Sassy (US), August 1991
THE BOGUS INTERVIEW: A PLAY IN ONE ACT
CAST OF CHARACTERS: ALEX WINTER . . . . . . . Himself KEANU REEVES. . . . . . . Himself THE PUBLICIST . . . . . . Himself And introducing CHRISTIANA (Kelly)
One hour's drive north of Hollywood, California. A trailer in an ugly industrial park marring the mostly undeveloped mountainous area that is Valencia. It is 1:00 on a partly sunny Saturday afternoon. The principals are involved in the last week of filming Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, the long-awaited sequel to the controversial time travel film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, in which Bill and Ted travel to heaven and hell to save the world from the forces of evil. Inside this trailer, ALEX, a 25-year-old Sean Penn look-alike, is sitting and eating a hamburger, stage left. He is wearing the equivalent of a flannel shirt and jeans, if not exactly that. KEANU, a beautiful actor, age 26, with the fragile demeanor of an abused puppy, is leaning against a nearby counter rather uncomfortably. KEANU is wearing a dusty pink T-shirt, pants and a brown suede jacket with a sheepskin collar. CHRISTIANA, a ravishing young female reporter with a figure that makes Uma Thurman's look dumpy, is sitting across from ALEX. She is wearing jeans and a fetchingly low-cut burgundy bodysuit that reveals a tantalizing glimpse of her firm, full breasts. She has interviewed ALEX before, but has never met KEANU. THE PUBLICIST lurks unobtrusively in the background, stage right.
Overture: "Reunited," by Peaches and Herb
CHRISTIANA [leaning conspiratorially toward ALEX, crossing her perfectly formed legs]: I haven't seen you in a really long time.
ALEX [Nodding]: Yeah.
CHRISTIANA [Purring]: I heard about your show, your MTV show.
ALEX [Nervously]: Oh, "The Idiot Box". Yeah. It's a comedy series that my partner Tom and I wrote and directed, and it's in the style of all our other stuff - fast and furious and violent and uh.... [ALEX looks askance at the microphone attached to CHRISTIANA'S tape recorder. It is missing its protective outer covering. Symbolically.]
CHRISTIANA: That works. That looks exposed but it works. [Looking from KEANU to ALEX and back again] So how would you guys like to interview each other? It would make it a lot easier for me.
ALEX [TO KEANU]: So how you been?
KEANU [in his scratchy, whispery voice - Marilyn Monroe crossed with a skater]: Been pretty good. [Laughs]
[There is a long, uncomfortable silence. It becomes apparent that ALEX and KEANU don't want to interview each other.]
CHRISTIANA [Bravely tossing her opulent auburn curls]: Oh well, I'll ask a question. So, um, why are you guys doing this movie?
KEANU: Because it's fun. It's really fun to play Bill and Ted.
CHRISTIANA: It's been, like, four years since you filmed the first one, right?
CHRISTIANA: Did you get right back into the characters just like riding a bike?
ALEX: Yeah, we did. We had to adjust and do some preparation to figure out how to bring those guys up to date -- how to make 'em 21, 22 - where they'd be right now mentally. They're different people than the first movie.
KEANU [Cryptically]: When I first started I didn't know everything. You know, I guess 'cause I find the different circumstances going on actually being physicalized, it just, uh, just changes. I'm actually kind of worried about that. So it wasn't just like.... We had to redefine all the costumes and time and everything.
KEANU [Earnestly]: Our relationship seems a little bit different too.
KEANU: And then the writers introduce girls. [Laughs]
ALEX: Bill and Ted are maturing ever so slowly.
KEANU: Yeah. [Laughs] Drinking beer now and so ... I felt, myself, the essence of the guy was the same, and that was pretty available.
CHRISTIANA [arching her finely muscled back]: So I understand from the publicist that your girlfriends are "most chaste"?
ALEX: Yeah. Our girlfriends are these very civilized women from the 15th century.
CHRISTIANA [In a deep, throaty growl]: How unfortunate.
ALEX: So, I mean, they're chaste and we're immature and sexually insecure - I mean the characters, that is. [Laughs] That combination doesn't make for a whole lot of tossing around in the sheets for old B and T. So the guys are 21, and they're frustrated in a way - more than in the first movie because things haven't worked out for them like they expected. So there's still this kind of weird undercurrent of frustration and sadness, and yet they still have the some old virginal and youthful hope and exuberance.
KEANU [Mysteriously]: It'll happen. Do what we can do.
ALEX [with serious intent]: It's really fun to play. Because also there's a lot more going on in this movie, you know? The both of us -- I don't know about Keanu - my feeling about the first one was that it was a lot of fun, but that it hadn't really realized its potential. This is more of an odyssey - there's a bad guy, there are antagonists and there are real obstacles that we have to deal with, and so there's more of a plot.
CHRISTIANA [Running her graceful hands over her taut stomach]: Are you still working on your own films, writing your own films too?
ALEX: Looks like me and my partner might be making our movie this fall.
CHRISTIANA: That's cool. Are you going to put Keanu in the movie?
KEANU [With great sincerity]: I hope so. I hope so.
CHRISTIANA: How would you feel about having Alex direct you?
KEANU [Shrugging]: Fine. He's directing me now.
ALEX [Modestly]: Naw.
KEANU: Once in a while.
ALEX: This is my acting coach. [Laughs]
KEANU: No, I don't know. I trust him, so....
ALEX [Excitedly]: I'm going to star in it. Kind of. I'm going to be a freak. Hopefully Keanu will be a freak, Juan the Dogboy. He's a vato [which I think means an Hispanic ne'er do well - the Playwright] who's seen it all. Traveled down to South America with his buddies and got turned into a freak. My character, Rick, is a kind of anal-retentive brat-pack actor who gets into trouble with drugs. And in order to regain his public image he goes on a PR tour of South America to help fight the drug war, but he gets sidetracked and ends up on a freak farm. So he gets turned into a freak.
CHRISTIANA [Raising her eyebrows, fascinated]: Sounds pretty weird, Alex.
ALEX: It's kind of like an "ABC Afterschool Special."
CHRISTIANA: So have you guys been friends all along, ever since the first movie?
KEANU: We haven't hung out a lot. We've just been doing different things.
ALEX: You've been working, dude.
KEANU: And you've been working.
ALEX: We've been working, we've been working. We haven't seen each other in a long time.
KEANU: Once in a while.
ALEX [Smiling]: Yeah, you'll zip into town and we'll hook up here and there. But, uh, yeah, it's really cool. There's some dumb-ass connection that we have that always seems to remain intact. It's fun to do comedy with someone that you can have that kind of connection with.
CHRISTIANA: So do you guys play music together?
ALEX: Oh, yeah. We jam. Actually Keanu and I have been jamming for a really long time, and everyone was like, "wow, wow, it's so cool that you jam together." But now we're in trouble, because we actually jam in this movie together. And I'll tell you now that we are playing as well as we know how. And it is a cacophony from hell. [Laughs] It's a cross between Metallica, Motorhead and two guys who don't know how to play.
CHRISTIANA [Moistening her full red lips]: So Keanu, tell me a little-known fact about Alex.
KEANU: A little-known fact. Um, uh, I don't know what people know and what they don't know.
CHRISTIANA: Alex, can you tell me a little-known fact about Keanu?
CHRISTIANA [Chidingly]: You guys!
ALEX: What I can think of you wouldn't want to print.
CHRISTIANA: That's what you think. Keanu, what was it like working with Patrick Swayze on Point Break?
KEANU [Dipping his head so his hair falls over his eyes]: I love the man. I really enjoyed working with him. [ALEX laughs]
CHRISTIANA: Compare and contrast Patrick Swayze and Alex Winter.
KEANU [Innocently]: Wow. Um, you couldn't get two more opposite people, man. The only thing that they have in common is the really strong work ethic. And they just are both committed and interested in what they're doing and want to make it better. [ALEX laughs] It's true, man. Swayze - when I worked with him I didn't know what was up. I mean, he's a movie star. But he's a straight-up guy, and he's a really good actor, and he works really hard, and he inspired me to try and do better. He's just living strong, man. He wants to do everything. He just eats it up, man. He's just amazing.
CHRISTIANA [Directing her golden gaze at KEANU]: So what were you like in high school? That's the standard Sassy question.
KEANU: Oh, gosh. The bottom line? I guess a loner ... a loner, and, uh, that's about it.
CHRISTIANA: Keanu, what was your earliest childhood memory?
KEANU [Shrugs, to ALEX]: So what was your earliest childhood memory, man?
ALEX: It's totally abstract. It's being in my crib in London. I must have been, like, one. I remember contemplating this wall. White wall. I remember vividly this corner of the apartment, staring at the white wall - there was a typewriter over here. I was not interested in the typewriter. Just this wall. This whiteness.
CHRISTIANA [TO ALEX]: So, what's your favorite color?
ALEX: Didn't you ask me this once before?
ALEX: What did I say then?
ALEX: Did I?
CHRISTIANA: I think so. I think you guys should interview each other.
THE PUBLICIST [With some degree of impatience]: Did you want to know anything else about the movie? What else do you want to know?
CHRISTIANA: I don't know, less movie stuff, and more quirkier. I don't know. What are you going to be doing after this movie's over?
ALEX: I'm going to Thailand for three weeks to do nothing.
CHRISTIANA [TO KEANU]: What are you doing?
KEANU: I don't know.
CHRISTIANA: You don't have another movie lined up?
KEANU: Lined up? [Laughing as if this were an impossible feat] Lined up?
CHRISTIANA: Well, sometimes you do.
KEANU: Well, yeah, that's true.
CHRISTIANA: So -
ALEX: So... that'll do ya. Lotsa info in there.
[Cut short, sick to death of interviews with uncooperative subjects, CHRISTIANA slowly packs her tape recorder and notes into a black leather bag. She uncrosses her spectacular legs and stands, towering over ALEX and KEANU. She takes one last look around the trailer, at the remains of the burger, the unclean refrigerator, at ALEX, KEANU and THE PUBLICIST, before storming off gracefully. No, she did not get a good interview. But, she thought, she still had her astonishing beauty.]
ABOUT THE ACTORS:
Alex Winter was born in London and moved to St. Louis at age 5. He began acting when he was 10, in a St. Louis Opera production of Oliver! He then moved to New York City and began acting on Broadway. In 1983, as a film student at New York University, he wrote and directed and starred in Squeal of Death. His other films include Haunted Summer, The Lost Boys, Rosalie Goes Shopping and, of course, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. Mr. Winter has his own film production company with his partner, Tom Stern.
Keanu Reeves is from Toronto. He started acting in theatre and commercials before moving to LA, where he landed a role in the movie River's Edge which may be his best so far. He's also been in Dangerous Liaisons, Parenthood, I Love You to Death, Tune In Tomorrow..., Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. Mr.Reeves recently shed his integrity to appear in Paula Schmabdul's "Rush Rush" video, and has two other movies out this summer, My Own Private Idaho and Point Break. He does not seem to like talking to the press.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
Christina Kelly's first play, The Bogus Interview, is based on a real-life experience she had in her former career as a celebrity journalist. She cites Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit as her greatest influences.