Quick Stop Entertainment (US), August 29, 2003

Hollywood Elsewhere

Keanu's First 'Whoa'

(These were the comments to the August 27 article 'Irreversible')

Jeffrey Wells

"Keanu definitely said 'whoa' in BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE I don't know if he did it before then, but between that film and POINT BREAK, it cemented our view of Keanu -- surfer dude for all time. The name doesn't argue with this AT ALL." -- Jason Birzer

"I think the origin of 'whoa' for Reeves has mostly to do with his standout performance as Dianne Wiest's son-in-law in Ron Howard's PARENTHOOD. In addition to playing a burn-out type in that film, there was also, of course, BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE and Lawrence Kasdan's film I LOVE YOU TO DEATH, which I always thought Reeves (together with William Hurt, playing Reeves' co-burnout) stole." -- Joseph Kay

"Keanu first uttered 'whoa' in THE MATRIX when Laurence Fishburne jumps from oen [sic] building to another." -- Laurence Price

Wells to Price: I know he said 'whoa 'in THE MATRIX, but you're sure this was the first time ever?

"It wasn't RIVER'S EDGE or THE PRINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA in which Keanu uttered the infamous 'whoa!'...but the idiotic BILL & TED'S ASININE ADVENTURE. What a ridiculous association, in any case, for one of the finest young actors and nicest guys of our generation!"

"I say this having crossed paths with Keanu in some peculiar karmic way over the last 30 years or so.

"I worked for a p.r. co. in the late 1980s where we had the Hemdale account. I screened a film with no release date called RIVER'S EDGE, and I was the only person who loved it. (Everyone else thought it was vile -- so it was dumped on me, and I was glad to take it on). Eventually Hemdale dropped it and another independent company took it up.

"I thought the entire cast was excellent, but there was a scruffy young actor I'd never heard of who provided the heart of this bleak, despairing film -- Keanu Reeves.

"I next encountered him a year later when I changed jobs to DDL (Dino DeLaurentis's disastrous folly) and saw a rough cut (of his next venture, BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE (for which thee special effects had not been completed, a nervous producer warned us).

"One more year passed (as did DDL) and I was offered the unit publicist job by New Line on another Reeves film, the low-budget THE PRINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA. I met and spoke with Keanu during the six weeks the film shot in Pittsburgh. He insisted we had met before, though he couldn't remember where or when. I told him he was mistaken. But I was also impressed with his fierce intelligence, sweet-natured good humor, modesty, and kindness.

"Years later my sister gave me her issue of Premiere Magazine with a cover story of Keanu, who was by now a major star. For the first time, he talked a bit about his parents, and then I realized he and his sister were the 3 and 4 year old children of a lovely girl I met when I first moved to N.Y. in 1966.

"I was a grad student, and Patrick Reeves (a British model) was divorced from her Hawaiian husband, and was raising her two kids from that disastrous marriage. I remember her son & daughter both had Hawaiian first-names, and were extremely sweet but quiet young children who rarely smiled. When Patrick moved to Toronto in the mid-70s, we kept in touch but after awhile I stopped hearing from her.

"So Keanu did indeed remember me from his childhood, but I didn't remember him because, during the intervening years, a four year-old child had grown into a handsome young man." -- Scott MacDonough


Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure , Point Break , Parenthood , I Love You to Death , Matrix, The , River's Edge , Prince of Pennsylvania, The

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