Winona Ryder, 44, Is Happy She's Playing Her Age Now

Photo by Glen Luchford

Photo by Glen Luchford

Today, Ryder continues to make headlines for looking nearly the same as she did 25 years ago. But the actress is quick to dismiss that attention.

“It’s such a double-edged sword, because, it’s like, I want to be allowed to grow up,” Ryder tells ET, curled up in a black tracksuit -- she thought we were going to chat by phone -- in a suite at the Crosby Hotel in New York City. She blames the current state of nostalgia on social media, which has resurfaced younger pictures of her. “How do you win? If I don’t look ageless, I look haggard. Or if I look normal or whatever, then they’ll talk about how bad I look.”

That sword she’s referring to could easily be swapped out for a scalpel, as so many actresses have done in order to maintain a certain appeal. Ryder, however, has no interest in plastic surgery. “I don’t judge, but I’m just terrified of needles,” she says.

“I feel like when you’ve had a lot of success in your teen years and 20s -- and I’m not trying to speak for anyone else -- but something kind of happens where you are in your 30s and people associate you so much with those other roles,” Ryder says. “So, they don’t really think of you as old enough, even though you are old enough.”

She also relishes in playing her age, particularly in Show Me a Hero. “The way that [director Paul Haggis] shot me was super unflattering but great,” Ryder says. “Look, we all want to look good and stuff, but I think there is something great about embracing getting older.”

Ryder applauds the likes of Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Juliette Binoche for setting the example for aging gracefully. “You look at a lot of these actresses that are winning Academy Awards, and they’re beautiful,” she says.

The actress even has a special phrase for blushing in honor of Binoche. “Very genuinely, I’d call it Binoche-ing,” she says as she pinches the top of her own cheeks, referencing the French actress’ early 1988 film, The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but maybe there’s a new standard of beauty,” Ryder adds.

-Stacey Lambe via ET Online