Teen (US), September 1992
Says who? Says Keanu!
Words from the multifaceted and ultrafascinating Keanu Reeves in a quick Q&A
WHAT'S YOUR FULL NAME?
Keanu Charles Reeves
WHAT'S THE CORRECT PRONUNCIATION OF "KEANU"?
Well, it's actually Kee-an-yu, but most people read it as Kee-an-oo.
WHEN'S YOUR BIRTHDAY?
September 2, 1964
WHAT'S YOUR HERITAGE?
My mom is English, and my dad is half Hawaiian and half Chinese. They're divorced. I have two younger sisters; one who's two years younger and one 12 years younger.
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, lived in New York till I was 6 and then spent most of my time in Toronto. I've been in L.A. since 1985.
WHAT WERE YOUR GROWING-UP YEARS LIKE?
When I see stuff in L.A. now I realize how safe and sheltered my upbringing was. We didn't even do graffiti, y'know? I mean, we did sling chestnuts at teachers' heads... But Toronto's become like a shopping center now.
WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?
Theatre Arts High School in Toronto, but I didn't graduate. I'm an autodidact [self-taught person]. I like to read. I try to travel. Every moment's precious.
WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU'D BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
A race car driver. Or an inventor.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET INTO A FILM PART?
Stuff comes up that you never thought of. I look for physical things, background and where the character's emotionally at for every second. I'm pretty flexible.
DID YOU LIKE YOUR PARENTHOOD CHARACTER? AND WHAT ABOUT BILL AND TED?
Yeah, I dug that guy in Parenthood, man. He was trying... Bill and Ted demanded all my skills as an actor... The best part was breaking plates and just being out of your mind!
WERE YOU EVER NERVOUS THAT PLAYING SCOTTIE IN MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO WOULD GIVE YOU A BAD PUBLIC IMAGE?
Who am I, a politician? No, I'm an actor. I was introduced to so many elements through the guy I was playing. My imagination, [the director's] interpretation, Shakespeare... It was rich! And it was just bottomless, man. You could go as far as you could go, y'know?
YOU APPEARED IN PAULA ABDUL'S VIDEO "RUSH, RUSH." DID YOU DO ANYTHING TO PREPARE FOR THAT?
I really studied the film Rebel Without a Cause. But then I realized I could never do a James Dean gig. It didn't work. I'm not cool enough for a music video. I'll stick to acting.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SACRIFICE FOR SUCCESS AT YOUR PROFESSION?
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ROLE AS AN ACTOR?
Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, because he's so full of passion and wisdom and anger.
IF YOU COULD PLAY ANY HISTORICAL FIGURE, WHO WOULD IT BE?
The French poet Rimbaud. He sort of appeals to my self-destructive, artistic, cool kind of deep side.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FOR TEENS TODAY?
The biggest problems with teenagers today are drugs and emotions, 'cause they're so casual about both of 'em.
WHAT'S ONE THING YOU REALLY LIKE TO DO ON A WEEKEND NIGHT?
I ride my bike sometimes [a 1974 850 Norton Commando]. I'll go out around midnight or 1, and I'll ride till 4. Goin' through the city to see who's doin' what where, y'know? Goin' downtown, riding around.
WHAT'S YOUR NEXT FILM?
Bram Stoker's Dracula with Winona Ryder and Gary Oldman.