The Independent (UK), September 25, 1994

First-Hand: My biriyani with Keanu (and how I paid the bill): Monique Roffey on a disappointing dinner with a dreamboat

by Monique Roffey

IN NOVEMBER 1991 the big gossip among my circle of friends was that Mathew, a television researcher, had met Keanu Reeves. Not only had he interviewed him for a television programme, but had also been asked to show him around town.

So when Mathew rang that week, I didn't beat around the bush. How was Keanu? What was he like (apart from the obvious - achingly handsome and deeply cool?). Where had they been? Did he have a girlfriend? (Apparently not.) 'What are you doing with him tonight?' I asked. 'Going out for dinner,' he replied nonchalantly. 'Want to come?' I ran into the street to hail a cab.

When I got to the restaurant (Khan's on Westbourne Grove, near Bayswater), they'd already sat down: Mathew, a young blonde woman who I didn't recognise, and . . . Keanu. It was hard not to stare (though no one else in the restaurant seemed to be doing so). As I threaded my way towards them through the rows of tables I realised he was probably the most attractive man I'd ever seen in my life. Long dark dirty hair, great smile, chiselled jaw. Completely sexy. A babe.

I greeted them with what I hoped was a cheery 'hello' and Keanu responded equally cheerily. The blonde blinked, and Mathew, who I immediately saw was suffering from a bout of 'don't cramp my style I'm with a movie star'-itis, merely nodded.

A bad start, but I wasn't going to be put off. Keanu seemed friendly. 'How was your day?' he asked breezily. I was sure it had been boring so I muttered something banal. Then, out of nervousness, I asked him back. 'How was yours?' This had the effect of striking him mute. I felt panic rising: was this too personal a question? 'OK,' he mumbled eventually. I decided I would have to plough on with the natural approach. 'What are you up to at the moment?' A complete blank. This seemed a very simple and innocent question. 'Actually I'm making a multi-million dollar gothic romance with Francis Ford Coppola,' would have been a reasonable answer. What was the problem? I suddenly wondered if I was supposed to act like I didn't know who he was.

As small talk was out, it seemed unwise to attempt proper conversation. So I let the others lead the way into restaurant chat. The blonde woman continued to say nothing. She was an American: it turned out that Keanu had picked her up in a bookshop the day before. Mathew, usually a gag-a-minute lad, remained silent. He was too worried someone might say something uncool (which I had). I had also stopped talking. Which just left Keanu.

'Hey, I like your ring,' he said, pointing to a big poison ring I was wearing. 'It's really cool.' I smiled and told him where he could buy one. 'Hey, she's really neat,' said Keanu suddenly, looking at someone at the next table. I looked around to see a bald person (actually a man) in dungarees.

So it went on as we ate our biriyanis. Keanu made a lot of unconnected and bimbo-ish remarks about people in the restaurant, life, clothes and surfing and said 'radical' a lot; Mathew humoured him; the blonde never ventured a word; I became more and more irritated.

It was clear that Keanu was actually very like his Bill-and Ted character (from his teen hit movie) in real life: a handsome surf blockhead who got lucky. He seemed very uncomfortable with being famous and the awkwardness was rubbing off.

When it was time to pay the bill, Keanu got out his card. Mathew, like an idiot, began insisting he would pay, as he was supposed to be entertaining Keanu. Being skint myself, I sat back and waited for them to sort it out. Mathew won. Then he turned to me. 'Mon, do you mind getting this?' he said. He'd left his wallet at home. I wrote the cheque out in disbelief. I, who was broke, was buying dinner for four people, one of whom was a millionaire movie star. I knew that Mathew would forget to pay me back. I was livid.

Outside it had begun to drizzle, so we began to look for taxis. For some reason I started humming 'Singing in the Rain' which mysteriously brought Keanu back to life. He began singing the song, did a little tap dance. As he walked off I noticed he was pigeon-toed.

Keanu Reeves's film, 'Speed', opens here on 30 September




GuestPoor Keanu (2009-09-06 07:51:16)
 It must have been so hard for him. It sounds like the writer and her friend were trying too hard to look cool hoping it would impress KR. So no-one was relaxed enough to have a normal conversation. Is it any wonder KR was left trying to do it all himself while they just sat and stared at him. I bet he never wants to have dinner with them again.
GuestRe: Poor Keanu...Please! (2017-08-15 07:37:03)
 The writer was being herself.
She did nothing wrong at all. Appears Keanu and his book store pick up where the bore, along with the writers friend. She asked him simple, normal questions and he couldn't properly answer. He's an awkward person (nothing to do with being a celebrity)...most celebrities are. You people need to get over it when normal people write about them and it's not with praise, but also not written with a negative tone. It's called "REALITY". Fans are just that-Fans, who are delusional about who they want and think a celebrity should be are would like them to be. As well as their publicists, managers etc...who allow them to be blockheads! This is the most honest and well written article I've ever read about Keanu Reeves. (Old and New)!
GuestLOL (2017-08-15 23:43:46)
 Glad I missed that! :D
Guest (2017-08-17 00:29:30)
 Or maybe the writer was just being a writer, and knew very well none of the other three people mentioned in the story were going to read it, let alone confirm it, three years after it allegedly happened...

As for Keanu's adventures in England that year, there's at least one video out there showing an awkward interview and a more awkward Shakespeare reading session or whatever that was, so that definitely must have been quite a 'phase' in his life... THEN.

GuestOut of topic - Amanda De Cadenet probably abortion KR's child (2017-08-18 07:18:08)
 Pls find latest article about her in DM. Is it true that was him she mentioned?? Hopefully some of you can help to clarify statement made by her because as I knew, they're just remains BESTFRIEND - thats what she always claimed in every where....*SIGH*
Anakin McFly
(2017-08-18 10:12:31)

Just looked it up. It certainly seems that she's trying to suggest it was his, but whether or not it was is a different matter. Both of them have always said they were just very close friends:


Amanda: "Well, I do know Keanu. He's been a friend of mine for about six years and I'm very close to him. But you can't get away with that, you know? Certain sections of the press ask me if we're lovers and if I say 'We're just friends,' they make out we're lovers. Yet if I say 'Yes, we're lovers!', they'll make up some other ridiculous nonsense."

She ascribes the engaged rumours to both of them being seen with wedding rings, which were due to the roles they were playing at the time.


Q: After the rumour that had you 'married' to movie mogul David Geffen, Hollywood gossips are now saying that you and Amanda de Cadenet are engaged. Is anything happening with you, romantically speaking?

Reeves: No, nothing going on there. I'm still looking for love, hopefully not in all the wrong places.

Q: But it is true that you and Amanda sometimes live together?

Reeves: We're great friends. I love Amanda very dearly. In Hollywood it is very important to have a friendship and it is great we can share things.

In 2001:

a spokeswoman for Keanu dismissed the rumours, saying “They’re completely false. They’re not engaged. They’re friends.”


"They have recently been snapped strolling through a park arm in arm and she flew all the way to Australia to be at her ex-fiancé's side when he was shooting the latest in the Matrix movie trilogy.

"Things may not have worked out for them romantically, but she has always pledged her love for Keanu," says a friend of Keanu's. "And they have always kept in contact with each other."

"But she has always loved, Keanu. And her love for him is very special. Even if they don't get back together as a couple she will always have that warm affection for him," says the friend.

Other than the 'get back together', it would tally with Amanda's claims that she pursued him relentlessly for years but he wasn't interested. It seems they eventually settled into a close friendship. Whether or not there was sex, who knows.

Earlier interviews suggest that the father was her then-boyfriend Nick Kamen's, but again not conclusively.

Make of that what you will.

Guest (2017-08-18 13:56:06)
 Now the whole world assumes that man is KR because the statement fit perfectly with him. Nah, none of our biz aite ;) Anyway Anakin, thanks for your help
Anakin McFly
(2017-08-18 17:54:44)

You're welcome!

On further thought, if she'd wanted to reveal it was Keanu and he was fine with it, she would have just come out and say it; there'd be nothing stopping her. Whereas if it was really Keanu and he wanted to keep it private, she wouldn't have described the father in such a way that was evidently meant to make people think of him, since it would defeat the purpose of not naming him specifically; it would also have been a fairly mean thing to do to a close friend if he wasn't willing to have it publicly known.

Such that the scenario which fits best here would be if Keanu wasn't the father, but she wanted people to think so for the scandal of it, while maintaining plausible deniability and not betraying anyone's trust.

GuestLegal Disputes ---- Again....?? (2017-08-24 19:20:22)
 Lately things keep getting much worrying for Reeves. KRGT-1 that he drove on Malibu last 2 days broke which a bit can tarnish his Motorcycle Co (who knew right?) & now, a legal disputes with Ari Lerner...??

Just 1 more week Reeves will celebrate his 53 birthday but.....I don't know....he sure looks refreshing but behind that lovely mask, he definitely hide a huge of issues whether personal or business concerns....Wish he could take a break for half a year & take a holiday to Bhutan for example which probably can rouses his spiritual enlightenment or just tie a knot.

Yup, we will miss him but that a great channel to at least heal whatever he needed before he can continue to give his more than 100% contribution & commitment towards his film businesses.

Regards Ari Lerner - thats f**king bull***t !! He mentioned there's no scheduling conflicts because JW3 only starts run filming on next January 2018 & blahblahblah.... The Issue Here : there is NO CONTRACT at all then you just assumed KR onboard to joins as a cast member ? The FISH is this? God....just felt really sorry for Reeves...

Just imagine if Reeves agreed, start filming The Details on middle Oct & done on Christmas. After that back to shooting JW3 on January 2018...just can't imagine the burdens he's carry....aahhhh my poor Baby....>>Hope he learned a lot from this issue<<

Anakin McFly
(2017-08-24 22:44:59)

We don't know the full details of what happened, so it's hard to speculate; most likely there was some miscommunication going on.

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