Matrix 3 'awesome fun'
by Sophie Tedmanson
HE may have shaken off his stoner image by playing a kung-fu fighting, sunglasses-wearing saviour of the world, but the dude in Keanu Reeves remains the same.
When asked how he felt about playing Neo, the champion of humanity in The Matrix Revolutions, the 39-year-old - who is best known for his surfer dude role in Point Break and stoner dude role in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure - had three words: "It was awesome."
Reeves was in Sydney yesterday for the Australian premiere of Revolutions, the final in the blockbuster sci-fi trilogy, which was also attended by co-stars Jada Pinkett-Smith and Hugo Weaving, the Sydney-based actor who plays Neo's arch nemesis, Agent Smith.
It was a fittingly dark and rainy day for the reunion of the cast and crew of the film, which was mostly made in Sydney (along with its two prequels) and features many scenes shot around the city which are, well, dark and rainy.
But that didn't taint Reeves's jovial mood after returning to the city he has called home on and off since the first Matrix was made in 1997.
"It's really great to be here, I love this place, and it's exciting that the movie is coming out," he said.
Asked what he thought of the film, Reeves started talking about "epic cinema" and "revolutions of peace".
"It's a beautiful role - it was really lovely to play," he said.
"I think Revolutions is a really remarkable film in terms of the action ... and at the same time the emotions. I really responded to the love (Neo) had for Trinity (played by Carrie-Anne Moss), I found it very moving what happens in the film between them."
At a press conference, Reeves recounted on-set stories and joked with Weaving, who saw the film for the first time last night.
Pinkett-Smith, meanwhile, didn't say much but when asked if she drives a car like her character, Niobe, who shows some impressive skills navigating a battleship in Revolutions, the US actor and wife of Will Smith finally cracked a smile and said: "Only when I'm upset."
More than 1200 people, including Premier Bob Carr, visiting US party girls Paris and Nicky Hilton and US singer Jack Johnson attended the gala premiere at the Opera House and partied as fireworks were let off from the Harbour Bridge. Guests were also entertained by singer Christine Anu, who had a brief role in the first Matrix.
The notoriously private Matrix creators, Andy and Larry Wachowski, also snuck into Sydney unnoticed for the premiere. The film opens simultaneously in almost 20,000 cinemas around the world on Thursday (1am AEST).