by Lynn Lane
Has gone from the pantheon of icons who have made nearly everyone salivate to being wed by the press, for the short length of a rumour, to one of Hollywood's moguls, David Geffen. He did some bodybuilding for "Speed" and returns a little bit chubbier with two films: "Feeling Minnesota" and "Chain Reaction."
After "Speed," you worked on the little-seen film "Feeling Minnesota." Is success at the box office important?
I don't know what's important. I hope that people will go see the film and that it'll have some success. I found the script great, the actors exceptional, all the team very enthusiastic. What is important to me, is to work at my craft, whatever the genre of the film I am working on.
You refused to do "Speed II"...
I had already done a sequel, at the start of my career. I don't wish to build on it this way and neither to run and jump all the time. Furthermore, I'm sure that the actor who will replace me will do well. And Sandra Bullock is fantastic.
Isn't this decision suicidal?
Everyone thinks I'm crazy. My hands started to peel, my stomach was off, I started to think: "Oh no, people will accuse me of trying to destroy my career." But, I hope to be able to compensate by working on good films.
You seem to have a stubborness about choosing your roles. You played Shakespeare on stage. How did you work this out?
I don't know. I worked on a film which had a lot of success, "Speed." I am an actor for quite a while now even though some critics say that I won't last. I had the opportunity to play very different roles with different directors. My two next films give me the chance to play positive and wonderful characters. "Feeling Minnesota" is a little more sophisticated, emotionally.
It's a weird role in a weird first movie. What made you decide to do it?
Faith, hope. You know, it's a good script. Of course, not everything that is interesting has been kept for the final version. There is often quite a considerable difference between what you read and the final product. An actor must learn to accept that even though it is sometimes frustrating. The director had very definite ideas for his film. He loves actors, he understands the whole process. So, I decided to take the plunge.
How do you react to how the press in general treats you?
It's hard to live when they don't let you be. But, apart from that, I am not affected by what the media say. It's a two-edged sword: you are happy when people enjoy what you do and then you meet all these people who are all psychopaths. Strange.
Your fans are psychopaths?
No, I am talking about the paparazzi and autograph hounds. These people give me the creeps. They say they like your films, ask for your autograph and come out with something out of the ordinary. It's really incomprehensible.
Is that why you created Dogstar? So that the public could come and see you for your music?
At first, it was kind of nice to hear people say: "Keanu Reeves plays in a band, let's go see him." We played a few times in Los Angeles. I must admit that my dexterity at the bass has improved, my musical choices are less out of date.
What will be your next film?
I have just signed on for "Devil's Advocate" directed by Taylor Hackford but I don't even know yet who the other actors will be. It's a horror film.
Will you be playing a vampire?
No, a lawyer. It's about the same.
You were on the cover of "Out", a gay magazine. Why?
I didn't ask to be on the cover of "Out" to show everybody off. In fact, I didn't ask for anything at all and they didn't either. I have already explained that it was a special "straight" issue. Doesn't that explain it? I imagine that a lot of people didn't even want to hear about it. If they would have read the interview, they would have learned that I didn't talk about the "gay" issue.
And this story with David Geffen?
The first time I heard it, I was playing "Hamlet" in Toronto. At first, I thought it was funny, then ridiculous and then, extremely ridiculous. I realized that I needed to make a statement. One of the things I have learned, is that you must learn to share a bit with the media, otherwise they develop a hatred of you. And the rumour could quite simply elude you.