REEVES OUT OF SHAPE? DON'T BELIEVE IT, SAYS DIRECTOR
by Marilyn Beck & Stacy Jenel Smith
Does Keanu Reeves have a weight problem?
Don't believe it, says Stephen Kay, who wrote and directed Reeves' upcoming film, 'The Last Time I Committed Suicide.'
When Reeves bailed out of 'Speed 2' last year, there was much speculation that he passed on the movie because he'd gained considerable poundage and didn't feel like going through the regimen of getting in shape.
"Those articles were written mostly by people who'd seen pictures of Keanu from when he was working on my movie," says Kay.
Reeves gained weight to play what Kay describes as 'a puffy, drunk, lovable, loser barfly' in Kay's $ 2 million indie film based on a letter that beatnik Neal Cassady wrote to Jack Kerouac.
Reeves took a fraction of his usual salary to take a sidekick role, which, says the filmmaker, "is unlike anything he's ever done. It's not the pretty-boy thing. He's got a markedly thicker presence and he's looking nasty. But it works perfectly for the movie."
Kay adds that Reeves has "no problem blowing up and dropping weight. Look at him in (the currently shooting) 'Devil's Advocate' and he looks chiseled. It's amazing, but he got the weight down for that film."
'The Last Time I Committed Suicide' will go out in a platform release June, 20 in L.A., Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and New York.
"Originally," says Kay, "the film was going to be released June 6," the day the potential blockbusters 'Con Air' and 'Speed 2' are opening. I said, "Do it! We'll just run an ad campaign that says, 'The movie that Keanu Reeves did instead of 'Speed 2!'" But the distributors panicked...They decided the big monsters would gobble us up and backed off.