Ryder told E! The news at the time he wanted to surround himself with the best possible group of actors, better to raise his own performance. Together with Jolie, Goldberg was the other must see for Ryder.

"If Winona Ryder calls me and says, & # 39; would you mind doing me a favor and walking on broken glass? & # 39; I would do it for her," Goldberg told E! News about agreeing to participate in the film, which he described as "a nice and short concert,quot;. "I think it's one of the most underrated actresses out there."

"All the girls in this movie," he continued, "there is not one (weak link) in the group. All are possibly the next real crop of actors. Without saying anything derogatory about the crop that is here now," Goldberg said. he added, "but there is a difference in these girls than you will find in almost any other group … You look at them, you think, & # 39; oh, you have it & # 39;".

While this was apparently Ryder's movie, however, everything was Jolie coming out, and the buzz surrounding her performance did not stop until she was accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2000 (and informing the crowd that he was "so,quot; in love "with his brother at that time).

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In addition to Interrupted girl, which almost recovered his money, Jolie had also starred The bone Collector with Denzel Washington, a film that earned $ 152 million in 1999, so many people who did not see it in the first one saw it in the second, their first major budget role in front of a mega movie star.

He married Thornton only a few months after winning his Oscar and his life, although he would only share it with Thornton for a few years, it would never be the same. After the large number of headlines they made for their bloody excesses, they renewed their lifestyle to get fit to play Lara Croft in 2001 tomb Raider, became a mother for a son Maddox in 2002 and, only two years later, they met Brad Pitt.

And with that, his life was transformed relatively quickly, although the enigmatic quality that made it such an object of fascination so ecstatic would remain firmly intact.

At the fictitious Claymore psychiatric hospital (the scenes of the institution were filmed in the empty wing of a state hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), the patients showed encouraging, hilarious and sometimes destructive camaraderie, and the actresses seemed to really unite on set.

"They felt like a group and that made me happy," Kaysen said in the HBO feature film, "because that was an important part of why I liked being in the insane as much as I did."

But some invisible walls were raised when the cameras were not rolling.

"I remember thinking: & # 39; Oh, we're going to be great friends & # 39;" Ryder reminded Total movie about Jolie in 2010. "But I think he needed to be able to look at me like Susanna's character, not like Winona, so in a very respectful way he kept his distance." (Which makes sense when considering the singular approach and the connection that Jolie had with her character even in retrospect).

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Ryder continued: "What she has accomplished after the movie in terms of humanitarian affairs, I am very happy that she did that. I remember that in Girl's press release, she interrupted that she would be so open about her problems and then would come and everyone would think I'm so boring. So it's really cool to see that he has found his vocation in his personal life. "

Ryder became close friends with Murphy, whose agoraphobic character Daisy refuses to eat anything other than his father's chicken, who owns a deli, and accumulates the bodies under his bed. Alone in her own apartment after being discharged from the hospital, Daisy ends up committing suicide.

Almost 10 years a day after the Interrupted girl left, Murphy died suddenly from what was later determined to be complications of pneumonia, anemia and multiple drug intoxication.

Ryder admitted to Total movie that he could no longer watch the movie for the tragic end of Murphy.

But in the blush of the moment, in 1999, Murphy was having the best moment of his life.

Playing that character was not "a matter of difficult, difficult or easy …" Clueless Star said at the premiere of the movie. "It's challenging or not challenging, or creatively rewarding or not, and it was creatively rewarding, and I really enjoyed making this movie."

The relationship on the set "was wonderful," Murphy said. "I liked working with everyone. Forget the fact that they were all actresses and all women, which is inspiring just because there was a script that had so many amazing roles for young women. They were extraordinary and extraordinary human artists. , and so I learned a lot about them in a human way and I learned a lot about them on camera in an artistic way. And in all aspects that can't be wrong, it was fantastic. "

Meanwhile, Ryder and Jolie had opposite trajectories in the 2000s, as the prestige of the former began to sink after being the face of the 1990s and the star of the latter, personally and professionally, increased further. They are only four years apart, but Ryder had already enjoyed a decade at the top when Interrupted girl He left and Hollywood had not yet realized that the thirty-year-old actresses were great at playing thirty-year-old women.

"It was hard to find that transition to adult roles," Ryder told London & # 39; s Telegraph in 2014. "But I really enjoy getting old because I went through a period of time when I was technically old enough for roles, but I was always associated with the youngest. I spent all of my thirty years that way. Now that & # 39; m in my forties is getting a little easier. "

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He also considered his arrest for robbery in 2001 as "the place where he just wanted to stop," and that manifested itself in a silly mistake. The resulting breakdown of the public eye was the positive side, Ryder said. Goalkeeper in 2016. "It gave me the time I really needed, where I went back to San Francisco and went back to the things that … frankly I had other interests, frankly."

By the way, in addition to the stardom of the film, Ryder also proceeded to Jolie in the headline romance, as he had committed himself to the heartthrob. Johnny Depp. So she was in a long term relationship with Asylum of the soul singer Dave Pirnerand I was dating Matt Damon in late 1999 while I was promoting Interrupted girl.

When he read the book in 1992, "I was getting out of my very serious depression," Ryder told New York Times, "and I didn't know what to label it, just as Susanna doesn't know what to label."

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Ryder told Diane Sawyer that she was still attracted to the first paragraph of Kaysen's book, which she read for the journalist:

"People ask, how did you get there? What they really want to know is if they are likely to end up there too. I can't answer the real question. All I can tell you is that it is easy."

She admitted to being worried that working in the confines of a real psychiatric hospital could be traumatic, but it ended up being the stone that held the cast together.

"She never got lost in the material," Mangold told Times about Ryder & # 39; & # 39; Because she was operating from experiences she had, instead of intellectual parallels, she spent a lot of time remembering what it was like to be deep within herself. It gives a wonderful performance because he understood that the point of the book is that madness is not so different from normal, just a slightly amplified or biased way of seeing things & # 39; & # 39 ;.

As for Jolie, Mangold said Philadelphia City Paper in January 2000, "Even in the history of film actors, Angie is very rare. She has balls the size of Volkswagens. She has incredible majestic power and incredible sensitivity too. She speaks musically and is almost a dancer on screen. She it's dangerous, charismatic, hilarious, scary, scary. Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, maybe a couple more are in her class, but that kind of energy is very unusual in the movie. (Ryder) is an orchid, but Angie is a volcano. "

They knew it could be a difficult clock, but everyone involved just hoped that people would find this movie they were so proud of, what they felt really encapsulated what it feels like to be drifting emotionally and wondering if you'll ever feel again happy. , much less normal. And what the hell does normal mean anyway?

While much about this movie has become involuntarily surprising: Jolie's powerful wait; Jared Leto, who is still solving it, 15 years before his own Oscar victory; Murphy's chilling performance in light of his own premature death; Emmy's future winner, Elisabeth Moss as Polly, disfigured by catching fire, the film itself still resonates in a perfectly identifiable way.

"This movie will be an example," Ryder told Times. "If it works well, studios may be inclined to make more personal movies and take more risks. Those are the movies that always end up being classic."