An Interview with Keanu Reeves(Transcript)
JIM MORET: He turned down a role in Heat to do Hamlet and he passed on Speed II to pursue his music. Now Keanu Reeves' latest excellent adventure is proving to be an educational one. Sherri Sylvester takes a look at this chain reaction.
SHERRI SYLVESTER, Correspondent: [voice-over] Keanu Reeves is touring with his band Dog Star this summer, taking time out to promote his new film, Chain Reaction. But whether he's talking about the movie or the music, a dictionary comes in handy.
KEANU REEVES: We've been getting slag.
SHERRI SYLVESTER: [voice-over] Slag, a word used by Generation X types to mean slammed, as in-
KEANU REEVES: Critically we've been getting slagged.
SHERRI SYLVESTER: [voice-over] On to the film, in which the actor employs all the speed of his big commercial hit along with the vocabulary of a physicist.
KEANU REEVES: I had read, actually, about sonoluminescence once.
SHERRI SYLVESTER: [voice-over] Sonoluminescence.
KEANU REEVES: What is that? What's it called, a cavitation, where a bubble is created with a heating element in water. Basically this bubble in this water, it collapses at such a rate that the temperature within this little bubble is hotter than the sun.
[excerpt from 'Chain Reaction']
SHERRI SYLVESTER: [voice-over] The film's story uses the process to extract hydrogen from water, creating an alternative form of energy. The technology sets off a chain reaction thriller, which keeps Reeves on the run. Meanwhile, his mind was racing with philosophy picked up from the physicists at the Argon National Laboratory.
KEANU REEVES: At least the people that we met in Argon are very pessimistic.
SHERRI SYLVESTER: Really?
KEANU REEVES: I mean a lot of the scientists are very pessimistic.
SHERRI SYLVESTER: About the future of the planet? They think we're just basically [unintelligible]?
KEANU REEVES: We, yes, we're gone. It's gone.
SHERRI SYLVESTER: Does that stay with you? Does that change the way you live your life?
KEANU REEVES: Well I've kind of joined the pessimists and I'm like, god, I've just given up. It's like plusa shage, pluse la mens [sp?] shows, you know, it's just the more you change, the more it stays the same.
SHERRI SYLVESTER: [voice-over] It seems Reeves has more interests than the characters he plays. When not fleeing from the bad guys and special effects packed scenes, co-stars say he was reading.
KEANU REEVES: I had just read, actually, a biography on Einstein. Andrew Davis gave me a book about Buckminster Fuller. I haven't digested it yet, but I finally got around to Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov. [sp?]
SHERRI SYLVESTER: [voice-over] But there are those who would question the intelligence of an actor who would turn down Speed II. He says he wanted to go in another direction, a direction that finds him on stage making music. The definition of a good time, courtesy Keanu Reeves. Sherri Sylvester, CNN Entertainment News, Los Angeles.