KEANU TAKES A WALK ON THE MILD SIDE
Keanu Reeves agrees to pose as the husband of a stern vineyard owner's beautiful, pregnant daughter in "A Walk in the Clouds." A California vineyard of the 1940s becomes a magical setting in the hands of director Alfonso Arau, acclimed for his movie, "Like Water for Chocolate."
"I was actually doing 'Speed' when the script for 'A Walk in the Clouds' came through," the actor continues, "and I immediately thought, this is great, because I wanted to do a romance, a project that concerned itself with the heart, and I also shared Alfonso's interest in the nature of passion. So I met with Alfonso ... and I auditioned, and it eventually worked out and they hired me."
It didn't hurt that Reeves also would get a chance to work with Anthony Quinn
"I'd never met him before, but I know he's a great actor and I've seen him in a few films and heard a few of his stories, but mostly I think the best part is going in front of the camera with him," Reeves says. "He's a great performer and very savvy and thorough."
Did the legendary actor and star of more than 300 films, including "Viva Zapata" (for which he won the Oscar), "Zorba the Greek" and "Lawrence of Arabia," give his young co-star any acting tips?
"Not really," Reeves responds, "although there was this one scene where we just had to walk away from camera, and of course he turned toward the camera and talked about the sky and the vineyards and improvised this whole bit, and it was great. And later he told me, 'I can't get in front of a camera and not do anything.' And he's right. You've got to do something, and what he does is very, very good. He just has this incredible range."
Reeves isn't doing badly himself in that area. After first making a name for himself as an airhead dude in the hit comedy "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," the actor has consistently broadened his range by taking on such diverse projects as Francis Coppola's adaptation of "Bram Stoker's Dracula," Kenneth Branagh's version of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," Bernardo Bertolucci's spiritual saga "Little Buddha" and Gus Van Sant's harrowing "My Own Private Idaho."
"I don't want to do just all action films, or all any (movie genre)," he sums up.
"The best way to work on your craft is to work with the best possible directors and keep trying new things. If you're not learning as you go, what's the point?"
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What: "A Walk in the Clouds", Rating: PG-13