I recently read Cary Elwes' memoir of his work on the film The Princess Bride, titled As You Wish. It's a warm bath of a book, without any major revelations. Turns out that movie that is funny and sweet and nice and beloved by all was made by nothing but funny, sweet, nice, lovable people. This is as it should be, really; you wouldn't want to hear that, say, the director was verbally abusive or one of the actors was on animal tranquilizers the whole time.
However, there's another film of which Elwes was a part that I desperately want a book about, and that's Bram Stoker's Dracula.
I recently watched that film for the first time in ages; moreover, I watched the behind the scenes footage, and good gravy. The whole cast assembled at Coppola's compound in wine country and spent time rehearsing, doing acting exercises... basically summer camp for actors. Right off the bat, that sounds like a movie in and of itself.
Here is some of the madness from the IMDB page:
"Gary Oldman was quite drunk the night they filmed the scene where he had to lick blood from Keanu Reeves's straight razor. The scene was filmed far beyond midnight, which added to the spirit of the scene and helped put the cast 'in the proper mood.'"
I need to see this.
"Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder did not get along well at all during filming. The rest of the cast was shocked because the two actors had been friendly during rehearsals, then came back from a break in the schedule seemingly hating each other, with no indication given (then or later) as to what had happened."
I NEED MORE INFORMATION ON THIS.
"In the scene where the heroes bust in on Dracula and Mina, Dracula turns into a bat-like creature and frightens the heroes out of their wits. Gary Oldman had problems with this scene, feeling constricted in the suit and not very scary. Francis Ford Coppola told him to whisper something scary into each actor's ear, which Oldman did with relish. No one knows what he said to them, but they all look absolutely terrified in the scene."
Please note that there is actual footage of this on the Blu-Ray, with Gary Oldman done up as a giant bat walking amongst his blindfolded castmates and FREAKING THEM THE HELL OUT.
"Francis Ford Coppola had Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes and Billy Campbell embark on a series of "adventures" including horse back riding and hot air ballooning to build the camaraderie between the three."
Guys. GUYS. These three going on bro adventures in wine country? Tell me you wouldn't read that.
In conclusion, the world needs an in-depth exploration of the insanity of this already completely screwy movie. See to it.