Keanu stuck to deal, even after fame
by Cheryl Johnson
Keanu Reeves didn't like the "Feeling Minnesota" script the first time he read it. "I found it very harsh," Reeves tells writer Michael Shnayerson in the August Vanity Fair cover story.
"'Feeling Minnesota' is a noir-ish comedy in which Keanu and his co-star, Vincent D'Onofrio, play low-life brothers whose hatred for each other erupts over a gangster's moll and leads to a lot of blood in cheap motels," Shnayerson wrote. (Reeves likes to point out that it's also a romance.)
"Not every actor of Keanu's stature would have leaped at a $ 7.8 million feature by a first-time screenwriter who was, moreover, a first-time director."
But timing - and attitude - are everything. The incredibly lucky writer-director Steven Baigelman had Reeves' verbal commitment a couple of days before "Speed" opened. Reeves was suddenly worth millions, but refused to ditch Baigelman because he doesn't want his acting to be about money.
Another observation from Shnayerson also explains why Reeves didn't go for the dough: "Keanu radiates a visceral, emotional intelligence found only in the best natural actors. He has character - an old-fashioned moral imperative that shines through in every role - wrapped around a core of reserve, of feelings withheld."