A conversation with Keanu Reeves
Tribute’s Bonnie Laufer talks to fellow Canadian Keanu Reeves about wrapping things up with The Matrix Revolutions.
B.L. How bittersweet is it to be sitting here and talking about this final instalment of the Matrix?
K.R. Bittersweet…where is the bitter part?
B.L. There is no bitter part…
K.R. I had a great time. Some of the best days of my life were making these films and I feel great to have been able to be a part of it. It’s really exciting that Revolutions is coming out.
B.L. You hang up your coat, it’s all said and done and now it’s been a while since you have played Neo. When you look back at it all what surprised you about yourself in your abilities and your capabilities to play this character?
K.R. Oh God, I don’t know if I could evaluate it like that.
B.L. Tell me how you see it, because this is a huge thing that you went through.
K.R. It was a gift, it was a gift from the gods. To work on something that you love, to be acting and to be working on something that I love is the greatest gift. Every day was great.
B.L. But how did Neo influence you? Here’s a character that just pushes himself to the brink and you do the same.
K.R. It’s lovely to play an honorable man. He’s a man who is conflicted, but also Neo is a pretty honorable guy. He’s also loved and to be in love with Trinity is one of the greatest things to play.
B.L. Yes, we do see in Revolutions that he is human and I want to talk about your relationship with Carrie-Anne Moss because I can’t imagine that that’s a friendship that will ever cease.
K.R. Yeah, you’re right.
B.L. Tell me about working with her.
K.R. Oh, she’s absolutely amazing. We kind of partnered up, especially in the first one and she’s such a remarkable actress and person. What is so remarkable? The way she looks at life and tries to understand herself and others emotionally. She’s emotionally responsible and her thought and her light. How she lives her life and the joy that she wants to have and her bravery as a person is really inspiring. She’s funny and beautiful and talented, so I love Trinity.
B.L. You love Carrie-Anne.
K.R. I love Carrie-Anne, Neo loves Trinity, it’s all I ever say. Recently in Los Angeles the posters have been going up and I’ll drive by and I always say, "I love Trinity."
B.L. How monumentally has working on this movie changed your life?
K.R. Oh God, a lot. It’s changed it professionally and personally.
B.L. Has it made you think about what choices you make now especially for the fact that these movies are all about choices?
K.R. Yeah, but I mean that was always something that was important to me but I just feel grateful and I had such a great time making these films. I love the films.
B.L. Was there ever a day on the set where you thought, "what have I gotten myself into?"
K.R. No, and if it was, it was just like, yeah cool!
B.L. Lets talk a little about the final scene in Revolutions when Neo comes face to face with Agent Smith and you have your final battle in this unbelievable rainstorm. Visually it’s unreal.
K.R. Yes, it’s spectacular.
B.L. What was it like shooting that?
K.R. It was great fun. I got to work with Hugo Weaving who was playing Smith. I don’t know, it was just great fun. Challenging, but that’s great. I love hard work.
B.L. Do you ever think about topping this experience or do you want to?
K.R. I don’t know, I don’t think about it like that. To me it’s not about topping or whatever that is. I just feel grateful to be a part of something where I get a chance to do what I love and to be a part of something that I really respect, appreciate and enjoy.
B.L. Why do you think that these Matrix films are so popular?
K.R. Because they rock! (laughs)
B.L. I totally agree, but…
K.R. They totally rock, man. There is so much movie on the screen, there’s ideas, there’s kung fu, there’s interesting relationships. I think that they are ethical, moral. The taste, the aesthetic, and how much movie is on the screen. I enjoy and respect and I feel that from the filmmakers. I think that they are fun, I think that they are provocative and I think cinematically they’re unique. I think the acting and the relationships that you see in the films, the editing and the music, the style, the content is just really unique. They are great, get some popcorn sit down and watch the Matrix. You know what I mean, all of them. I think that the care that Larry and Andy Wachowski — the writers/directors —what they have put in these movies is just cool.
B.L. There is no clear cut answer at the end of this film, as far as I’m concerned.
K.R. What answer are you looking for?
B.L. I wasn’t really looking for an answer.
K.R. What is the question? I think to the journey of the hero and I think traditionally and mythically it’s answered, but life goes on.
B.L. How is Revolutions going to satisfy die-hard Matrix fans?
K.R. I don’t know, I hope they dig it.
B.L. Do you look at scripts differently now?
K.R. In what way?
B.L. I can’t imagine that there is anything out there that is as challenging as Neo … OK, maybe working with Jack Nicholson might compare.
K.R. Oh he’s so awesome, I just got to work with Jack and oh my God he’s amazing. He’s absolutely incredible.
B.L. But that’s a different challenge. When you look at something, how do you pick now? It’s amazing what you have done in the Matrix films and it’s something that will live on forever, it’s a part of history.
K.R. I don’t know. Thank you, that’s very kind. Hopefully I just want to do good work and make good films.
B.L. Now you are shooting Constantine.
K.R. Constantine rocks.
B.L. It’s based on the comic hero Hellblazer, how cool is that?
K.R. It’s awesome. Now working with (director) Francis Lawrence, it’s his first feature and I don’t know, we are four weeks in and I’m working with Rachel Weisz and it’s a great script, it’s conceptual, it has great ideas and it’s a fun character and great crew and hopefully people will like it. I am working right now, which is great. It’s a great part and I hope it will turn out.
B.L. Hopefully??? It will!
K.R. Lots of "hopefullys" these days.