Keanu Reeves returns for reshoots on the perfect date movie and talks about Satan, Superman and a sequel...
by Todd Casey
WIZARD: What's it like going back to revisit "Constantine" after such a lengthy break?
REEVES: It's really nice to be working with everyone again. You're always a little afraid to go back in, but once I put the costume on, [Constantine] came right back. I love playing Constantine. He's a reluctant hero. I like his fatalism and his humor - he's got a great sense of humor. But underneath all of that he has a kind of hopefulness.
For those who haven't been following along, what's "Constantine" about?
[Based on the DC/Vertigo comic Hellblazer,] John Constantine is fated to go to Hell for the life he took and he's trying to find a way to get into Heaven. There's a plot afoot for [demonic] forces to put Hell on Earth and in the course of him trying to stop that, he has to make a sacrifice and comes to terms with his life - and God.
Early in shooting, you were very focused on the script and hadn't done any in-depth reading of Hellblazer. Since then, have you had a chance to check them out?
Yeah, I've got a lot of the graphic novels and collections. I read a few stories - it wasn't like I didn't read any of it. I didn't study the whole canon, but there were things from his gestures and the tone of the writing that I was influenced by and took from. I wanted to be very true to the character with the feelings and sensibilities of the piece.
"Constantine" opens Feb. 18, 2005. I'm guessing it'd be a faux pas for me to take my girlfriend to see it as a Valentine's Day gift.
No, actually I think it'd be good. You write for Wizard and I'm sure she digs what you do. It'd be a good date movie.
Any chance of "Constantine 2"?
I have no idea, man. Hopefully, we captured the spirit of it [in this film] and did it in away that people who really like the material will be happy with, because the story is so great. The film itself has a fresh feel to it, and [director] Francis Lawrence [gave it] a nice original spin, so hopefully people will dig it.
Is there a scene you can tease that will get people really jazzed about the movie?
There's a showdown scene where Constantine meets the forces of darkness, who are planning to make Hell on Earth, and he battles using the Holy Shotgun. There's also quite an interesting scene between John and Satan, which is good fun. I think people will get a little tickle out of that one. What would John and Satan have to say to each other? It's a good one.
From Jonathan Harker in "Bram Stoker's Dracula" to stumping for Satan's law firm in "The Devil's Advocate" and now "Constantine," you've played some cool roles in thriller/horror films. Are you a fan of supernatural films or are these just a coincidence?
No, I love the theme. "Rosemary's Baby" is a great one and so are "The Exorcist" and "The Omen" - they're all really well made, entertaining films. Aspects of good and evil, Heaven and Hell and the dialogue between those forces in drama... Working those things out and trying to find out one's nature and dealing with consequences of actions are very rich dramatic platforms.
While hanging in front of those green screens for CGI shots in "The Matrix" movies, did you ever stop and think, "Man, it'd be fun to play Superman"?
No, not that character itself. There would be times when I would be on a wire 30 feet off the ground and getting pulled and yanked and flying around and that was quite Superman and Peter Pan-ish. [Laughs]
You weren't offered the role, but if you had been, would you have considered it?
I don't know. [Thoughtful pause] It's a good role. I'd have to think about that one. Maybe seven years ago - I'm 40 now, a little old for Superman [laughs].