Winona Ryder Says Keanu Reeves Refused Direction to Yell at Her on 'Dracula' Set
By Rachel McRady
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Winona Ryder is opening up about a problematic exchange she said she had on the set of Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 film, Bram Stoker's Dracula. In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Ryder recalls a scene where she had to cry in the film.
Laura Atkinson, who is interviewing the 48-year-old actress, brings up a story she read about where Coppola allegedly shouted at Ryder, "You whore! You whore!" in an effort to bring her to tears.
“To put it in context I’m supposed to be crying,” Ryder remembers of the scene. “Literally, Richard E. Grant, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu [Reeves]… Francis was trying to get all of them to yell things that would make me cry. But Keanu wouldn’t, Anthony wouldn’t … the more it happened, I was like [she crosses her arms like a sulky teenager and frowns] … It just didn’t work. I was, like, really? It kind of did the opposite."
Ryder adds of the director, “Me and Francis are good now."
In a statement to ET on Wednesday, Coppola said, "While I think Winona is a wonderful actor, the incident she described is not how it happened, and shouting or abusing people isn’t something I do as a person or as a filmmaker. In this situation, which I remember clearly, I instructed Gary Oldman -- in character as Dracula -- to whisper improvised words to her and the other characters, making them as horrific and evil as he could. I don’t know what was said, but improvisation is a common filmmaking practice."
As for Reeves, Ryder gushes once again about her longtime friendship with her frequent co-star.
“I love Keanu. We’re great friends. I miss him so much, and it’s hard because he’s not far, just over there,” she says, pointing out the window.
Back in 2018, Ryder opened up to ET about a fun experience she had with Reeves on the Dracula set. "I’m convinced we really did get married because it was a real Romanian priest and they did a master that he did the whole thing,” she recalled.
The co-stars also admitted to both having childhood crushes on the other.
“I had a pretty big, healthy crush on him,” Ryder said of meeting Reeves in the late ‘80s. “I had a big, healthy crush on you too,” Reeves replied.
When asked what happened to those crushes, Ryder teased, “Oh, it’s still raging." Reeves added, “They’re still there.”