The Stranger Things star revealed in a rare personal interview that she struggled to "take care" of herself and called their split her "Girl, Interrupted real life", likening her state of mind to her character, Susanna Kaysen, in 1999's Girl, Interrupted, who spends 18 months at a psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt.
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Johnny and Winona broke off their engagement in 1993 and at the time the actress was starring in the drama The House of the Spirits. "That was my Girl, Interrupted real life. I remember, I was playing this character who ends up getting tortured in a Chilean prison," she told Harper's Bazaar.
"I would look at these fake bruises and cuts on my face, and I would struggle to see myself as this little girl. 'Would you be treating this girl like you're treating yourself?' I remember looking at myself and saying, 'This is what I'm doing to myself inside.' Because I just wasn't taking care of myself."
The 50-year-old continued: "I've never talked about it. There's this part of me that's very private. I have such, like, a place in my heart for those days. But for someone younger who grew up with social media, it's hard to describe."
Winona and Johnny split in 1993
Winona revealed that she sought help from "an incredible therapist" and was also offered some words of advice from her Age of Innocence co-star Michelle Pfeiffer, who assured her the rough patch was "going to pass" but she "couldn't hear it" herself.
Johnny and Winona met at a film premiere in New York City in 1989 and announced their engagement the following year.
At the height of their romance, the Pirates of the Caribbean star had 'Winona Forever' tattooed on his upper right arm, which he later changed to 'Wino Forever' after their split.
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