Pulling Teeth From Keanu Reeves
by Luaine Lee
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA -
"I've played innocence quite a lot," says Keanu Reeves, who isn't acting so innocent today. "I'm always the innocent or naive or good-hearted guy. Genres change, but I'm trying to get rid of the good-hearted thing."
No problem. The good hearted thing seems to have escaped him for good as he slumps in his chair, periodically kicking the table leg which is obscured by a white linen cloth.
Just in from Ireland to talk about his new movie, Feeling Minnesota, it's obvious that Reeves doesn't want to be here.
He'd rather be performing with his band Dogstar, which just finished 10 days in Europe and then heads for Japan and Taipei. The band is still young, he thinks, though he's been playing with them for 3 1/2 years.
"It's hard for the band to get real reviews," he complains. "It's either about what I'm wearing or did I suck?"
Reeves, 31, is engrossed by both music and acting. Have his heroes been musicians or actors? "I don't have any heroes," he snaps, raking the top of his head with his hands. "Oh, that's not gonna look good in print. Say, 'I don't have heroes.' There are people's careers I admire or performances I admire."
He's not sure whether to concentrate on music or movies. "I'm making it up as I go along, they're both very fickle. Who knows if this acting thing works out. Music, I dunno. I'm just kinda ..."
Reeves says he's signed to do Devil's Advocate and seems disappointed when he's told the rumour is that Al Pacino has dropped out and Dustin Hoffman is in.
He refused to star in the sequel to Speed, his super-actioner that really flipped him into the celestial firmament.
"Aw, I'd just come off Chain Reaction and I'm ambivalent about sequels in the first place," he says.
So Sandra Bullock (his co-star in Speed) has a new hero to hurtle down the highway with. It's been reported that Jason Patric has accepted the role. When told that Bullock had expressed disappointment that he was not going to star in the film, Reeves flashes off, "Yeah, sure." Catching himself, he adds, "It's OK. Of course, I like her. She's a great person."
What about the best and the worst times of his career? He repeats the question, and shrugs, "I can't think of highs and lows of my career. I can think of a surreal one. When I was doing Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, we were having our faces painted black and white when Israel was threatening to go in a war with Iraq. What was that called? - the Gulf War. My mind went blank for a moment. That kind of popped into my head."
Reeves' long day's journey into night climaxes as he finishes the interview and heads for the door. A curvaceous blonde with an Hispanic accent asks him to autograph his photo. Cursing under his breath, he signs it and hurries out.