Woman's Day (Aus), December 30, 1996


by Robert Carter

Al and Keanu are feuding over everything from girls to sandwich fillings ... turning their $60 million blockbuster into hell-on-earth!

When reformed boozer Keanu Reeves lights his candles and incense on the set of Devil's Advocate, Al Pacino's dog puts them out. When veteran Al brings some lucky woman back to his trailer, Keanu chases her away!

All hell's broken loose on the New York set as the battle between these two Hollywood hot properties threatens to see the whole film shot down in flames.

And while the two heros play devilish pranks, real-life dramas are being acted out - crew members breaking arms and legs; sudden violent storms; and a heart attack. The shoot is weeks behind schedule and sources say the thriller plot is fast turning into a comedy.

"Al and Keanu are driving each other crazy with their war," says a set insider. "They are definitely not getting along and have no chemistry whatsoever on screen - which is really strange, considering they play father and son in the movie.

According to the insider, Keanu is on the wagon and keeps espousing his "12-step" philosophy - but Al is a boozer and can't stand Keanu's 12-step "nonsense".

Because AA philosophy involves "making amends", Keanu goes around apologising for the slightest indiscretion, like taking the last cold soft drink. He sends notes to people he's "harmed", asking for their forgiveness.

"Keanu keeps trying to convert various crew members to sobriety with long speeches, and he brings the production to a halt a couple of times a week to commune with his AA sponser," says the insider.

"Every time Keanu starts in with his 12-step stuff, Al will start making faces behind his back and imitating him. It sounds childish, but it's very funny watching Al mimic Keanu pushing AA."

AA also stresses religion, so Keanu tells people he'll "pray for them". The first step is admitting to God that you're "powerless" over just about everything. Keanu has taken this to the extreme and mopes through each day, bemoaning how powerless he is.

"Keanu is also a strict vegetarian (Uh, no he isn't... he loves steak and all sorts of meat. - Ani) and won't tolerate meat on the set (it's in his contract), so Al and the boys keep beef jerky stashed all over the set and have cheeseburgers delivered next door, which they sneak in on a dolly cart full of technical equipment", says the insider.

"Keanu will come sniffing around and gets all frustrated because the crew has an elaborate system to keep the contraband out of his sight - and Al's the ringleader". But another on-set source says Keanu isn't the only one causing problems.

"Al is quite a womaniser and his trailer is like a train station with all the comings and goings. Keanu doesn't like Al's callous treatment of women, so he set up his speakers to face Al's trailer and blasts punk music at him every time Al brings a new woman over.

"One of Al's conquests came screeching out of his trailer half-dressed, holding her hands over her ears. Al was not pleased with Keanu's prank and had his trailer moved that day - to the other side of the lot".

The source says it's as though the stars are acting in two different movies: "Hollywood trained Keanu is doing a thriller, while the classical theatre actor Al is doing a hammy turn as the Devil, playing it like a Shakespearean tragedy!"

Al even bought every cast and crew member a copy of Richard III, so they could see his 'vision'. But Keanu didn't read his copy. He gave it to a friend as soon as Al handed to him, and told Al he would rent the movie."

There is also constant bickering over the script. "Al will launch into a monologue on why Keanu should say 'yes' instead of 'yeah'. Keanu will argue back, and this goes on for hours.

"Al told the director he wanted his part to have 'more humanity' - but he's playing the devil, for goodness sake! It took two days to talk him out of making his character more 'sympathetic'.

"Next, Keanu decided his lawyer character should have a hobby - rock 'n' roll. Keanu insisted that his band, Dogstar, be put in the movie for two nightclub scenes. He said his character - the Devil's son needed the musical outlet for, yes, you guessed it, humanity!"

According to the insider, Keanu's wacky friends are also causing problems.

"They show up and start lighting incense and candles. Al keeps grumbling that the place smells like a perfume factory, so he's trained his little dog to relieve himself on the burning incense!

"The doggie runs around putting out the candles and incense, and Keanu's friends - who are usually chanting or smoking - can't seem to figure out how the candles are being snuffed out.

"The crew left water pistols around the set, so Keanu and his pals are looking up and not down. It's pretty funny to watch Keanu furiously watching for the water pistols when the dog is at his feet putting out his incense!

"On top of the friction between the stars, odd things keep happening, like mysteriously missing equipment, crew members breaking arms and legs, and we even had a heart attack. Storms have come unexpectedly, stopping production for days and causing even more frayed nerves. It's like this whole movie has a dark cloud hanging over it," says the insider.

Article Focus:

Devil's Advocate, The


Devil's Advocate, The , Dogstar

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