TV Hits (UK), July 1992
Keanu Reeves - "I'm gnarly!"
Erm, quite! Keanu Reeves certainly has his own way of speaking... and living life to the full. When TV HITS met up with him, he'd just crashed his bike, was linked with two girls at once and was feeling pretty rough...
Keanu turns up at Hugo's, a quietly trendy West Hollywood restaurant, on his black Norton motorbike, sporting the same half-loopy, half serious grin. He's wearing a scruffy T-shirt under a thick leather jacket, jeans and basketball boots. As always, it looks as if it's been a few days since his last bath. However, more shocking than his appearance is his admission that he's been in Britain without telling anyone! "Man, I like to hang out in London. I went there to research Dracula and I could go unnoticed. I hung out, ate Indian food and bought books..." Now, though he's back in Los Angeles, speaking to TV HITS' ace reporter and not making much sense at all!
Keanu has used a lot of weird words in his time, quite a few of them about himself, but now he's into a new phase - "Suspects! That's my word for the day." And he has a good laugh by answering tons of questions with it, too. Ask him anything and he'll reply "The usual suspects!" In fact Keanu can't be caught giving a simple answer to a simple question because he'd much rather be joking around. "That's what I like to do," he confides, "I like to nurse the self there is, to have fun."
Right now Keanu is having rather a lot of fun as he's about to nip over to Italy, where he's filming Much Ado About Nothing with the likes of Kenneth Branagh, the rather crinkly Richard Briers, and Brian Blessed, another even crinklier British actor with a booming voice. So isn't he a bit concerned about hobnobbing with these Brits? Keanu smiles as if nothing in the world could scare him. "I have been in Shakespeare twice before," he explains patiently. I was in The Tempest and Romeo And Juliet. I love it man! I saw a lot of plays with my stepfather when I was younger and the theatre became my first love," he muses. "There you're really performing, You're a real actor, not some meat puppet"
Keanu just isn't a regular guy. If he's not crazily riding his Harley Davidson motorbike at enormous speeds in the mountains he's diving into the path of monster waves on a surfboard! I learned a lot of things from Point Break," he agrees now. However, whenever TV HITS stumbles across the subject of Keanu's excellent adventures, he starts on about his favourite subject - his motorbikes! "I bought my Harley from a guy named Tiny when I was filming Prince Of Pennsylvania. Heavy guy! He had some gnarly tales. We went on a Hell's Angels run... I'd never been and there's like five hundred bikes. I just like anything, except weak bikes."
The Hell's Angels run was probably good experience when Keanu ran into a spot of bother recently. While he was out one night, he went to the rescue of a girl who was being mugged by a gang of thugs. However, Keanu isn't too keen to take a lot of credit and goes rather quiet. A friend said at the time "Keanu gave as good as he got..." How about it Keanu? "Yeah," he mumbles, "you know I had a lot of basic hand to hand stuff and weapons training on Point Break. I'm pretty gnarly now."
Thankfully, he appears to have recovered from his gashed forehead, where he had stitches after being punched unconscious!
Keanu is having better luck with females, though, but just who his current snog partner is isn't quite clear. Sophia Coppola, the long haired Italian damsel Keanu's been spending a lot of time with is unavailable for comment following some piccies snapped of Keanu with a certain blonde girl called Sherri Rose. However, rumours are flying round Hollywood that a Keanu/Sophia movie is on the cards, and it'll probably be directed by Sophia's dad Francis, who actually directed Dracula. His career seems to be going pretty well, too. After saying that there wasn't going to be another Bill And Ted, he's about to make Very Special People with Alex Winter, but he quickly explains why. "The only thing I can do is control what I involve myself in. I've never had to think about my career before - no one asked me about my career four years ago!"
In fact Keanu's career seems to be mainly to do with seeing with his mates - Alex Winter, of course, and also River Phoenix in My Own Private Idaho. "River helped me," nods Keanu. "He's very intelligent and he has a lot of insight and I kind of rode his wave sometimes. River's a heavy actor... man, he's the best."
Now Keanu is due to do a film with River's sister Rain called Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, so he'll be flying back from Italy to start work this month. Isn't he working too hard? "The most jarring for my psyche was going from Point Break to My Own Private Idaho," he laughs. "Point Break went almost two weeks over. We wrapped at six in the morning and within 24 hours I was rehearsing for Idaho."
Even if Keanu is a bit hard to follow sometimes, he's very down to earth and that's proved popular with Hollywood's other young stars (probably because he's hyperactive! "My teachers thought it was from too much sugar," he giggles). For instance Johnny Depp is a mate and Drew Barrymore has known him for years. Now he's been spotted by another star - Sandra Bernhard. Madonna's best friend put Keanu in her Top Ten Sexiest Bachelors list and, when TV HITS asks him about it, he just gives a shout of laughter and says "Bless her heart I dig her!"