An actress with one of the biggest cult followings, with many fans around the globe (myself included) has got to be Winona Ryder.
It is perhaps her choice in the roles she plays which makes her so influential and so adored by many. She is not afraid to play roles which are outside the box, and will experiment to make every role her own.
From playing an outsider in ‘Beetlejuice‘, the pretty girl who falls for the outsider in ‘Edward Scissorhands‘, a future nun in ‘Mermaids‘ and a woman who spends 18 months in a mental hospital in ‘Girl, Interrupted‘. These are just a few of the roles which display the diversity of Winona’s acting.
The film of Winona’s which I believe has the biggest cult following is dark comedy, ‘Heathers‘. In this film, she plays Veronica who is tired of her friends, she teams up with mysterious JD in her quest to mess with her friends. This film has many funny moments especially for those who have a dark sense of humour and is has a very interesting and unique plot.
My personal favourite film of hers is ‘Reality Bites‘. This is a film about a group of graduates struggling in the real world. The soundtrack is excellent, the film is very funny yet relatable and provides an interesting story without adding any unrealistic plot twists.
It is undeniable that Winona Ryder is a talented actress, her cult following worship her down-to-earth nature, her sense of fashion, and her talent. However, what I believe makes her most iconic is that she plays roles which many of us can relate to, with Winona we can find a sense of belonging and feel proud to display our individuality.
River Phoenix is a name that many people know. Some know him for his short-lived acting career, others for his environmental work and others for his tragic death. To me he is an icon who has had a strong impact on my life.
Born in 1970, River spent the majority of his childhood travelling South America with his family, often busking in the streets with his sister, Rain. When the family returned to the US to change their lives, the Bottom family became the Phoenix family and all converted to veganism.
There are many reasons that River has had such a huge impact on me but his love for all people and animals is a main one. I have been a vegetarian for almost three and a half years, I made this decision after watching a documentary about the treatment of animals. The Phoenix family, having similar views, make me proud to follow this diet, especially considering their amazing work for the cause.
Also a very talented actor, River inspires me to follow my passions and do what makes me happy. Personally my favourite of his films is ‘My Own Private Idaho.’ In this film River plays Mike, a young street hustler who suffers from narcolepsy. Mike and his friend, fellow street hustler, Scott, played by Keanu Reeves try to track down Mike’s mother who abandoned him several years before. I think this film truly displays River’s ability to completely immerse himself into a role and exhibit his emotions.
As well as acting, music was another passion of River’s. His band Aleka’s Attic had a very alternative folk rock sound. They recorded several songs (which can be found on youtube) and performed gigs around America. Despite never having much commercial success, River was just as dedicated to his music as he was to acting.
River Phoenix will always be my favourite actor and inspire me everyday. He will remain an icon to his massive cult following, and his memory will live on.