Winona Ryder Has Such a Crush on Keanu Reeves That She Insists He Play Her Boyfriend in Movies

Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder are the ultimate friendship goals. The two go way back, considering they met in 1989 and have been best friends ever since. And although the actors never developed a romantic relationship, they’ve admitted to having “big, healthy crushes” on each other. In fact, Ryder is so smitten with Reeves that she has asked directors to cast him as her love interest… Multiple times.

Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves
Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

How did Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder meet?

Reeves and Ryder met in 1989 while presenting at the Independent Spirit Awards together.

Interestingly enough, Ryder was asked who she wanted to present with out of any celebrity in the world. She didn’t hesitate to say “Keanu Reeves” because she was such a fan of his work. (Also, her big healthy crush on him didn’t hurt in the decision-making process.)

“We met at the Independent Spirit Awards,” Ryder tells Today. “I remember they were like, ‘Who would be your dream person to present with?” and she said, “Keanu.”

The two have been inseparable ever since.

Winona Ryder insisted Keanu Reeves play her love interest in a movie

In the early ‘90s, Ryder was cast in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, was initially going to have Johnny Depp playing Ryder’s love interest. (Ryder and Depp were engaged at the time, so their chemistry would be effortless.)

Yet because Depp wasn’t considered a big enough star back then, Coppola asked Ryder who should play the role of her boyfriend instead.

The Stranger Things star insisted on Keanu Reeves.

RELATED: Why Winona Ryder Refers To Keanu Reeves as Her ‘Husband’

“Winona Ryder in those days was going out with Johnny Depp, and I wanted Johnny to have the part of Jonathan Harker,” Copolla revealed in an interview with Vulture. “The studio thought he wasn’t enough of a star. I was so embarrassed. So I said to Winona, ‘What do you think? Who do you think they would think is a star who would want to do it?’ And she said Keanu. I just thought he was a very nice person. I was so touched by his sincerity.”

Winona Ryder refused to star in a romantic comedy without Keanu Reeves

Not only did Ryder insist on having Reeves play her love interest in one movie, but she also refused to do a romantic comedy without him. Years following Dracula, Ryder was again asked who she wanted to have as her romantic partner in the upcoming movie she was set to star in. The director said to her, “It has to be someone who you want to see every day, and it has to be someone special to you.”

So, of course, she picked Reeves.

“He was the first (choice,)” she revealed in an interview with Today. “I knew it couldn’t work unless it was the perfect people, and he was the first person I thought of,” she insisted. “Once I got him in my head, I couldn’t imagine doing it without him… So thank god.”

“There’s no one I’d rather do that (movie) with,” she continued. “You know, I also got to have (Keanu) all to myself…”

“We got to kind of fall in love,” said Reeves. “It was fun.”