Eva (UK), May 13, 1998

Scaredy-cat hero!

by Graham Dudman

He has it all - looks, talent and wealth, but Keanu Reeves says he's terrified of the dark!

Are you hurt by rumours; that you're gay?
Yes, because it's all rubbish. I'm either on drugs or I'm gay or married to record boss David Geffen. None of it's true. I get messages from friends, saying: 'Why didn't you invite me to the wedding?' There's nothing wrong with being gay but all this gossip only started because I was rarely seen out on the town with a woman.

Want to got hitched?
I'm a coward who's frightened of falling in love. Isn't everybody? Once in a while I think it's time to have a child. Hopefully I'd be a nurturing, positive presence in my kids' lives. But I'm terrified of this world. I feel really scared for my friends' children growing up.

Anything else scare you?
The dark really freaks me out. It's got nothing to do with claustrophobia, I just hate not being able to see anything around me.

So speed doesn't frighten you?
No. I love riding bikes fast. Time goes slower when you're moving at around 130mph. Perhaps I go too fast; I've had a few accidents.

What was the worst?
I was hit by a car going 40mph and I had to have an operation on my neck. It scared me to death. Luckily, everything's OK now but it made me more cautious. I've even started to drive a car.

Ever been stopped for speeding?
Once, in the middle of the desert in Arizona, I was belting along and all of a sudden this cop car just appeared from nowhere and gave me a ticket.

What's fame like?
Really weird. I mean, I'm just a normal guy who likes to drink and hang out with friends and play in my band. I'm a very private person. I find it difficult that I can't walk down the street without being approached.

So you don't like the attention?
I can't take it seriously. Fans would probably find me boring and serious. I feel embarrassed if five or six girls surround me and ask for my autograph. Sometimes I'd just like to disappear.

But it's made you rich?
The sole purpose of my life isn't to earn money, but I do like what it buys. It gives me a certain amount of freedom and allows me to travel. I can also buy vintage Bordeaux wine.

So you like being on the move?
Home's where my couch is. I live mainly in hotels because all my stuff is in storage and I'm always on location. It's nice to have room service and all that.

You like the scruffy look?
I'm really happiest in plain gear and I never worry if I'm not in the latest designer fashion. I'd be lost without my jeans and T-shirts. It means I can do everything I want to do and not worry if they get ruined.

Does it ever get you into trouble?
I was once at the Hyde Park Hilton in London and one of the managers asked to see my key because he thought I was a dosser or something. When he finally let me get in the lift there was a hooker inside who asked me if I wanted sex!

Now do you relax?
By reciting Shakespeare and playing ice hockey. I think Shakespeare's very relaxing when you read it out loud - it goes into my brain and into my heart. The ice hockey keeps me fit and it's a great way of getting together with your buddies.

Are you close to your parents?
I'm close to my mum but not my dad. I knew him until I was 6 then I only saw him occasionally until I was 13. That was the last time I saw him. Dad spent a long time in jail for drug smuggling. He chose drugs and I've chosen to have nothing more to do with him. He's destroyed his life and has no-one to blame but himself.

Who's your hero?
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger - they have a hero aspect that's above them.

Fact File

- Keanu's new film, Last Time I Committed Suicide, can be seen on 12 June.
- Keanu is Hawaiian for cool breezes over the mountains; he's named after a great uncle. His mum's English and his dad's half-Chinese and half-Hawaiian. He was born in Beirut on 2 September, 1964, but grew up in Canada.
- When he was growing up, his mum had an unusual job - sewing costumes for rock stars such as Aerosmith and Alice Cooper.
- Alice Cooper used to babysit young Keanu, remembering him fondly as 'this cute black-haired kid.'
- Keanu had a difficult time at school where he was found to be dyslexic.
- He claims to own a special crystal that miraculously banishes perspiration when he rubs it on his armpits.
- The shy star once tipped a stripper £140 to keep away from his table at a nightclub in Los Angeles.

Our cover

The clean-cut Speed-ster has left his boyish, cutesy days behind him and gone for the rugged, grown-up look. But he still tells us a few deep secrets that will have you dying to take him home for a bit of comfort. His latest movie Last Time I Committed Suicide is out on 12 June - don't jump, Keanu, it'd be a total waste of beefcake.


Fake Geffen Marriage and Related, The , Last Time I Committed Suicide, The , Speed , Devil's Advocate, The

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