Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Who Is Keanu Reeves?


Above: Keanu Reeves ... Emoting

Premiere Magazine has finally posted easily one of my favorite Magazine pieces in the last six months, namely: "Who Is Keanu Reeves?" Here's how it goes: Actors, directors, FOK (Friends of Keanu) all talk about him as if he were Brando. And they do this in all seriousness. With -- and we're guessing here -- insolent straight faces. Of course, The Corsair laughed out loud at the testimonials. Here's a taste:

"Keanu Reeves: My first commercial was Coca-Cola. I had to be sweaty and wipe the bottle across my forehead. Before that, I was a host for a series called Going Great. I used to go around and meet the kids who raised bees, or this girl who was trying to learn the javelin. The story I tell is being fifteen and going up to my mother and saying, 'Is it okay if I?m an actor?' And she said, 'Of course.' Shortly after that, I was going to classes at night; the first class was [based on] Uta Hagen?s Respect for Acting."

The irony! But wait, there's more vintage Keanu:

"Glenn Close: I was still very jet-lagged when Stephen Frears organized a picnic [in Paris]. They had a big bus for the cast. We were all outside of the hotel, and we ended up waiting for Keanu. He was the last one to come out. His hair was long, he had really baggy pants, a really baggy jacket from the Army-Navy store, or something, and a knapsack. He was like a big Saint Bernard puppy. You thought if you had thrown a ball, he would have gone and fetched it."

Oh you know he would have, Glenn. And there would be slobber all over it. But you'd love him all the same, big lovable wooden mutt that he is. On Keanu, bohemian:

"Francis Lawrence: He and I were always meeting at the Chateau Marmont. We were prepping Constantine, but he was shooting Something?s Gotta Give. My wife and I were eating dinner in the dining room, and he came stumbling in, with this thing in his hand. I go, 'What are you doing?' He says, 'Oh, nothing, I just got off work. Going to make a steak.' And he just heads off into the kitchen."

Fucking Modigliani shit like that (The Corsair shakes his head in approval) is what makes Keanu the artiste that he is. Who needs non-bio degradable poisonous cellophane, or bourgeois china when a man can carry his steak -- the fruit of his labor -- in his earth stained calloused worker hands. The Chateau Marmont notwithstanding, of course:

"Francis Ford Coppola: Winona Ryder in those days was going out with Johnny Depp, and I wanted Johnny to have the part [of Jonathan Harker]. 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."

"Keanu Reeves: Bertolucci said he would like me to play Siddhartha [in 1994?s Little Buddha]. I asked him why, and he said because I had 'impossible innocence.'"

Oh no he didn't:

"Francis Ford Coppola: For one point during Dracula, [the cast] were all living in my house in the Napa Valley. They were all running around and living there like a bunch of my kids, you know. And one time, I came down to the kitchen, and there was Keanu, in a T-shirt, having just gotten up. He was eating a donut with a beer. It was so cute because my own son?who wasn?t around anymore?I?d seen him do that, you know. So it?s an image I always remember."

That ... Actually sounds like an image from an afterschool special on alcoholism. But The Corsair wasn't raised in LA. My absolute favorite line:

"Keanu Reeves: It was great to be in that environment: going for a run in the morning, looking at the stars at night, going into Francis?s research library, spending time with him. You know, watching Tom Waits sing 'Waltzing Matilda' to Winona at the piano, Winona crying. It was a beautiful life. Les enfants du paradis."

Hollywood is so fucking funny. More.


Anonymous said...

Coppola doesn't live in LA. Napa Valley is in Northern California, a ways out from San Fran.

(S)wine said...

New tag line: Keanu carries his own steak.

Almost as good as that old radio ad: "Farmer John fries his own bacon."
Now THAT was one tough son of a bitch.

Anonymous said...

It's like you have a vendetta against Keanu Reeves. What are you, still mad about Sweet November? I am, too.

Jennifer Wertkin said...

Keanu Reeves can emote? I had no idea. I thought he only had one expression. Thanks for sharing.

Shaw Israel Izikson said...

Wasnt he that guy in that Paula Abdul video?

Whatever happened to him?