Francis Ford Coppola Responds to Winona Ryder’s Claim He Told ‘Dracula’ Actors to Insult Her

Director Francis Ford Coppola is responding to Winona Ryder’s claims that he instructed her male costars to shout insults at her during the filming of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

During an interview with The Sunday Times, Winona recalled shooting a scene for the 1992 film where she was “supposed to be crying.”

She later claimed that in order to make her cry more, Francis called on her male costars to insult her.

“While I think Winona is a wonderful actor, the incident she described is not how it happened, and shouting or abusing people isn’t something I do as a person or as a filmmaker,” the director told People magazine.

“In this situation, which I remember clearly, I instructed Gary Oldman — in character as Dracula — to whisper improvised words to her and the other characters, making them as horrific and evil as he could. I don’t know what was said, but improvisation is a common filmmaking practice.”

Winona’s rep later came out with a response as well:

“Winona and Francis are in agreement and his recollection is correct,” they said. “He asked the actors, in character, to say horrible things to her as a technique to help her cry for the scene. Although that technique didn’t work for her, she loves and respects him and considers it a great privilege to have worked with him.”

Eek! Well, perhaps a little memory lapse is forgiven. It was nearly 20 years ago, after all.