USA TODAY (US), July 18, 1991

Keanu Reeves' artistic adventures

by Tom Green

Keanu Reeves ambles admiringly through the lobby of the fancy Four Seasons Hotel.

“I love places like this,” says the actor, whose disheveled look - lived- in jeans, scraggly hair, several days growth of beard - doesn't suggest a taste for such elegance. But he is shocked anybody would be surprised.

“Did you expect to find me in a gutter with a bottle of wine and a whore?”

With a career racing about as fast as the Norton 850 Commando motorcycle he drives, it shouldn't be a shock that he's developing a taste for finer things.

Point Break, his first big action film, opened last weekend. Patrick Swayze is getting most of the attention in the thriller, but Reeves has the lead role.

“I get to be called Johnny Utah,” says the 26-year-old. “Wow. I love that.”

Friday, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey opens with him reprising the part of the audacious but mostly brain dead Ted in the sequel to the 1989 hit Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

The first Bill & Ted is a cult classic; hopes are high that the sequel, with the twosome visiting heaven and hell, will grab the huge youth market. Reeves isn't getting his hopes up.

“I didn't go out and buy an airplane or anything.”

Reeves jokes easily, but he also is a very serious actor, first noticed in 1986's River's Edge. On the set, “he's real hard on himself,” Swayze says.

His next project, due in the fall, is the art-house film My Own Private Idaho, directed by Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy). He plays a rich kid who becomes a male hustler.

Reeves started acting at 17 in Toronto, where he grew up; he drove to Hollywood with a girlfriend when he was 20. After she left, he stayed with his stepfather and eventually landed a TV movie. Keanu (Kee-AH-noo) is a “Hawaiian family name,” he says. In a 1987 USA TODAY interview, before he became more guarded, he said he's the offspring of a Hawaiian “'60s deadhead reject” and a much stronger mother.

With success, he's bought a house in the Hollywood Hills, at the end of the road so he can make noise. He doesn't have a car. He may buy a truck, but only to haul his motorcycle.

Is there a girlfriend?

“Oh, you want gossip,” he says, pondering. “Yes,” he deadpans. “Madonna.”


Point Break , Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey , Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure , River's Edge , My Own Private Idaho

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