GOSSIP - HOLLYWOOD ROMANCE
Love bites Winona and Keanu
The notoriously kooky pair have begun a lusty onset romance they hope will continue.
Hollywood has a surprising new star couple in Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder. Sparks ignited the minute they began shooting A Scanner Darkly, to the shock of all on the Texas set - including the lovebirds themselves!
"Keanu and Winona are old pals; they made Dracula together in 1992 and have been friendly ever since," says a source close to the couple.
"There had never been any hint of romance, but that's all changed - and rather quickly! They're hardly apart at all now they've hooked up." The encounter began innocently enough when the stars - who share a reputation as Hollywood oddballs - requested suites in the same hotel for the two-month shoot downtown Austin.
"Keanu and Winona started hanging out as soon as they arrived," says the source. "They have suites on the same floor. They're old friends and knew they'd want to spend time together when they were stuck in the hotel. But they weren't prepared for the love-in that was to come."
A Scanner Darkly, which began shooting on May 17, is set in a world gone mad on drugs. Keanu plays Fred, an undercover cop hooked on a drug called Substance D, Winona plays a doctor trying to help him kick his habit. It's being helmed by School Of Rock director Richard Linklater and co-stars Robert Downey Jnr, Woody Harrelson and CSI: Miami regular Rory Cochrane.
According to our source, Winona, 32, and Keanu, 39, began with casual flirting which led to more passionate pursuits.
"It started with simple things, like Keanu would wolf-whistle when Winona came out of make-up and tell her how great she looked. Or he'd pull her aside during a rehearsal and whisper a joke in her ear," our source explains.
"She'd fondle his fake hair and tease him about wearing a wig. She'd also mess with his meals, put cheeseburgers on his tray. Keanu is a vegetarian! He'd chase her around the set throwing the cheeseburger at her.
"If only all actors could get along so well during a shoot."
Their cast and crewmates didn't suspect Keanu and Winona were getting on very well indeed until they were caught kissing. Then they readily confessed their secret.
"They explained that after a few days in each other's company sparks began to fly. They were surprised. But they aren't known for restraint, so they gave in to their urges.
"Once they started spending time behind closed doors they realised they had a good thing going and have shared as much private time as they can squeeze in between shooting.
"Keanu and Winona cause a stir in Austin every time they leave the hotel together," adds the source. "They're not playing those leave-by-seperate-exits star games. They stroll out of the front door most mornings, hand in hand and couldn't care less who's watching them."
It's a long time since either star had a serious relationship. Keanu went through terrible grief in April 2001 when girlfriend Jennifer Syme died in a car crash not long after giving birth to their stillborn child. He's since been seen out with ex-girlfriends Amanda DeCadenet and Autumn Macintosh.
"Keanu's had a lot on his mind lately," says a friend of the Matrix star. "His sister Kim is still battling leukaemia. He's not over losing Jennifer and their baby. And his career could be in better shape. It's good to see Winona's putting a smile on his face.
"Keanu is a known Hollywood nut and a proud outcast. He claims to have no real home. He says he gives away most of the money he makes. He shuns Hollywood parties, doesn't care how bad his reviews are, and laughs when people say his acting style ranges from wooden to flat."
Winona was recently seen smooching with Heath Ledger in a Hollywood nightclub and her long list of famous lovers includes Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Beck. But in recent years she's been better known for stealing clothes, not hearts. Her 2001 arrest for shoplifting at Saks Fith Avenue, Beverly Hills, led to a trial with revelations of prescription-drug abuse, and her conviction.
"When Winona was arrested, Keanu's name and phone number were in her filofax and she later claimed the store security guard stole celebrity contact from it," says a pal.
"Winona and Keanu are kindred spirits. They have been stars since they were teenagers. Winona goes with her feelings and doesn't hold back, just like Keanu. They're very suited.
"Keanu's very intense and when he dives into something he dives headfirst," his pal explains. "Right now he's mad for Winona. He's thinking they might have a future together."
(Scan by Kaz, via KeanuWeb)