search

Winona Ryder: Mel Gibson asked me if I was an oven dodger

Actress opens up about her experience with anti-Semitism in Hollywood, recounts Jewish producer telling her she looked ‘too Jewish’ for a role

Actress Winona Ryder attends the Premiere of Netflix's 'Stranger Things,' at Mack Sennett Studios on July 11, 2016, in Los Angeles, California (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/File)
Actress Winona Ryder attends the Premiere of Netflix's 'Stranger Things,' at Mack Sennett Studios on July 11, 2016, in Los Angeles, California (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/File)

Actress Winona Ryder said she was passed over for a movie role because the studio head thought she looked “too Jewish” and Mel Gibson once asked her if she was an “oven dodger.”

Ryder talked about her experiences with anti-Semitism in Hollywood as part of a wide-ranging interview published in the London-based Sunday Times.

“There was a movie that I was up for a long time ago, it was a period piece, and the studio head, who was Jewish, said I looked ‘too Jewish’ to be in a blue-blooded family,” Ryder told newspaper.

The incident with Gibson, at a party in 1995, was first reported in an interview in GQ in 2010. Ryder said that when something came up in the conversation about Jews, the actor-director said, “You’re not an oven dodger, are you?” – a reference to the ovens that cremated the bodies of inmates in Nazi extermination camps. She added that Gibson later tried to apologize for the remark.

Mel Gibson at the 89th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, February 26, 2017. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, via JTA)

Ryder was born Winona Lauren Horowitz in Winona, Minnesota.

Speaking of her Judaism, Ryder said that she is “not religious, but I do identify. It’s a hard thing for me to talk about because I had family who died in the camps, so I’ve always been fascinated with that time.”

She also said: “There are times when people have said, ‘Wait, you’re Jewish? But you’re so pretty!’”

Ryder recently appeared in the HBO miniseries “The Plot Against America” based on the novel by Philip Roth.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.