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Gary Oldman Slept In A Coffin When Preparing For Bram Stoker's Dracula

Tom Wood

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Gary Oldman Slept In A Coffin When Preparing For Bram Stoker's Dracula

Featured Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

Gary Oldman spent the entire time he worked on Bram Stoker’s Dracula sleeping in a coffin, his co-star has revealed. Check out the trailer below.


Now, Oldman is known for truly throwing himself into his roles, but few could have envisaged how far he went for the 1992 flick in which he played the famous undead antagonist.

Francis Ford Coppola’s movie was a smash hit, and garnered many awards and nominations, as well as rave reviews.

It was the visionary director – who also directed Apocalypse Now and The Godfather trilogy – who decided that for the film to be a massive success, the cast would really have to go the extra mile to make it happen.

Credit: Columbia Pictures
Credit: Columbia Pictures

Cary Elwes, who starred alongside Oldman – who is ironically 13 days younger than Gary Numan – said that Coppola wanted everyone to really inhabit their characters, and for the star of the show that meant getting in touch with his own mortality every night.

Speaking in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Elwes said: "Gary was sleeping in a coffin every night, that was how seriously he took it.

"He was sequestered from us all — by choice."

Now, Elwes – who also starred in The Princess Bride – said that Coppola had the entire cast head on up to his home in California’s Napa Valley before filming started, believing that having everyone get to know each other would improve their performances.

So, as Elwes played one of the vampire hunters, they all lived together, isolated from everyone else and especially Oldman.

He explained: "Francis believes that the more time the cast spends together that will translate on-screen.”

Credit: Columbia Pictures
Credit: Columbia Pictures

That meant that Elwes, alongside fellow hunters Keanu Reeves and Anthony Hopkins, all managed to hang out together whilst Oldman lived alone. 

"Poor Gary had to live by himself,” he added.

"We met him for the first time on set during rehearsals and then we'd never see him again.”

All the while, Oldman would be kipping away in his coffin – presumably only emerging at night to prowl.

In the end, Oldman gave one of the performances of his career, which is saying something given some of the turns he’s put out.

The movie would end up winning three Academy Awards, for make-up, costume, and sound effect, but nothing for Oldman’s virtuoso masterclass.

Credit: Columbia Pictures
Credit: Columbia Pictures

Still, he’d get there in the end, taking the Best Actor gong for his performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.

Presumably getting into that role just involved being rude and drinking a heap of spirits whilst chomping on a cigar.

Much easier than sleeping in a wooden box.

Topics: TV and Film, Celebrity, Weird

Tom Wood
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