Winona Ryder Recalls Time Keanu Reeves Refused To Hurl Insults At Her

Aug 02, 2022 by apost team

Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves have been close friends for a long time. They have shared the screen a few times in films such as "A Scanner Darkly" in 2006, "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" in 2009, and "Destination Wedding" in 2018. However, their performance together in "Bram Stoker's Dracula" in 1992 is something that many people still talk about today for a litany of reasons. 

Based on Bram Stoker's 1987 novel "Dracula," the film was directed and produced by the legendary Francis Ford Coppola. Several stars made their mark in the movie, including Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, and of course, Ryder and Reeves. While the film itself received positive reviews, Reeves' performance – precisely his English accent – received some criticism. However, it was a box office success and was nominated for several awards, winning three Academy Awards.

In "Bram Stoker's Dracula," Reeves and Ryder's characters marry one another. This was a hauntingly beautiful scene in the film, especially considering that Reeves and Ryder were becoming great friends behind the scenes. While it's common for co-stars to date after spending so much time together on set, Reeves and Ryder may have taken that a step further. According to multiple interviews over the years, Reeves and Ryder said that they have been married since filming the 1992 film as a real priest was involved in the wedding ceremony scene.

Ryder and Reeves have had a great bond ever since experiencing a less than ideal situation while filming "Dracula." They still adore each other to this day.

Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves (1989), (Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

The 1992 iconic film "Bram Stoker's Dracula" has been remembered for several reasons. The film came when Ryder started to make a name for herself in Hollywood, following her work in "Beetlejuice" and "Edward Scissorhands." However, Reeves' performance is the one that many people remember still to this day, albeit not for the best reasons. 

While Reeves was already a famous and acclaimed star at the time, his performance wasn't seen as his best role yet. According to Screen Rant, critics weren't fans of his fake English accent. Surprisingly, Reeves wasn't a fan of the role himself. He explained that he was exhausted from filming other projects at the time and "just didn't have anything left to give."

The film also included memorable scenes between Reeves and Ryder. According to The Straits Times, in a statement to The Sunday Times, Ryder said that her long friendship with Reeves first began on the set of "Bram Stoker's Dracula," where Reeves was asked to insult his co-star to make her cry. He was told to do this by director Coppola during a vital scene of the movie.

Ryder struggled to make herself cry on command, and no tactics seemed to be doing the job. Coppola instructed the other cast members to make Ryder cry, but refused. 

In this scene, Gary Oldman's Dracula was supposed to turn into a pile of rats causing Ryder's character to act shocked. To make the scene more believable, she was supposed to break into tears but had trouble getting the tears out.

Winona Ryder (2003), (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc/getty images)

Ryder explained that the director thought that he could get her to cry if someone or multiple people screamed hurtful things to her. In a seemingly outrageous course of action, Coppola even stood off-camera and repeatedly shouted, "You w****!" at her, hoping to drive her to the point of tears. He tried to move the actress to emotions but couldn’t complete the task.

When this tactic proved unsuccessful, the director instructed the other members of the cast to assist him in making Ryder cry. Fortunately, Reeves' refusal to insult Winona Ryder went a long way and resulted in a lasting friendship that has spanned decades.

"To put it in context, I'm supposed to be crying," Ryder stated in her interview. "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."

Reeves' refusal to insult Winona Ryder went a long way and resulted in a lasting friendship that has spanned decades. Ryder claims that "Dracula" was the film that started it all as it appeared early on in their careers. The film was a box office hit and gained $215 million globally with only a $40 million budget.

However, their friendship may go deeper than people think. According to Sky News, Ryder has joked repeatedly that she and Reeves are married. She said, "We actually got married in 'Dracula.' No, I swear to God I think we're married in real life."

Keanu Reeves (2020), (Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images)

Speaking with Esquire in November 2021, Reeves talked about his possible marriage to Ryder based on their wedding scene in "Bram Stoker's Dracula." He said:

"Winona says we are. Coppola says we are. So I guess we're married under the eyes of God."

However, the legitimacy of their marriage is still questionable, as many prerequisites would have had to be met for their wedding to be official, especially if they never signed any legal documents or a marriage license. Each actor has also been in public relationships since filming, and Reeves is currently dating artist Alexandra Grant and Ryder is with Scott Mackinlay Hahn.

Ryder and Reeves would soon come together to co-star for several other films, including "A Scanner Darkly" (2006), "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" (2009), and "Destination Wedding" (2018). Ryder recalls the negative reaction toward the last romantic-comedy film.

"It got the worst reviews," Ryder claims. "That movie, for some reason, every reviewer was like, 'This is the worst movie in the world,' and it was really rough." If you are wondering how the "Dracula" event impacted the relationship between Winona and Coppola, Ryder claims that she and the Oscar-winning director are on good terms. Ryder is now working on season four of Netflix's hit series, "Stranger Things." The actress is also in the middle of Emmys season for her supporting role in HBO limited series "The Plot Against America" by David Simon. Her last film release was "Destination Wedding," after it was greeted with negative reactions from critics and viewers.

Her lack of recent films may disappoint avid fans of Ryder, yet she has accumulated countless hits over her lifetime. If her presence in the film industry is missed, viewers can watch any of her previous films.

Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves (2018), (Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty Images)

What do you think about this story? Are you surprised that Reeves stood up to his director for Winona? If you loved this story, pass it on to another person who loves this duo!

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