Moviefone (US), February 14, 2001
AOL Moviefone Live(Transcript)
Mr. Moviefone: Hello, and welcome to AOL Moviefone live. I am your host this evening. We are here with Keanu Reeves talking about his new movie, "Sweet November."
Keanu Reeves: Good evening.
Mr. Moviefone: Obviously, this is all about the fans and taking their questions over the Internet. Without any further ado, let's go ahead and take some questions. I-shy-134 says, you are so hot.
Keanu Reeves: That's kind.
Mr. Moviefone: That is kind. What's "Sweet November" about? That's a good question.
Keanu Reeves: "Sweet November" is a romance that stars myself and Charlize Theron. Directed by Pat O'Connor. And it concerns -- I play a kind of self-possessed, self-obsessed, self-centered ad executive whose life is in crisis. He doesn't know it, but he's in the middle of a nervous breakdown. He runs into Charlize Theron's character, and she says that she can help me. And I don't know what she's talking about. But she offers to let me spend a month with her. I still don't know what she's talking about. I get fired from my job, I lose my girlfriend, my life disintegrates. It's about, I guess, how these two people come together and learn to love each other, accept the kind of stories of their -- their own stories get told, and through the sharing of that, they kind of come together.
Mr. Moviefone: So it's a very romantic drama?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah. We tried to have a kind of -- especially in the opening, a kind of classic style. You know, a kind of Tracy-Hepburn kind of thing. In the first act. In the second act, it's how these two opposite people, she's a free spirit, and I'm more of a kind of controlling personality, and it's about how we conflict, then come together. Then in the third act, you learn that she's ill. And it's about how once there's a kind of bond, what happens after that.
Mr. Moviefone: The movie hits theaters Friday, this Friday. We're talking about "Sweet November." We're here with Keanu Reeves. Let's take our second question. Van Gogh 2 says, happy Valentine's Day, and what do you consider your most rewarding date to date – most rewarding role to date, and why?
Keanu Reeves: I've had a few of them so it's...
Mr. Moviefone: One that sticks out, maybe?
Keanu Reeves: No. What's the expression -- it's like asking someone to choose children.
Mr. Moviefone: I prefer my son.
Keanu Reeves: Do you?
Mr. Moviefone: No, I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Let's go to the next question. Cinderella says, how was it working with Charlize Theron? That's a pretty stupid question. I don't mean stupid, I mean it had to be good, right? How could that possibly be bad. What was the difference with working with her in "Devil's Advocate"? You worked with her a couple years ago in "Devil's Advocate."
Keanu Reeves: Right, right. We both had a -- more life experiences and there wasn't really anything different -- if anything was -- everything was the same. I mean, we really had a great rapport with each other and, you know, I trust her, and I think it's really easy to act with her. You know, it's -- you know, and having the relationship that we had before that, you know, it just kind of allowed us to have, I guess, a comfort.
Mr. Moviefone: Do you think you both have developed as actors?
Keanu Reeves: Definitely. That's what meant with life experience, just, you know, I think that she reaches some depth of feeling that I've never seen from her before. You know, I mean, I've seen obviously feeling, but there is something about her and in this part that, you know, I was like quite moved by it.
Mr. Moviefone: She's amazing to watch in the movie. To act with, it must be something.
Keanu Reeves: Yeah.
Mr. Moviefone: S-Joe-0021 says, do the co-stars influence you accepting a role in a movie, or is it purely script? Good question.
Keanu Reeves: Generally, my experience has been -- the past few years, it's been script, and then director, and then part. You know, so kind of yes, script, character, director, part.
Mr. Moviefone: I guess you pretty much get to do what you want now, don't you?
Keanu Reeves: No.
Mr. Moviefone: No?
Keanu Reeves: No. Of course not. No.
Mr. Moviefone: Really?
Keanu Reeves: No, of course not.
Mr. Moviefone: Come on.
Keanu Reeves: No, really. I mean, life is odd sometimes, where you know, you think, oh, OK, this is -- you know how when you do something and you think this is going to get easier, the more I do it?
Mr. Moviefone: Right.
Keanu Reeves: And then sometimes it doesn't? You know, and when you think it does, all of a sudden you have a moment where you go, wow, I thought I knew what I was doing, but I don't.
Mr. Moviefone: Right.
Keanu Reeves: And in work, you know, being an actor, you know, you always -- there's always a part that you want that maybe the director doesn't feel you're right for, or the studio doesn't feel you're right for, you know. And I've had that experience, where it's just been like, you know, I had the begging bowl and no one took it away from me. I still had it. I read the script and I still had the bowl.
Mr. Moviefone: That's amazing. It looks like Matrix-something says, thanks for spending part of your Valentine's Day with us, Keanu. Would you consider yourself a romantic?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah.
Mr. Moviefone: How?
Keanu Reeves: Not only in romance, but there's a certain part of me, especially coming out of a lot of like the kind of -- if you consider the tragedy of "Hamlet" or “Romeo and Juliet”, in in the melancholic aspect, and in romance, being with someone and saying, "Let's go. Let's get out of here." Impromptu acts, or letters, or phone calls, or paying attention to what they like or love and surprises, all those kinds of things to me are -- if you're in that situation, are quite fun to not only give, not only to receive, but also to give, you know.
Mr. Moviefone: All the young girls are crying over their computers right now. They're broken down, weeping. Alegra 08 says, what was most challenging about your role in "Sweet November," or was it relatively easy to play? It sounds like these are the kinds of movies you probably like.
Keanu Reeves: No, the character, Nelson Moss, the hardest part about playing him? You know, from --
Mr. Moviefone: Is he like you at all, the character, did you find similarities?
Keanu Reeves: No, no, no. Which was great. I mean, I could relate to a lot of things that he has happening to him, but for me I guess it was really the working on the script, you know, really even before performing the part, it was really a battle sometimes with questions of taste, with the producers and with the director and trying to collaborate and negotiate what we were actually going to perform, was -- took some doing.
Mr. Moviefone: Let's take another question. Who is that? ImernBarbie or something? Do you enjoy action films or romances more?
Keanu Reeves: Oh, gosh. I don't really -- I don't have one where I'd say I like romances more or action films, no.
Mr. Moviefone: You know, everybody...
Keanu Reeves: Remember the children.
Mr. Moviefone: Exactly. Me, I like the action movies. Everybody thinks about you with the "The Matrix."
Keanu Reeves: Sometimes.
Mr. Moviefone: Do you like that? Because that movie was so great. Everybody's kind of ripped it off so many times since then.
Keanu Reeves: Yeah, yeah.
Mr. Moviefone: It that a good feeling?
Keanu Reeves: That's something that I think the directors, you know, really have to -- that's their thing to really respond to.
Mr. Moviefone: Right.
Keanu Reeves: I had a great time making the film. I really enjoy the film. And so in terms of identification with the role, I -- I don't get that that often, really.
Mr. Moviefone: My favorite line of yours in the movie? "Whoa." That was it. I loved that line. I really did. I felt it.
Keanu Reeves: You felt that one?
Mr. Moviefone: I really did.
Keanu Reeves: Not "there is no spoon"?
Mr. Moviefone: No, "whoa." Next question, what can you tell your spoons about the new "Matrix" film?
Keanu Reeves: It concerns some of the -- it concerns Zion, moves out of the realm of the matrix and goes into the situation of the humans in Zion, at the center of the earth, and the machines. That's one aspect of it. Other than that, I don't know what the directors would be comfortable with me divulging.
Mr. Moviefone: Is there going to be new, cool stuff?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah. There's a lot of -- we -- oh, gosh.
Mr. Moviefone: Stuff.
Keanu Reeves: Well, I mean, as much as the first one was – you know, had some new cinematic innovation and storytelling, the second and third are more ambitious.
Mr. Moviefone: Wow.
Keanu Reeves: Yeah, cinematically and what they want the actors to be able to perform in terms of, you know, the kung fu, and what I'm really excited about is just the -- a lot of the relationships, the development of characters, the new characters that get introduced are -- it's very provocative in ideas. And I feel moving emotionally.
Mr. Moviefone: We can probably sum it up in a word -- whoa. We're with Keanu Reeves, talking about his new movie "Sweet November," in theaters this Friday. It's a romantic dramatic with Charlize Theron. Take another question. Boba bee -- which actors have you most enjoyed working with?
Keanu Reeves: Actors most enjoyed working with. I can say one of the – Al Pacino, obviously, was one of the great experiences as an actor I've had. Working with Anthony Hopkins, working with -- gosh, so many people.
Mr. Moviefone: You worked with some great actors.
Keanu Reeves: Really.
Mr. Moviefone: Like asking you to pick your children again.
Keanu Reeves: They are. They are. One most recently, I would say, was working with Al Pacino, which was really fantastic. But I mean, you know, I've been working since 1983, so it's –
Mr. Moviefone: A lot of actors.
Keanu Reeves: I guess in the most recent time, you know, that was really something special.
Mr. Moviefone: Cool. Corinne press says, Keanu, my 11-year-old son plays goalie in ice hockey. What can you give me for ice as a mother. I watch him get blasted with pucks. You're a hockey player, right?
Keanu Reeves: I was. Know that he's having a lot of fun.
Mr. Moviefone: He may be toothless, but...
Keanu Reeves: But he's having good time.
Mr. Moviefone: Did you ever get hurt seriously?
Keanu Reeves: No. I mean, you get pucks in odd spots once in a while. You get a stick across the back of the head or an ice-skate in the back of your hand. You know, you get stepped on, punched, tripped, pushed into the boards. You get massacred. But you get to -- you know, you get your revenge. The goaltender, you can chop, elbow.
Mr. Moviefone: You get out your aggression?
Keanu Reeves: I didn't find it an aggressive position. It's the challenge, I guess. Pretty solitary position.
Mr. Moviefone: Let's take another question. Were you popular when you were in school?
Keanu Reeves: Which year?
Mr. Moviefone: High school, I guess.
Keanu Reeves: High school? The first year, no. The second year -- it depends. It was kind of depended who you -- I went to four high schools in five years.
Mr. Moviefone: Thrown out of a few? Trouble?
Keanu Reeves: I got kicked out of two.
Mr. Moviefone: Is that true?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah.
Mr. Moviefone: For what?
Keanu Reeves: They wouldn't let me back into the performing arts high school in grade 11 because, well, I had problems with the principal.
Mr. Moviefone: OK. We can leave it at that.
Keanu Reeves: Yeah.
Mr. Moviefone: Let's take another question. Craig claw says, what's your favorite pizza topping?
Keanu Reeves: Man, you got to have a class. What do you mean, my favorite pizza topping? Pepperoni and Coca-Cola.
Mr. Moviefone: Don't mess it up with the other stuff. We're here with Keanu Reeves talking about his new movie "Sweet November."
Keanu Reeves: And pizza toppings. Sounds good, though.
Mr. Moviefone: It does. Let's talk about the movie for another second. When I was watching the movie, I -- very romantic, but at the end it's -- we won't give it away, but it's -- you know, I was crying like a little baby.
Keanu Reeves: Yeah, yeah. I think that the situation and relationship that happens in that film is something that I can relate to, and that I think a lot of people can relate to, and hopefully that it will help with understanding, you know, kind of acceptance. It's hard.
Mr. Moviefone: In the movie, you find yourself kind of you're a very driven character, you're an ad executive. Then, all of a sudden, you find this person who opens your eyes to what life is about. Did you ever find yourself like that in your career? Are you a very driven kind of guy and it's like work, work, work, or do you find a mix?
Keanu Reeves: In the past few years, I've been feeling that I could work a lot, and I've had the opportunity to do that. You know, I've had some really good parts in the recent couple of years, and, you know, just the past year and a half got to work on this film and I just did a film called "Hardball" which is a great experience. I guess working on "The Replacements" was another one, working with Gene Hackman was another kind of great experience. But yeah, I have a certain part of the workaholic in me.
Mr. Moviefone: Yeah?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah. A lot.
Mr. Moviefone: Take another question. Have a little bit, OK. "A lot."
Keanu Reeves: I have a lot.
Mr. Moviefone: Redmondry says, where was the movie filmed?
Keanu Reeves: In San Francisco. Yeah, "Sweet November" is in San Francisco.
Mr. Moviefone: Rhonda Lee says, what made you want to be an actor, and who inspired you? How did you start in the business?
Keanu Reeves: Oh, for oh, gosh. Which version? Do you have many versions of your life? You ever do that?
Mr. Moviefone: None good.
Keanu Reeves: One moment was I grew up my mother was a costume designer for musicians, and my stepfather was a director, and so I was in a kind of, as a young lad, in a kind of artistic milieu, which I'm sure those characters around me, you know, almost like how a kid relates -- you know, the story goes, relates to the men in the uniform, you know, I want to be a fireman. I guess I related to some of these characters, these artists, because I identified, something touched me with that. And then when I was in 10th grade English class, I got to play Mercutio in a sword fight. And I remember thinking, this is fun. I had a kind of revelation. From that moment on, I kind of pursued acting.
Mr. Moviefone: Do you have -- you obviously are involved in music with the band.
Keanu Reeves: Yeah.
Mr. Moviefone: Do you get the same feeling from that? Do you get the same kind of juice from that?
Keanu Reeves: No.
Mr. Moviefone: No?
Keanu Reeves: No. But they're close. They're kin.
Mr. Moviefone: Do you prefer one to the other?
Keanu Reeves: Yes, yes. I mean, I -- yeah, for me, if I had to use a word, it was a kind of liberation, and that is something that I get from acting, once in a while. But it's really fun to play in a rock band and go touring, you know, hang out.
Mr. Moviefone: You can do what you want.
Keanu Reeves: I told you, you can't do what you want.
Mr. Moviefone: It's like you can be in a band, you know, can you do all that stuff, and that's very cool, because you kind of get to do a lot of fun stuff.
Keanu Reeves: Yeah, once in a while.
Mr. Moviefone: Another question-- a-lot-wood, I think, have you seen the film "Sweet November," from the 1960's?
Keanu Reeves: I have not.
Mr. Moviefone: Not at all?
Keanu Reeves: I didn't. Actually, Pat O'Connor, the director, asked me not to. So I didn't.
Mr. Moviefone: That's amazing.
Keanu Reeves: I'll take a look at it.
Mr. Moviefone: Have you seen your film finished and –
Keanu Reeves: Yeah.
Mr. Moviefone: Are you pleased with it?
Keanu Reeves: With a lot of it, yeah, yeah. I am. I'm pleased with a lot of it. There's one thing that's kind of a -- I made an R-rated picture and it's been trimmed to become a PG-13 film, I think.
Mr. Moviefone: The bath tub scene?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah.
Mr. Moviefone: That's not it? It's on the Internet.
Keanu Reeves: That scene, it's a very, I think, lovely scene between two people in a tub, you know, and the bubbles, and just talking to each other, you know, and really relating, opening up themselves and relating in a very intimate, comfortable, lovely way. And at the end of the scene I used to like go under the bubbles and she'd laugh.
Mr. Moviefone: Did they cut that out?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah, you can't have intimacy.
Mr. Moviefone: No bubbles?
Keanu Reeves: No bubbles. No laughter. It's almost like where you used to have to have one foot on the floor. In the tub now, if you go under the bubbles, it becomes R-rated now.
Mr. Moviefone: We're talking about the movie "Sweet November" in theaters this Friday, Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron. It's a terrific movie. Alegra-o 8 says, what is your dream role to play?
Keanu Reeves: Recently, the -- right now, my focus is really on "The Matrix." We're going to be working on the film. The brothers, Andrew and Larry, will be working on it probably another two years. For me, it's only I think probably 16 months.
Mr. Moviefone: That's a long time.
Keanu Reeves: Yeah. The one role that keeps popping up is doing a Scottish play. That's about the only thing.
Mr. Moviefone: Womparompa says, do you own a computer yet? Have you visited any of the sites on you?
Keanu Reeves: Is there?
Mr. Moviefone: You own a computer?
Keanu Reeves: I bought one, but I gave it away.
Mr. Moviefone: You don't do instant messaging, e-mail?
Keanu Reeves: I would, but I don't have any
Mr. Moviefone: We'll hook you up with AOL.
Keanu Reeves: You will?
Mr. Moviefone: Yeah. You'll be addicted.
Keanu Reeves: Really?
Mr. Moviefone: The way you'll communicate with everyone from now on.
Keanu Reeves: I have a younger sister who is quite computer literate and has computers and all of that kind of communication in her life. And no, I guess my tradition, I never have brought it into my life. You know, but I ask people all the time to look things up for me or to find -- you know, I'll ask people, can you look this up for me?
Mr. Moviefone: See, you can do that for yourself.
Keanu Reeves: I know.
Mr. Moviefone: We'll get you a cell phone.
Keanu Reeves: I don't have a cell phone. I don't have a pager.
Mr. Moviefone: You need to get AOL.
Keanu Reeves: I'm not a Luddite.
Mr. Moviefone: When you write, you write longhand?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah. Remember that stuff?
Mr. Moviefone: I don't. Next question, in the near future, will Dog Star get to tour and see new and exciting places like Alabama? Our friend must be from Alabama.
Keanu Reeves: I hope so. We've been across the states four times. We haven't been to Alabama? Hmm. We like it in the south, so. Good times down there.
Mr. Moviefone: Another question, where's your most favorite place to be in the world? That's a cool question. How do you relax?
Keanu Reeves: What?
Mr. Moviefone: How do you -- wake up, Keanu.
Keanu Reeves: There's a lot going on, man. A lot going on, man.
Mr. Moviefone: What do you like to do? How do you relax? Your music? Do you hide in the mountains? What do you do? Some people do.
Keanu Reeves: I'm going to go hunt caribou. And watch the sun. And the stars. I can't answer that.
Mr. Moviefone: You don't know how many people would watch you watching the sun.
Keanu Reeves: What was the question?
Mr. Moviefone: What do you like to do, how do you relax?
Keanu Reeves: There's so many things I like to do and to relax. Sometimes it's very nice just to get on my bike and go for a ride. Go through the mountains, Santa Monica Mountains and go up the P.C.H. and swing around there for a while.
Mr. Moviefone: Jenere says, do you go see your movies in theaters on opening night?
Keanu Reeves: I haven't done that.
Mr. Moviefone: Do you go to movies?
Keanu Reeves: Sure.
Mr. Moviefone: In theaters?
Keanu Reeves: Sure.
Mr. Moviefone: Do you call Moviefone?
Keanu Reeves: Yeah. I remember when it first came out, Moviefone, I was like, yeah, it's great. Sometimes in a different city, you try one of the three prefix numbers and you were like, it's not there! Then you start trying 3-3-3, because I got more experienced with it.
Mr. Moviefone: That's a great story. You just did my heart good. Sandy 884 says, any cool special effects in "Sweet November"? Any " Matrix" effects in this nice, romantic drama?
Keanu Reeves: No. This is more about -- no, "The Matrix" is matters of the heart, as well. No, there aren't. This is your classic bittersweet romance.
Mr. Moviefone: What are our movie going friends going to like about this movie? What are they going to take away from it?
Keanu Reeves: Hopefully, I think there's really nice, especially in act one, some good comedy. I think that the characters, I hope that people get something out of it, that they relate to my character. If they relate to Charlize's. I think the script is well written. I think that it has humor. I think there's some incredible romantic lines and sentiments. I think that some of the dialogue that the characters have, I think people can take to their own lives and it's shot beautifully. Ed Lockton did a beautiful job on the set design. Pat O'Connor did a nice job directing it. So I think, you know, all in all, it's -- hopefully, they'll like that couple. You know, hopefully the spirit of Nelson and Sarah. Because Charlize is radiant in the piece. Hopefully they'll enjoy the couple.
Mr. Moviefone: We just had a question, which was, speaking of Charlize, land 04 says, how many times did you get to kiss Charlize?
Keanu Reeves: Is this the PG-13 version or the R?
Mr. Moviefone: No, this is the Internet.
Keanu Reeves: No, not the R version isn't that -- I have no idea. I guess --
Mr. Moviefone: You stopped counting? Everybody else would have been counting, "OK, that's number 22."
Keanu Reeves: Not enough.
Mr. Moviefone: Great answer. Jater 84 says any more indie flicks in your future?
Keanu Reeves: I hope so. It's one of my hopes, to be able to act in different kinds of films, different genres of films. I got to perform in "The Gift" recently, which was a great experience. I hope that that comes available to me in my life, because it's -- I've had some great experiences in that forum.
Mr. Moviefone: This will be our last question. Sally-t says, happy Valentine's Day, Keanu. We love you. I guess it's not a question, it's a statement.
Keanu Reeves: Thank you.
Mr. Moviefone: The fact is, we do love you. We've been talking to Keanu Reeves. His movie is "Sweet November," in theaters Friday. It's a terrific romantic drama with Charlize Theron. One of the things I took away, it's really a simple statement, but seriously, you got to stop and smell the roses. In your life, you have to, because life's too short. I think you'll all enjoy it. Thanks for joining us. This is Keanu Reeves and Mr. Moviefone.