The actress, 48, is the star of Squarespace’s sixth Super Bowl commercial, which is set in her namesake town of Winona, Minnesota, where she was born.
In the 30-second ad set to air during the big game on Sunday, February 2 — and the 3-minute extended cut that’s also viewable online — Ryder uses Squarespace to create a website for the town, welcometowinona.com. She wanders around, snapping photos of signs that bear her name: Winona Outfitters, Winona Mall, Winona City Hall, Winona Fire Department, Winona Bowl and so on.
“There’s something about this place,” Ryder says via narration. “Something that feels so … me.”
During her sojourn, the Stranger Things star and a diner waitress named Joan get their wires crossed. “I just want to find the real Winona, you know?” Ryder tells Joan.
“Oh, it’s everything between Pleasant Valley Road and the Mississippi,” Joan replies.
The ad also features some of the town’s 26,000 real-life residents, according to the Star Tribune. “If I’m Winona, and they’re Winonans, are we somehow the same?” the Girl, Interrupted star says in narration.
Viewers can also visit the website and see Ryder’s handiwork. “I was born on a small farm on the outskirts of Winona, Minnesota,” the Golden Globe winner reveals on the site. “Dad tells stories of a shoelace and umbilical cord, but I don’t know how true that is. Regardless, Winona is my origin point, in more ways than one.”
Plus, Ryder curated a Welcome to Winona photo book, with a limited supply of autographed copies available for sale on Monday, February 3, at 10 a.m. ET and proceeds going to the American Indian College Fund.
At the end of the short film, Ryder and Joan get even more confused. “I came here to find the true Winona,” Ryder tells the waitress. “To become a Winonan. And I did. But what I didn’t realize was how much I’d discover about Winona along the way.”
Joan says, “And that Winona is Winona Winona, not Winona, right?”
“Wait, I’m lost,” Ryder replies. “What?”
Super Bowl LIV airs live on Fox Sunday, February 2, at 6:30 p.m. ET.
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