NME (UK), March 28, 1992
Keanu dig it?
Most excellent! My Own Private Idaho is Keanu and River's rude and a bit arty adventure. EDWARD MURPHY swaps dude-isms with KEANU REEVES
"He's like a happening dude, right? He's good looking. He's got money. An English accent. His girl... is, like, under the spell of the evil bloodsucker... and that's bad shit, man... because his head needs to be in gear... and he becomes obsessed by this... evil stuff... It's really very classical."
Ladies and gentlemen, Keanu Reeves reads Bram Stoker's Dracula.
The 26-year-old half-Hawaiian heart-throb placed his stake on the Hollywood turf last year, when director Francis Ford Coppola selected him to play the hero, Jonathan Harker, in his new version of Dracula, with Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins and Winona Ryder.
That followed a slam-bang selection of movies punctuated by Keanu's very distinctive screen presence: the spaced-out Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey; the stylish action-thriller, Point Break; and just released here in Britain, My Own Private Idaho, Gus Van Sant's sleazy homage to male hustling, which sees Reeves in cahoots with River Phoenix, playing male prostitutes.
Wasn't Reeves worried about the dent that part might have made in his public image?
"I don't really have ideas about... image," says Keanu, rolling back his floppy black locks which meet in the vicinity of his nose. "You say, is that going to affect your image? Well man, I don't really know. But it's a great part. I wanted to do it. So what's the big deal, man?
"I'll either play it or I won't. And I couldn't, like, knock back, because it was so... amazing. I'd have to say it is the best I've read in quite a while. But, heck, who am I to judge?"
In person, Reeves revels in his reputation as "the most electric kid in Hollywood", but there's more to the young man's psyche than meets the eye.
One can't help but wonder if he's now in a position to influence the input of his own roles.
"I don't really think about that," he replies, after a long, deep thought. "Who knows? Maybe, I guess. It all comes back to this image thing. I mean, I don't think I'm unique. I know loads of guys who talk like myself.
"I did a lot of work for Point Break, My Own Private Idaho, and now, for Dracula. For Dracula, which is a very English thing, I have to do something else. Someone joked the other day about it. They said, it's gonna be Bill and Ted meet Dracula. But you can't have this classic, gothic text, and mess it up with some guy seeing this vampire, and going '...man!'
"As a contrast, My Own Private Idaho was closer to me, like, as a young guy. And I think that the director wanted that. Y'now, so it's like, whatever, you just go with the flow."
Reeves has a reputation for going with the flow - burning rubber on his Moto Guzzi, which he claims to ride at 130mph. His consumption of film roles is equally unbelievable - 19 movies over a five year period and still accelerating.
"I'm young and I'm kinda healthy, so why not?" Reeves enquires. "I won't be doing that forever. I'd like to do lots of theatre, and I'd like to write a book or something. I've got lots of ideas in my head."