Don't talk to strangers
by Louis B. Hobson
BEVERLY HILLS -- Keanu Reeves is feeling a bit surreal.
Once again he's being asked to talk about his least favorite subject.
"It's so unnatural to spend an entire day talking about myself to strangers. I always feel so surreal when I have to do it," admits Reeves.
"I still can't believe people want to know things about me and I really don't believe I have anything worth talking about."
Reeves has agreed to speak to journalists to promote Feeling Minnesota, an independent movie that opens in Calgary today.
He plays a drifter who returns to his old neighborhood for the wedding of his brother (Vincent D'Onofrio) only to run away with his brother's new wife (Cameron Diaz).
Reeves makes $11 million a picture, yet the entire budget for Feeling Minnesota was less than $8 million.
"Danny DeVito sent me the script. He was producing it as a low-budget independent movie through his own Jersey Films," says Reeves.
"I read the script and found it intriguing. It's how I reacted to A Walk In The Clouds. They're the kind of character-driven films I want to do."
Big-budget action films like Speed and Chain Reaction allow Reeves the opportunity to star in these smaller films.
Feeling Minnesota was written and directed by Steven Baigelman, a 34-year-old first-time film-maker.
"Keanu verbally committed to the project a couple of days before Speed opened," Baigelman says. "When that movie went through the roof, we were certain we'd lost him but he's a man of his word."
Baigelman, who like Reeves hails from Ontario, says his star "only really gets excited about talking when the conversation shifts to hockey or music."
Explains Reeves: "I wanted to be a hockey player long before I ever thought of being an actor. I was pretty shy as a child. I didn't feel confident unless I was on the ice.
"Because I had trouble reading (he has dyslexia), I wasn't a good student. I didn't finish high school. I did a lot of pretending as a child. It was my way of coping.
"When I was 15, I started doing some acting and I got hooked because it was like hockey in that it allowed me to be somebody different."
Reeves' rock band Dogstar released its debut CD this month.
"Our first legitimate gig was opening for Bon Jovi. It was the kind of rush I'd always dreamed it would be," says Reeves.
Reeves insists "acting and music are really fickle careers. Five years from now, I don't expect to have the profile in either career that I'm enjoying today."