REEVES KEEPING LOW PROFILE
by Morley Walker
Movie actor Keanu Reeves has been keeping a low profile during his first week in town - and most Winnipeggers are content to give him a wide berth. "He's just a regular guy. I'd hate to bug him," said Blair Short, manager of the Musiplex record store where Reeves stopped in last weekend to check out CD's. "I have no idea what he bought," says Short. " He came in quietly and I didn't want to harass the guy. He's a person like anyone else."
Reeves arrived in Winnipeg last Friday to begin rehearsals for the title role in MTC's production of Hamlet. The play officially opens Jan 12, and Reeves has said that he plans to spend most of his time here working on his stage moves.
This hasn't stopped many of his fans, most of them of the teenage female variety, from hanging around MTC's Market Avenue building and trying to catch a glimpse of the guy. "He signed my Adidas jacket," said Jennifer Hoffman, 15, a grade 10 student at Garden City Collegiate, who sought out the Speed star with her friend Erin Demchuk on tuesday. "He's kind of shy. He just wants to be left alone," said Jennifer, who nevertheless convinced Reeves to have his picture taken with her. Erin snapped a pic of Jennifer with Keanu and then Jennifer snapped Erin.
On Monday, Reeves had dinner at Amici Restaurant on Broadway with a couple of MTC colleagues. "There weren't a whole lot of clamoring fans," said restaurant host Bruce Cunningham. Reeves was also spotted on his first night in town at the Thai Mandarin, around the corner from MTC on Rorie Street.
This tidbit comes from reader Sharon Franco who was at the restaurant for an office Christmas party. When I called the Mandarin to confirm Franco's sighting, a restaurant spokesman denied that Reeves had been in.
Hmmm a case of mistaken identity or a case of a restaurant protecting its patrons privacy? You be the judge.
Indeed Reeves had a few problems earlier this week at the Cafe 100 in the Centennial Concert Hall across from MTC. "He was mobbed," said MTC publicist Blair Cosgrove. This however, seems to be the exception. Overall Winnipeggers have been their normal polite and reserved selves in dealing with a celebrity in their midst. "We should make Keanu feel welcome," said Mandy Dickson, 24. "His presence here is really good for Winnipeg. People from all over are paying attention to us." This is very true. MTC has received inquiries from across North America and even Europe, regarding Keanu's coming stage turn as the Prince of Denmark. The pressure must be intense for the 30 year old actor. Many people have doubts that a young movie stud has the experience and talent to pull off such a demanding role as Hamlet.
In a few weeks of course the answer will be made perfectly clear. We wish him luck. But in the meantime, if Keanu doens't like the attention, he's in the wrong line of work.