The red power scrunchie almost went to Jennifer Connelly.
In a conversation with Tavi Gevinson for Interview magazine, Winona Ryder reflected on her casting in cult hits throughout the ’80s — and revealed that she wasn’t the first choice to play homicidal Veronica Sawyer in Heathers, the seminal dark teen comedy about cliques and killing.
Instead, Connelly, a rising star at the time thanks to her work in 1986’s Labyrinth, could have nabbed the part, and Ryder says she was initially passed over because of her looks. “I auditioned and they were like, ‘Oh, thanks.’ And I went to the Beverly Center to Macy’s and had them do a makeover on me,” the actress, who was 15 when Heathers began filming, explained. “I went back because I kind of knew that they thought I wasn’t pretty enough. They were trying to get Jennifer Connelly.”
When Gevinson responded that she couldn’t imagine anyone else in the part, Ryder added she desperately wanted the role: “I remember actually saying to them, ‘I don’t care if it even comes out. I just want to say the words. You don’t have to pay me.’ That was the only time that I wanted something so bad.”
Fortunately, there are no hard feelings between Ryder and Connelly — or anyone she’s competed against for roles. “I was asked recently who I was jealous of. It’s kind of weird; I wasn’t really competitive,” she admitted. “I was always searching for that support thing. There’s always so much gossip.” Hollywood, in other words, is just like Westerburg High.