COPPOLA FINDS KEANU REEVES A STRANGE BUT BEAUTIFUL KID
by STEVEN REA, Knight-Ridder Newspapers
Of young Keanu Reeves, the "Bill & Ted" veteran who donned Victorian attire and Victorian accent for his role as Jonathan Harker in "Bram Stoker`s Dracula", filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola has this to say:
"I quite love Keanu. He`s a very magical boy. He worked really hard, and it was difficult for him to deal with (the English accent)... He was very earnest and really a lovely person."
Was Coppola concerned that audiences would associate Reeves with his surf-speaking teen persona - and not take his "Dracula" character seriously?
Coppola: "It didn`t concern me because I wasn`t so sophisticated about what that was. But I knew that anywhere we went with Keanu, hordes of teenage girls would appear.
"He reminded me of my own kids. One morning he was sleeping up in the top room (of Coppola's house) and this lanky, gruffy kid comes into the kitchen and goes to the refrigerator and takes a beer and a doughnut and walks out. That`s his breakfast. It reminded me of my own kid when he was like that.
"Everyone in the cast really loved Keanu. He`s a moody, strange kid, but a beautiful kid."
Next couple of projects from the moody, strange and beautiful Reeves: Kenneth Branagh`s version of "Much Ado About Nothing" and Gus Van Sant`s version of "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues."