Winona Ryder says Keanu Reeves refused Francis Ford Coppola’s request to hurl abuse at her until she cried on Dracula set

Actor recalled moment director repeatedly shouted ‘You whore!’ while she filmed emotional scene in vampire film

Adam White
Monday 22 June 2020 10:43
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Trailer for Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula

Winona Ryder has revealed that Keanu Reeves refused Francis Ford Coppola’s request to hurl abuse at her until she cried while filming Dracula.

Ryder and Reeves starred in Coppola’s 1992 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s vampire tale, with Ryder playing Dracula’s main target Mina Harker, and Reeves her fiancé.

Ryder said that, during filming of a scene involving Gary Oldman’s Dracula transforming into a pile of rats, Coppola stood off camera repeatedly shouting “You whore!” in order to get her to believably cry. Coppola also attempted to get the film’s male cast to join in, too.

“To put it in context I’m supposed to be crying,” Ryder told The Sunday Times. “Literally, Richard E Grant, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu … Francis was trying to get all of them to yell things that would make me cry.

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

Ryder said that she and Coppola are “good now”, but that the experience sparked a long-time friendship with Reeves.

Since Dracula, the pair have worked together three more times: in 2006’s A Scanner Darkly, 2009’s The Private Lives of Pippa Lee and 2018’s Destination Wedding.

Of the latter, a romcom in which the pair played mismatched guests at a wedding, Ryder said that its poor reception was difficult to hear.

“It got the worst reviews,” she says. “That movie, for some reason, every reviewer was like, ‘This is the worst movie in the world,’ and it was really rough.”

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