Girlfriend (Aus), December 1992
Much ado about Keanu
Wherefore art thou, Keanu? Well, he's starring in a movie based on a Shakespearean play in which he's starkers (!!!), snogging his new girlie-friend (lots!) and riding his motorbike without a helmet (tut tut!). CLAIRE ISAAC fixes her own helmet securely on and goes along for the ride...
Even though things have been a little quiet on the Keanu front lately, it looks like it's all going to hot up from now on with Bram Stoker's Dracula due on our screens in early January. But that's not all! The man who won the MTV Award for being the hunkiest bloke on film (or something) also has a couple of other hot new movies up his sleeve too.
First he stars in Freaks with old buddy Alex Winter ("Alex from Bill And Ted is my best mate." whittled Keanu when we asked him, "he's the coolest dude on the planet!").
After that he's appearing in the movie version of Shakespeare's saucy play Much Ado About Nothing. From all reports it's going to be something of a nudie romp too, with Keanu starring in most of it sans clothes, i.e. completely nude!!! (Pass the smelting salts, mother!) The flick was directed by Kenneth Brannagh - who made Dead Again - and also stars Denzel Washington, Robert Sean Leonard - from Dead Poets Society - and, erm, Michael Keaton.
Mr. Reeves is currently filming Even Cowgirls Get The Blues (supposedly a "quasi-lesbian comedy" set in the desert!?!) with River Phoenix's sister Rain and Uma Thurman (who also stars in Much Ado About Nothing - interestingly enough!). Phew! So you could say that Keanu is pretty darn busy these days!
Another reason for his lack of spare time is that he's spending a lot of time with a certain Sophia Coppola, star of Godfather III. So how did he meet her, seeing as she's from one of the most famous movie families in Hollywood.
"Well, we met when we were working on her dad's movie, Dracula." Keanu smiles. "At first I thought she was a snob. She looked down her nose at us guys. I suppose I don't blame her because when we fellas get together we can get pretty weird. Anyway, one day over lunch we started talking about all kinds of stuff and it went from there."
The more astute among you may recall that Keanu once swore he'd never go out with an actress. Ever. So, um, what happened?
"Um, well, um, yeah I used to say that," he stutters. "You know all the ego and stuff could cause too many, um, problems."
Obviously not enough to stop the lovebirds canoodling in public, which is what they seem to do an awful lot according to reports from LA, where Keanu lives. But they can also got away from it all whenever they like because his house is "way away from anyone else so I can play my music as loud as I like!" Lovely.
Speaking of music, Keanu and his punk band, Dog Star, recently got petted with fruit when they took to the stage at the Milwaukee Metalfest. Apparently they didn't appreciate Keanu's "unique" brand of India thrash rumblings. Oh dear. Well, just as long as he's enjoying himself, eh?!
Another thing that Keanu holds very dear to his heart is motorbikes. He currently sits astride a rather nifty 1974 Norton Commando motorbike and refuses to wear a helmet, even though he's had a couple of very nasty falls.
"I got broadsided and landed on the sidewalk on my back. I did a layout somersault man! Two kids ran up to me and went 'Wow man, you flew!'."
And he certainty has the scars to prove it - a huge one across his chest for starters. But he climbed back on his bike the minute he was out of hospital!
"My attitude is - what the hell, just do it!" he says, somewhat recklessly.
This attitude is reflected in the way that Keanu got into movies - basically he just drove to Hollywood determined to make the big time!
"If you want to break into film, that's where you've got to be. But it took me one and a half years to got enough guts and money together to go there," he admits.
Well, it actually took him longer than that to make up his mind completely.
"I had four earlier ambitions," he confesses. "I wanted to be a racing car driver, an inventor, a nuclear physicist and the conductor of an orchestra, but I went to see a lot of films and plays with my new stepfather, and the theatre became my first love."
So Keanu enrolled in the Toronto High School Of The Performing Arts, but that didn't quite go as smoothly as planned.
"Yeah men, I was kicked out. I failed. Not enough concentration, always questionin' authority"
Crikey. But luckily for us, Keanu didn't give up and landed a role in a Coke commercial and then off he drove towards the bright lights of Hollywood and the success that awaited him! Yahoo!
One of the roles that has made him such a big star is that of Ted Theodore Logan in the Bill And Ted films, and while Keanu denies that there'll be a third Bill And Ted adventure, he did enjoy making the other two. A lot.
"It was a kind of goofy, silly good hearted, well-intentioned piece of fun," he smiles. "Also you hadn't really seen anything like it before. Bill and Ted are innocent and straight and just want to play rock and roll!"
And where did he get his inspiration from for the character of Ted?
"When I first did Ted, I took stuff from cartoons. I tried to figure out how it would work years later, out of high school, trying to hold down a regular job, trying to some extent to live in the adult world and still be funny."
And as for the comparisons with Wayne's World...
"Oh, that's their own gig, man. And there's a real difference there."
OK, so Keanu's pretty busy makin' movies, he's got a beoootiful galpal and he's a damn handsome young man with a big future - how is he dealing with all of this?
"I'm just practisin' the fine art of hangin' out," he winks.