It’s easy to see why someone like Keanu Reeves would inspire such admiration. He’s one of the most beloved actors of his generation, and so many of his co-stars feel the same. “I just love being together with him so much,” Winona Ryder told Vanity Fair in 2018 — and it’s a love that began on the set of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” The actress was “always so happy” when Reeves was on set, “because there was so much, sort of, trauma” otherwise. Ryder even recovered a diary from her time on the “Dracula” set, with an entry that read: “angst, angst, angst, angst, thank God for Keanu. Thank God I’m going to see Keanu.”
The process of filming “Dracula” was, clearly, a rough one for Ryder. While she and Gary Oldman (who played the titular bloodsucker) allegedly got along fine during rehearsals, things changed as production began. According to an unauthorized biography published at the time, their disparate acting styles were the main source of the friction. Oldman was unmistakably method: his role demanded emotional vulnerability, which he had to be ready to tap into at any moment. “Being emotionally on the brim can be very beneficial and also very destructive,” Ryder said at the time. “He was just very emotionally on edge.”
Ryder also acknowledged the difficulty of working from a more method-like approach — especially when it came to one scene in particular. Said scene involved Ryder’s Mina in bed with Dracula, who promptly transforms into a host of rats. As the story goes, Ryder was meant to cry — and in order to encourage tears, Francis Ford Coppola resorted to shouting insults off-camera.