Necking with Keanu
In Bram Stoker's Dracula, Keanu Reeves has a role he can really sink his teeth into
Picture Keanu Reeves as a young, ambitious turn-of-the-century European aristocrat named Jonathan Harker - no surfboards, no guitars and not one single opportunity for him to utter the D word (we mean dude).
Keanu has actually done nongoofball roles before (in Tune In Tomorrow and Dangerous Liaisons, for example), but nobody except Hollywood insiders seemed to notice.
Get ready for that to change this Thanksgiving, when the star-studded horror-romance epic Bram Stoker's Dracula melts across movie screens all over America and our hero does battle to save his true love, Mina - played by Winona Ryder - from falling into the bloodstained, undead hands of a mysterious Transylvanian count named Dracula.
Until then, here are a few things you might like to know about Keanu:
- As you read this, Keanu is in Europe playing Don John in a film version of Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing.
- After Much Ado wraps, he'll head for the set of Tom Robbins's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, starring Madonna in which he has a small part.
- He turned 28 last September 2.
- When he's home, he plays bass guitar in a rock band called Dogstar with a bunch of unfamous friends. He says, "I am probably the world's worst bass player. I have absolutely no sense of rhythm."
- Most of his friends, with the exception of Winona Ryder and a few other actors, are not famous.
- He loves acting but sees it as a job, not a way to become a celebrity.
- When he goes out, it's usually to the same kind of places regular people go - not to "glamorous" Hollywood nightclubs.
- He hates questions about his personal life. If you ask him one that he thinks is impolite, he has been known to (a) laugh uncontrollably, (b) stare off into space or (c) give you an answer that is so farfetched you know he is putting you on. He told one interviewer that Madonna was his girlfriend. Then again...
- His middle name, he says, is Charles, but hey, you just never know.
- He can't understand why anyone would be interested in his personal life.
- He gives autographs and is very polite and friendly when people stop him on the street.
- He doesn't have a steady girlfriend, but who knows? By the time you read this he could be married.
- He likes kids.
- He likes beatnik writers like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.
- For the last time, it's pronounced "Kee-AH-noo."
- He has a big, gnarly scar that runs from his chest to his navel, left over from his last motorcycle accident.
- He still likes to ride.
My night* of ecstasy with Keanu: YM staffer bares all!
* Well, it was actually only about five minutes.
I was walking home one night when suddenly a cab pulled up next to me, and a long-haired guy in a black T-shirt and jeans got out. After about two seconds of thinking, No way, I was certain it was Keanu. Normally I'd do the cool New York thing and pretend he was just a regular guy. But I had seen him interviewed on TV that day, so I guess I felt like I know him or something. I still can't believe what I blurted out: "I just saw you on TV, and you were wearing the same thing." He wasn't offended, though. He said, "Really? What was I doing?" He started asking me all about my job at YM, but I cut the conversation short. I was suddenly embarrassed that I had stopped a total stranger on a street corner. So I left - and blow my one chance of ever giving Keanu Reeves my phone number.