Watch: Keanu Reeves: Explain This
It's well known that sometimes, A list stars have secret weddings. But it's a shock to discover that Winona Ryder, 50, Oscar and Emmy-winning star of Stranger Things, and Keanu Reeves, 57, legend of The Matrix and John Wick, might actually have been married for almost thirty years.
Back in 1992, the pair, then in their twenties, were filming Dracula in Romania. Playing British Lawyer Jonathan Harker, Keanu and Winona, who played his love interest Mina, filmed a lengthy marriage scene with a genuine Romanian priest.
It later occurred to them that this may have made the movie wedding, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, 'official'. In a video interview for this month's GQ Magazine, Keanu explained:
"We did a whole take of a marriage ceremony with real priests." Asked if they are still 'married,' the actor joked, "Winona says we are. Coppola says we are. So I guess we’re married under the eyes of God."
Ryder has also spoken about the wedding - three years ago, she told Entertainment Weekly, "We actually got married in Dracula. No, I swear to God I think we’re married in real life...In that scene, Francis [Ford Coppola] used a real Romanian priest. We shot the master and he did the whole thing. So I think we’re married."
Talking to her co-star, she added, "Don't you remember that? It was on Valentine's Day."
Reeves replied, "Oh my gosh, we're married."
Dracula had a stellar cast, including Gary Oldman as the vampire, Sadie Frost as Mina's best friend, Lucy, Richard E Grant, Anthony Hopkins, Monica Belluci and singer Tom Waits.
After filming, Producer and Director Francis Ford Coppola explained on the DVD commentary feature that Mina and Harker's wedding as it appeared in the movie was a re-shoot, which took place at a Los Angeles Greek Orthodox church.
He admitted that they filmed the full ceremony with the Greek Orthodox minister, and only realised afterwards that this may have made the marriage legally binding.
Keanu Reeves has also said that he sometimes receives text messages from Winona saying "Hello, husband" - and they're both totally fine with it.
At the time, Ryder, then aged 21, was in a serious relationship with Johnny Depp. The filming of Dracula was in part thanks to her bringing it to Coppola's notice - it had been intended for TV but having been impressed by the script, she showed it to the director, who loved it, and the film went on to major success.
Her relationship with Depp ended in 1993, when he famously had his 'Winona Forever' tattoo changed to 'wino forever.' She then dated Dave Pirner of band Soul Asylum, and Matt Damon.
However, in 2011 she met eco-fashion designer Scott Mackinlay Hahn and has been with his ever since, though they are not married. Ryder currently stars in Netflix hit Stranger Things, as anxious but strong mother Joyce Byers.
She has previously worked again with Reeves in the 2018 rom-com Destination Wedding, sci-fi movie A Scanner Darkly (2006) and drama The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009).
The two remain good friends, though there has never been a suggestion that they got together romantically.
Reeves told Entertainment Tonight that the actress is "A good friend, (with a ) sense of humour, intelligence - mind, view of the world - beautiful heart, beautiful spirit and a damn fine actress."
During lockdown, Winona told The Sunday Times, "I love Keanu, we’re great friends. I miss him so much, and it’s hard because he’s not far, just over there.. I'm going to call him now."
"“He’s one of my favourite people to work with, to be around,” Winona said in 2018 in a joint interview with Keanu. He replied, “I feel the same way about you.”
The close friends met in the late 80s at the Independent Spirit Awards in Hollywood.
But despite their lack of romantic entanglement they have admitted having huge crushes on one another.
"Well, I had a pretty, pretty big, healthy crush on this guy,” Winona said. “I had a big, healthy crush on you, too,” replied Reeves. Winona added, “it’s still raging, trust me.”
Though neither have been married in real life, Reeves has been with artist Alexandra Grant since 2009, and they couple 'went public' ten years later.
Sadly, it seems, without the paperwork, Keanu and Winona's wedding was not legally binding. But Keanu said, "I didn’t really believe her, and then Francis Ford Coppola, the director of Dracula, contacted Winona and said publicly that, yeah, that really happened, the priest did a full ceremony, and Winona and I got married.”
There's still time to make it official, right?
Watch: On this day 1992