Though the corsets made her feel uncomfortable during the filming, Ryder says the corsets helped her to feel the pain of a repressed person she portrayed.
Winona Ryder has credited her tight corsets with fueling her performance in The Age of Innocence by allowing her to channel her character's emotional turmoil. The actress insists her restrictive costume allowed her to give an authentic performance as a socialite engaged to a lawyer, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, in the 1993 period drama.
And despite feeling uncomfortable throughout the entire shoot, Ryder admits she is grateful for the painful garments. She tells Britain's Total Film magazine, "The corsets are a tremendous help to the performance, because you're playing a repressed person and you can feel the pain that they endured. My waist had to be 19 inches and they had to measure me every day. I would be on the floor and they would pull the strings until it was 19 inches."
"Daniel would wear his clothes home, he was very in character and I was like, 'You have no idea the pain I'm in right now!' But if I did it again I would want it the same way because it made my performance."