Keanu Reeves and Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. (© 1992 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Many people wanted to put the story of At Bram Stokers Dracula (back in UK cinemas in 4K now for its 30th anniversary) on the big screen, but in the early 1990s James V Hart’s script was languishing in development torpor when Winona Ryder read it and decided it had to be TO DO.
She took it to Francis Ford Coppola, maybe to build bridges after he quit The Godfather III just before shooting. Coppola liked Hart’s take – baroque, expansive, authentic – and set about doing it.
Cary Elwes was forging a career in Hollywood after breaking out in 1987 The princess to be marriedwhich he had followed with the vehicle Tom Cruise thunder days and 1991 Superior gun parody Hot shots!.
Read more: The Godfather is a mythical film forged in a legendary turmoil
“I read that he was lit and Francis was doing it and Winona was tied up,” the 59-year-old Briton told Yahoo.
“I called my agent, I said, ‘you have to put me in this picture, I have to work with Francis.’ We were pretty relentless. It turns out that Francis was in favor of the idea.
Elwes was cast as Lord Arthur Holmwood, Lucy’s (Sadie Frost) posh fiancé, Ryder’s character’s best friend (and Dracula’s love interest) Mina Harker.
Read more: princess bride remake rumor sparks quick reaction
He began rehearsing with co-stars Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing, Keanu Reeves and fellow Englishman Gary Oldman, who played the iconic vampire.
Cary Elwes in 1992 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Ron Galella collection via Getty Images)
” [Francis] brought us tons of material to review,” recalls Elwes. “What he wanted was for his actors to immerse themselves in this universe.
“He gave all of us little tasks to help us find the character. He arranged for me to go hunting on his property, he wanted me to live the lifestyle of an aristocrat, which was a lot of fun. We’ve been on hot air balloons and all sorts of things…no expense spared when it comes to Francis.
He certainly had a nicer prep than Oldman.
“We were having a great time – poor Gary spent most of the time sleeping in a coffin. »
The story continues
Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. (© 1992 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.)
As a member of the vampire hunter gang, Elwes has spent a lot of screen time with Hopkins, fresh off his Oscar-winning Hollywood role in Thesilenceofthelambs.
“He’s very playful,” Elwes reveals of Hopkins. “He was trying to make me laugh during a take. He was very mean.
Anthony Hopkins (center) in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. (© 1992 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Lavish and spectacularly crafted (it was nominated for an Oscar for Art Direction and won for Costume Design, Sound Editing and Makeup), the film also had a fun afterlife thanks to the dignified English accent. a meme of Keanu and the story that he and Winona were accidentally married for real during a wedding reshoot.
“I know Francis really had a Romanian wedding,” Elwes says. “I don’t know if they said ‘…and his wife.’ I wouldn’t be surprised if they were actually married.
Cary Elwes (centre) appears in Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Gary Oldman (l) and Keanu Reeves (r). (© 1992 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.)
The actor has since chained roles in film and television, including Seen and stranger things. But we were particularly interested in his reunion with Tom Cruise in the pandemic and highly anticipated film. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1.
So can he tell us something? “Not much,” he admits. Not even a little? ” [It was] great fun, so I’m excited for the fans.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is back in UK cinemas in 4K for its 30th anniversary now.
Watch a trailer for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 underneath