Keanu Reeves refused Coppola's demand to make Winona Ryder cry while making Dracula

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves in Bram Stoker's Dracula. (Columbia Pictures)

Winona Ryder has said that Keanu Reeves refused director Francis Ford Coppola's direction to make her cry on the set of his 1992 movie Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Ryder played Mina to Reeves's Jonathan Harker, among an all-star cast for the gothic horror, with Gary Oldman as Vlad the Impaler and Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing.

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Speaking to The Sunday Times, Ryder claimed that Coppola himself screamed at her “you whore!” in an attempt to elicit tears during a scene in which she was required to break down after seeing Oldman's Dracula transform into a heap of rats.

“I’m supposed to be crying,” she says.

“Richard E Grant, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu… Francis was trying to get all of them to yell things that would make me cry.

Winona Ryder and Francis Ford Coppola at the premiere of Dracula in 1992. (Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

“But Keanu wouldn’t, Anthony wouldn’t... It just didn’t work. I was, like, really? It kind of did the opposite.”

Coppola spoke about the pair's relationship in 2018, when he appeared to confirm that, in the eyes of god, the couple were in fact officially married during a scene in the film.

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The director had elected to film 'a real wedding ceremony as it might be in that religion [Greek Orthodox Christianity]', he told The Guardian, even shooting the scene on Valentine's Day.

“In a sense when we were all done, we realised that Keanu and Winona really are married as a result of this scene and this ceremony,” he added.

Ryder also believes that they're probably married too.

She told Entertainment Weekly: “We actually got married in Dracula. No, I swear to god I think we’re married in real life.

“In that scene, Francis [Ford Coppola] used a real Romanian priest. We shot the master and he did the whole thing. So I think we’re married.”