The Jay Leno Show (US), October 16, 1997

Keanu on The Jay-Leno-Show


JAY: OK, my first guest, one of the most popular actors in the world, stars in a new film with Al Pacino called the Devil's Advocate. Kev, did you love this movie?

KEVIN: It was bad, man.

JAY: Wasn't it great? If you like to get in arguments after movies, oh this is great. This is a great movie. It opens tomorrow at a theater near you. Please welcome Keanu Reeves. [cheers and applause]

JAY: Good to see you again. Now I haven't seen you in about two years.

KEANU: Has it been that long?

JAY: Yeah, because you were out with the band for a while.

KEANU: That's right, yeah.

JAY: And I was thinking the last time you were here, you said you hadn't found a place yet. Have you found a place yet? Do you live anywhere yet?

KEANU: Ah, no I don't. I mean I have a place to live. I've been working and traveling going on the road with the band.

JAY: Yeah

KEANU: Working in films and then when I come home here to LA I just stay in a hotel.

JAY: No, so you stay in a hotel.


JAY: Are you one of those people, do you bring, like Sammy Davis Jr., like he - on a one-nighter, he would bring all his photos and hang em in his room. Do you bring a lot of personal items?

KEANU: I bring some books, my favorite clothes at the time, what I'm reading, you know, stuff like that.

JAY: Like how many suitcases would you bring?

KEANU: I don't know, two?

JAY: Two suitcases for how long?

KEANU: Then I make little forays. I go to my storage space and pick up. You know, I do things.

JAY: Now do you just buy underwear and--do you clean the underwear--or just throw it away.

KEANU: That's a good idea.

JAY: That's a good idea. It works. It works. You could turn it inside out, get another day out of it that way.

KEANU: That's a good idea. Remember when you were younger, you had dry cleaning. Where you put it in the dry cleaning, the bachelor dry cleaning, where you put it in a pile and three days you come back, it's clean again.

JAY: It's clean, it smells good, yeah, yeah and put it near a window for martinizing. Same thing, yeah. [laughter]

KEANU: Back in a day.

JAY: Do you do like the whole room service thing, cause you seem like a guy...

KEANU: Oh, it's the best, I mean, come on, yeah, I, you know, yes, yes, room service, yes. In the room, yes. The whole--

JAY: Do you do the mini-bar?

KEANU: Uh, the mini-bar, yeah

JAY: See, you don't mind--no matter how much money or successful I make, I can't pay $9.95 for that snickers bar in the mini-bar. You know, now I will walk though snow, I just can't make myself, can you do that? Have you overcome that...

KEANU: There are some days when you just have to have a snickers bar, you know...

JAY: Well, that's true.

KEANU: [nods] You know, but generally, you know, you go out, you do something else.

JAY: Yeah. Let me talk about this. You know, this movie is great. This is really--

KEANU: I think so, too.

JAY: This is an amazing script and it's truly a frightening good movie. It's called the Devil's Advocate. Would you say that, I think that it's a horror movie, but it's a little more philosophical.

KEANU: Yes, I mean, it is a horror picture, I'd say it's kind of a cautionary morality piece, you know, but, I mean, it's got humor, you know, it's, uh, psychological, you know. But then, it's also got some spooky, you know, some monsters and there's just some great performances.

JAY: Do you like to be scared?

KEANU: Al Pacino. I love it. I mean, not really scared, but I like a little boo, you know.

JAY: Huh? Well, you know, boo. That's not, I mean, as a kid, were you frightened by a lot of things?

KEANU: Um, let me see. We were speaking earlier about the Exorcist. I remember being 11 years old and seeing an ad for that or something, and they would show that face--that kind of mask face. What was going on? I was scared. It was weird.

JAY: Right, right.

KEANU: And I remember being a kid, going to bed, God, the devil, God, the devil, God, the devil.

JAY: Did you think were there things under your bed?

KEANU: Yeah, I would never have my hands or anything over the side when I slept because I always thought something you know...

JAY: Would grab you?

KEANU: Yeah.

JAY: Cause as long as you're in the bed...

KEANU: Yeah.

JAY: Yeah, you're safe.

KEANU: You're safe.

JAY: You're safe.

KEANU: You're safe. You have your binky, you know, everything's cool.

JAY: Hang on, hang on!

KEANU: No, I actually didn't have a binky.

JAY: A binky, binky? Wait, wait.

KEANU: Well, ya know.

JAY: Back up. I think we're revealing more than we want to.

KEANU: We are!

JAY: What is a binky?

KEANU: Binky, laundry, all sorts of things, what?

JAY: What is a binky, like a blanket

KEANU: I don't know. You know, that's the geshmushma [closed captioned spelling], you know.

JAY: I don't know. I wanna know.

KEANU: You know, like the blanket when you were a kid. You know?

JAY: Oh, it's a blanket.

KEANU: Come on, everybody, who had a blanket? Come on. [cheers and applause] You didn't have one?

JAY: I did have one.

KEANU: That's why you're in show business.

JAY: Sad thing is...

KEANU: We want it all the time now.

JAY: I still have my blanket.

KEANU: Yeah, you see, what do you call it? I'm not even gonna ask. [laughter]

JAY: Do you believe in ghosts and things?

KEANU: Yes. Yeah.

JAY: Have you ever seen a ghost?

KEANU: Yeah.

JAY: No, really?

KEANU: No, I've seen one and I've felt him, you know. I mean, you get vibes from places, you know, I mean...

JAY: Well, I mean, tell me about...

KEANU: Yeah, I remember being a kid in, where was it, New Jersey. My sister was in that bed and I was in this bed and I was probably about 9. We had a nanny over there, and I remember just sitting there and I was looking up in towards the doorway and all of a sudden this kind of suit with no body, no legs, nobody in it, kinda came in and went like this and then disappeared. [laughter] It was double breasted, it was white. [laughter] And then I, then I looked over, I looked over at the nanny and she looked over at me and I looked and we were looking at each other and then I remember going to the window and just looking out, and it was about the 30th floor or something and just looking at the shadows and the light and just---

JAY: You sure it wasn't that pile of laundry? [laughter]

KEANU: No, [LOL] I was a kid, I was a young kid, it was just one of those...

JAY: Yeah, I know what you're saying. I can remember lying in bed and being frightened to death of my own heartbeat. I kept hearing this thunk. What's that? What is that!? [laughter]

KEANU: It's very Edgar Allen Poe

JAY: No, but it's true, I remember it, and I remember being so frightened that I went (Jay touches his chest), Oh jeez, it's me.

KEANU: And you discovered, and there it is...

JAY: It's true, and then I discovered some other things, but forget that.


JAY: Now, Al Pacino, now I must say, Al Pacino is a great actor.

KEANU: Unparalleled.

JAY: And you too are a terrific actor. And to watch you two guys sort of hold your own, battle it out, whatever you wanna say. It's really fascinating to watch. Was he intimidating? I mean, did you know him before this?

KEANU: He's such a gracious man and, uh, he just puts you at your ease. You know, I met him backstage, he was doing a play, Huey, and the first, I met him, I was just, you know, very nervous, and just, you know, 'It's an honor to meet you, sir' and just, you know. And then he's like, he's a very interesting and mysterious man, but very gracious.

JAY: Well, I like him because he seems like he's a real actor. He isn't a guy that does just one movie a year.

KEANU: No, he's a pure actor.

JAY: I mean, doing a play, and this looks like a play.

KEANU: He makes his own films.

JAY: This film to me looks, you have scenes where it looks like you're in a play, because the dialog is so rich going back and forward.

KEANU: Yeah, it's a very unique film.

JAY: Now, who was cast first, him or you?

KEANU: Uh, I was the first cast.

JAY: Oh, OK.

KEANU: Uh, yeah.

JAY: So, then you thought, 'Oh wow! We got Al Pacino.'

KEANU: Right, I thought, 'Oh, my God, how perfect for the part.' And, um, and then I found out that he accepted the part and I'll never forget that day. The blood just tickled. I mean, it was just incredible.

JAY: Blood tickles?

KEANU: Yeah, because I was so happy. You know, it was just like, I couldn't believe it. For me, I mean, this man has done such incredible work in special films and growing up and the opportunity to act with him in what I think is a special film was just, for me, one of the high moments of my life.

JAY: Intimidating, though, no?

KEANU: Um, Like I say, he's so gracious and you just, I mean, in the morning, maybe the first time, the first scene, it was like 8, we had just read through it, and I'm like, 'My God, I'm sucking in front of Al Pacino.' [laughter] You know, but you go get coffee, you work on the scene and then you get in the fire and you go and then you just create.

JAY: I like that phrase, 'I'm sucking in front of Al Pacino.'

KEANU: Hang on a second. Are you getting any? What's happening here? What's going on? It's scatalogical. It's a whole thing. [laughter]

JAY: I just like that, 'I'm sucking in front...', I've never heard it used that way.

KEANU: That's what it is. Cause your sitting there, 'Oh my god...'

JAY: Can you pick up his mannerisms? Can you do Al?

KEANU: I wouldn't do that.

JAY: No, not even give me a little of....

KEANU: I [laugher]

JAY: I put you on the spot. We have a great clip here just to show you the intensity of you two guys. This is great. Does this need any setup? Do we have to tell people?

KEANU: Um, it's hard to set it up without. Just say--it is a--he's the--how do I do this--um, I'm a defense attorney and he's the senior partner at the firm and there's a confrontation.

JAY: Confrontation, OK. Here we go. Take a look.

[Clip from the film] [cheers and applause]

JAY: Well, it's just terrific.

KEANU: Yeah, thank you. I think so, too.

JAY: You know, you know, I've always been a fan, but this one really knocked me out.

KEANU: Thank you, thank you

JAY: This is like you're, this is like you're, now you're in Pacino Brando league now.

KEANU: Well, that's kind, thank you.

JAY: I thought you were just great. Watching you two guys just battle that out. And it's a terrific script as well. [cheers and applause] I know you got go. [Jay shakes Keanu's hand] Keanu, thank you, man.

KEANU: Thank you very much [cheers and applause]

JAY: Keanu Reeves [more cheers and applause]

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Devil's Advocate, The


Devil's Advocate, The , Dogstar

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