Hollywood Now: Winona Ryder Reteams with Keanu Reeves & Chris Weitz Directs Hunt for Eichmann

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Keanu & Winona
Keanu Reeves & Winona Ryder. Credit: Regatta

Did Winona & Keanu Get Hitched for Real?

Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves first starred together 26 years ago in Dracula, and they made two more movies after that, A Scanner Darkly in 2006 and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee in 2009. Now they’re teaming up for the fourth time in Destination Wedding, about two unhappy wedding guests. They meet on the way to the nuptials of the fiancé who left her at the altar, who happens to be the half-brother Reeves’ character hates. It’s dislike at first sight, but the two slowly bond over old wounds, a shared cynical outlook, and situations they’re thrown into.

Ryder is from an interfaith family. Her mother, Cynthia Palmer, is Buddhist, and her father is Michael Horowitz, whose Jewish family emigrated from Russia and Romania and who considers himself Jewish. Ryder was encouraged to decide for herself the faith she wanted to follow. She identifies as Jewish.

She has remained friendly with Reeves since their Dracula days, and recently revealed that their wedding scene in the movie may have been for real. “I think we’re married in real life,” she joked. “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.”

Destination Wedding is in theaters August 31 and will be released digitally and On Demand September 7. Ryder is currently shooting the third season of Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Weitz & Isaac
Chris Weitz & Oscar Isaac. Credit: Valeria Florini/Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

True Story

Based on the true story about Israel’s undercover mission to capture Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann and bring him to justice for his crimes, Operation Finale, opening August 29, is a tense thriller starring Ben Kingsley as Eichmann, and Oscar Isaac, Nick Kroll, Lior Raz and Mélanie Laurent among the agents who carried out the operation.

“It’s a great yarn, an amazing story. The things that seem most like a Hollywood thriller are actually true,” says director Chris Weitz (About a Boy) mentioning the series of coincidences that led the team to discover where Eichmann was hiding in Argentina. Having Jewish ancestry on both sides of his family, including a great-aunt who survived the Holocaust, the subject was very close to him. He describes himself as not religious, but he does feel a strong connection to Judaism that’s “been strengthened by making this movie.”

He also was familiar with World War II history, as his father John Weitz worked for the OSS (a CIA precursor), researching and writing about Nazi Party officials. “I was his copy editor and research assistant,” he says.

Weitz’s mother, actress Susan Kohner, is the product of the marriage between a Mexican-Catholic mother and a Czech-Jewish father who became an agent in Hollywood and helped secure exit visas for entertainment industry Jews to escape Europe at the beginning of the war. Kohner makes a cameo appearance in the film, seen on a movie theater screen in her role in the 1959 film Imitation of Life.

Like his grandfather, Weitz married a Latina woman, “so I’m re-Latinizing our family,” he says. He has raised their two children to learn about Jewish traditions, “but I’m not putting anything on them. I’ll wait until they’re of age to decide for themselves.”

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About Gerri Miller

Gerri Miller writes and reports from Los Angeles about celebrities, entertainment and lifestyle for The Jewish Journal, FromtheGrapevine.com, Brain World, HeathCentral.com, and others. A New York native, she spent a summer working at Kibbutz Giv'at Brenner in Israel and attends High Holy Day services at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood every year.