Superstar Bids Hamlet, Winnipeg Farewell: For City's Keanu Fans Parting Is Sweet Sorrow
by Linda Rosborough
Keanu Reeves seemed a wee bit wistful yesterday as he quietly bid Winnipeg - not - Hamlet goodbye.
"I miss the guy already," Reeves said of Hamlet, the role he played in the MTC's wildly successful production. "The character is beautiful. And I hope I'll get a chance to play him one more time. I'm a lucky man."
And so, the man who arrived in Winnipeg late last year to hype, expectation, and international fanfare, left town in near anonymity.
He was alone late yesterday afternoon when he arrived at Winnipeg International Airport, dressed in black with his guitar slung over his shoulder, carrying his own bags.
"I really didn't come with expectations," he said while checking in his luggage. "The theatre was very supportive. We had a great cast and a great director. We did the best we could for the time we had."
Reeves said he was grateful for the chance to play Hamlet on stage, and will need some time to unwind at home in Los Angeles before embarking on a new project.
The soft spoken actor was quickly spotted by Jennifer Levy and Melissa Boothroyd, both 14. The two had heard Reeves would be leaving yesterday, and had skipped school to catch a final glimpse of him - and a few photos.
"He's so gorgeous and he's such a great actor," said Levy, who didn't get tickets to the sold out play, but has scoured the city for weeks in search of him.
An obviously annoyed Reeves graciously signed a few autographs, posed for a couple of snapshots and accepted a Winnipeg Jets T-shirt from an unidentified woman who said, "My boss will fire me if he knows I'm here." "I've got a plane to catch," Reeves muttered quietly, but dutifully signed his name on scraps of paper and envelopes anyway.
After getting lost and unable to find his departure gate, Reeves was back at the ticket counter a few moments later. Boothroyd didn't jump at the opportunity to accost her hero again, though." He looks pretty ticked off and I don't want to be an annoying fan," she said. "I don't care," a jubilant Levy said, clutching her camera, "I saw him, and my heart stopped for about three seconds."