Francis Ford Coppola denies asking Dracula cast to hurl abuse at Winona Ryder on set

‘Shouting or abusing people isn’t something I do as a person or as a filmmaker,’ said director

Ellie Harrison
Friday 26 June 2020 07:09
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Trailer for Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula

Francis Ford Coppola has denied Winona Ryder’s claim that he instructed her male co-stars to hurl abuse at her on the set of Dracula in 1992.

In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, Ryder had said that during the shooting of one scene, Coppola stood off camera repeatedly shouting “You whore!” in order to get her to believably cry and that he attempted to get the film’s male cast to join in, too. She said stars including Keanu Reeves and Anthony Hopkins refused to do so.

Coppola has since denied Ryder’s claims, telling People: “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.”

In turn, Ryder corroborated Coppola's version of events. "Winona and Francis are in agreement and his recollection is correct," a spokesperson for the actor said in a statement.

"He asked the actors in character to say horrible things to Winona as a technique to help her cry for the scene. Although that technique didn't work for her, she loves and respects him and considers it a great privilege to have worked with him."

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