INT: Keanu Reeves
off the MATRIX trilogy, Keanu Reeves gets a shot at another
successful film franchise this week with
stopped by the Four Seasons in
attracted you to this character?
first got the script when I was in
familiar were you with the "Hellblazer"
comic books and how did
you feel about some of the changes that were made, like moving the
wasnít familiar with the character before I read the script. When
the script came to me it had already changed to American so I
didnít know that. When I started doing research I found that out,
but the important part is the essence of
cast members say you kept a lot of journals dealing with things like
spirituality. Can you talk about some of your research?
have no idea what they are talking about. (Laughs)
The process for me is just writing down thoughts and working
on the role. I wasnít carrying around The Path of the Peaceful
Warrior, in that sense. I think the film speaks for itself and that
is what I was working on. It was mainly about the script and the
journey the character takes learning about the curse, or gift, he
was given in his youth. Part of the journey is
seems to be your deepest foray into a religious themed film. How
much does the religious theme of this resonate with you?
what point in your research did you feel you finally knew the
really enjoyed the character, but in terms of embodying it, I worked
with costumers and we tried on things and there were options. I
found a jacket and shoes and it felt right. Then you go to
rehearsals in costumes and it starts to feel connected and natural.
When it feels right it is great. I knew his core, but I had to work
on it. I lowered my voice and worked with the director and looked at
the comic book and his deadpan humor. It kind of happened just a
couple of days before we shot. The exorcism was the first scene and
that helped a lot. I had to walk over and get on the bed and when I
figured that out I felt like I had it.
After the Matrix films, how do you feel about this possibly becoming another film franchise?
contract didnít have a second film in it, but we all fell in love
with this thing and I had a great time so we were talking about what
happens next, is he a heroin addict in
character smokes a lot in the movie. How
much did you actually smoke?
much. Itís a character trait of the character. Heís dealing with
a lot and itís a tool to help numb himself. I smoke myself.
you have any input into the spirituality of the character?
had some great times working with Francis and Mr. (Akiva) Goldsman.
Spirituality is a word I donít think applies to
were initially hesitant about working with a video director.
What changed your mind?
came from an uneducated bias. When they first came to me I thought
the film had such a strong narrative. In the past I have been weary
of video directors, but then I saw a few reels and I saw Francisí
reel and he had a classicism to him and a narrative impulse in the
way he treated the performers in his videos. They were telling a
story or revealing something about their characters. When I met him
he had his concepts and we spoke for two hours and walked out of
there eager to work with him.
Is it important for you to mix and match big roles with small ones?
been fortunate to be able to do different kinds of roles on
different scales and that is important to me. Sometimes you donít
want to play the hero, you want to play something else in another
genre. Iíve been trying to do that in my career and I hope to
continue that. There is a joy in the diversity of roles.
have an amazing resume at this point. What do you get from acting
I really love it. Itís my craft. When I was 15 I asked my mother if I could be an actor and she said whatever I want. Three weeks later I was in acting school. I heard Anthony Hopkins say this, you learn it by doing it. Itís like painting I imagine. The craft of it and skill of it, the more you do it the better you get. For me itís a love. A good day on the set collaborating for me is a hoot. I love it and hopefully I will continue.
you talk about your kissing scenes with Rachel and creating that
for fun. You can see that in the couple that it can be there and yet
it canít be there because itís not the time or place. I think
itís part of the enjoyment off the piece, itís like an editing
choice like when the car hits the men and you see the spirit of
destiny. They want to
kiss, but they canít kiss, and at the end of the film they do say
they want to keep seeing each other.
Do you think acting is a vehicle to affect the world in a positive way?
(laughs) Yes, in my art! I am making up for what I do in life! Iíd like that aspect in the work that I do because itís what I enjoy in art. I think to go see a film and be entertained, and I donít mind playing a negative part like in The Gift because itís part of a story about grief and about dealing with it. I donít want to go to a movie and watch assholes for two hours! Pedophilia? Thanks. I know we are fucked up, but I donít want to see that, unless itís something really cool like Anime, but even at the end of those they have transformation. If it doesnít have a positive element to it, it wonít attract my interest and itís not worthwhile for me.
you have any big physical things you did yourself, instead of using
a stunt person?
your band Dogstar still exist?
No. (the crowd groans) Really? There was some good rock there, but the band I played in after called "Becky" was great. I recommend you go to www.beckyonline.com. I played with them for about a year, but they needed to go on tour so I had to bow out. I donít play anymore.
are you doing next?
I am working with Sandra Bullock on a film called-
Donít laugh, we might make that. What would it be called? Sped? Itís called THE LAKE HOUSE, but itís changing. Itís a straight romance.
you think the ambivalent peace
donít think those are two different things. Any success I might
have it comes from the work I do or am involved with. That is
connected. I did
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