American actress Winona Ryder first co-starred with Keanu Reeves in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s iconic film Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, where Ryder played Mina Murray, and Reeves portrayed her hapless fiance Jonathan Harker.
Actress Winona Ryder has opened up on her longtime friendship with her co-star on a number of films Keanu Reeves, which started on the set of Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of the Bram Stoker horror classic Dracula.
Ryder sat down for a FaceTime interview with The Times on 21 June, sharing some behind-the-scenes recollections from the Dracula set.
According to the actress, whose last feature film release was "Destination Wedding", there was an incident on set when Reeves refused to insult his co-star in order to get her to cry, as instructed by director Francis Ford Coppola.
The scene featured Dracula, played by Gary Oldman, turning into a pile of rats and Ryder’s Mina Harker reacting in shock. As the actress was supposedly having difficulty producing tears during several takes, according to Ryder, Coppola suggested that yelling insults at her it might do the trick.
The director himself reportedly shouted "You whore!" at Ryder during takes, but to no avail.
An increasingly irritated Coppola turned to the film’s male cast members to help him.
To put it in context I’m supposed to be crying… 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. It just didn’t work. I was, like, really? It kind of did the opposite," said Ryder.
According to the actress, Reeves’ refusal to insult her at the time marked the beginning of their friendship, which has spanned decades.
After "Dracula", which was a box office success, grossing $215 million worldwide, the two were reunited on set for "A Scanner Darkly" (2006), "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" (2009), and "Destination Wedding "(2018).
I love Keanu…We’re great friends," Ryder told Laura Atkinson in the interview.
As for Coppola, Ryder said she had resolved her issues with the Oscar-winning director.
Me and Francis are good now," she said.
Netizens were not surprised to hear of Keanu Reeves refusing to hurl abuse at his co-star, acknowledging what a gentleman he has always been.
Some applauded the on-screen pairing of the two actors.
Others, however, were not that enthusiastic about Winona Ryder’s skills on the “silver screen”.
Some went online to voice their disgust with Francis Ford Coppola’s methods of directing.
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