Winnipeg Free Press (Ca), February, 8, 1995


by Tamara Bodi

On Saturday night, I stepped over the line between admirer from afar to obsessive fan - something I never thought I was capable of doing.

It was a combination of many factors that got my friend John Heminger and I into the closing night party of the Manitoba Theatre Centre's production of Hamlet: nerves, excitement . . . temporary insanity.

Whatever it was, we sneaked into MTC as theatre-goers were leaving the building at 12:30 a.m., fooled the security guards and found ourselves, eventually, right where we wanted to be.

Now, I am one of the happiest women in the Western Hemisphere. I have met Keanu Reeves.

Now, don't get me confused with all those teenagers who have been plaguing the poor man for the last two months. I am certainly above all of that gushing and guffawing.

Instead, I rather casually waltzed around the party, adding chuckles, winks, nudges and name-droppings as required, and even managed to help myself to some cantaloupe.

But by 2 a.m. John and I were becoming concerned that Keanu was not going to appear.

By this time we had rubbed shoulders with Polonius, Ophelia, Laertes, Claudius, and even Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but not our Hamlet.

Just as I was beginning to feel slightly overwhelmed by a combination of too much cantaloupe and hours of pretend relaxedness, he arrived.

He walked past us and right up to the food table where he helped himself to some salad. Every eye in the room was on him at that moment.

However, he was very contained and somehow it struck me as funny that there was Keanu Reeves helping himself to some leafage.

After all, do these people eat? I mean, it never occurred to me before that somebody who was that famous would actually be hungry.

It was at this point that John said, "Let's go sit over by Keanu."

But despite the trauma I was experiencing, things rapidly got under way and a friend of ours (yes, we really did know a few people there) gave us an introduction.

Keanu was pleasant and shook my hand while saying, "Hi, nice to meet you."

Then he told me what his name is. Just in case, I suppose, I had been the one person in the entire nation who had been living under a rock for the last few years.

Shortly after, the two seats between Keanu and me opened up and there was a lull in the group conversation. This, I thought, was unbelievable.

My moment was there to talk with the man.

For the rest of the night Keanu, his friends from the cast and John and I sat around for hours and talked (well, they talked and we listened) about the things you would talk about with your own friends; good times, places visited, places to visit, plans for tomorrow and so on.

And when other members of the production came up to say their goodbyes, Keanu asked them not to call in the morning before 11 a.m. because he was going to sleep in.

Then finally John and I said our goodbyes, too (except Keanu did not instruct us to wait until a certain time before we could phone). And while we were outside and walking to our cars two cars full of young girls called us over to find out if Keanu would be leaving shortly.

It was 4:45 a.m. These cars were the very last of the month-long pilgrimage to this sacred place.

"No," I said. "He's still inside laughing, drinking and being merry with all his friends."

As they drove away I yawned and said to myself, "And today he's going to sleep in late."

[Tamara Bodi is a University of Manitoba student.]

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