In the earlier scenes in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), Renfield (Tom Waits) is shown wearing these odd metal bracers or something on his wrists connecting to his fingers. Can anyone shed some light on what these may be?

Tom Waits wearing metal contraptions on his hands

  • 1
    Even though it's from 92, I'm so tempted to think it just one of those "80s weirdness" me too affectations - let's design it first & see if we can make up a use for it later. There were a lot of those over the previous decade.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 10:29
  • TV Tropes - The Renfield & Artificial Limbs though neither completely cover this particular art department affectation.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 10:37
  • I can think of at least two reasons: 1) To stop him picking up insects to eat (usually a Renfield characteristic) and 2) to stop him biting his fingernails.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


In an interview, Tom Waits said the following:

I also had to wear these hand restraints that were really painful. They were designed, uh- they were based on a design they had for piano players actually in Italy, to keep your hands straight. They were metal braces, and they corrected anything that your fingers may want to do that's un-piano-like. They were like, uh, I dunno, it was like having a corset for your fingers. It kept them perfectly, like this [demonstrates?] And it was all metal, and then [it had] these caps that went over your fingers and [it was] really painful to your cuticles and it looked really scary. That was the idea.

  • Tom Waits is an amazing actor! I recognized him in Mystery Men but I had no idea this was him in Bram Stoker's Dracula for many years
    – m1gp0z
    Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 13:57

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