Showbiz and Style
In our interview with Keanu Reeves last year for “Constantine,” the one lingering image that stayed in our mind to this day was that of the actor seeming to press, with his bare arms, imaginary creases on the tablecloth as he answered journalists’ questions. The man appeared shy, uncomfortable with media scrutiny despite many years in the industry, and very private.
Cut to the present—a press con for his two new movies, “The Lake House” and “A Scanner Darkly.” Keanu is still just as shy, awkward in the interview format and fiercely protective of his privacy. Of course we like our interview subjects to be loquacious and quotable but we don’t expect all actors to be glib and gushing with sound bites. In this regard, we respect and have come to expect Keanu for what he is—a man of few words.
He didn’t hesitate to say, “It’s none of your business; that’s personal,” in response to a colleague’s persistent line of questioning.
In “The Lake House,” a remake of a Korean movie, “Il Mare,” Keanu and his “Speed” co-star Sandra Bullock are reunited as two lovers who discover that they’re actually living two years apart. They must try to solve the mystery to save their extraordinary romance.
Live to animation
Keanu’s other new movie, “A Scanner Darkly,” is interesting because it was shot as a live action and then transformed into an animated film using a technology known as “interpolated rotoscoping.” Set in the future, Keanu plays an undercover cop whose assignment to spy on his friends launches him on a paranoid journey into the absurd.
Also populating the dark work of “Scanner” are Robert Downey Jr., Winona Ryder and Woody Harrelson.
The two movies are as different as night and day. Keanu, dressed in his favorite getup of black tee, jacket and pants, spelled it out: “‘The Lake House’ is a love story. ‘A Scanner Darkly’ is a comedy and a tragedy. I don’t think of these works as being science fiction or fantastical. I think they’re very human stories.”
Asked if he sees a parallel in the story of “Scanner” and what’s going on in the US, where the government has admitted that it is spying on “suspicious” phone conversations, he replied, “I don’t think it’s just the United States. I would say all cities around the world have to come up against this technology about surveillance. I think about how it’s used and abused. The thing that seems to be happening is that there’s just no redress. No one’s watching the keeper of the information and protesting about the loss of personal rights. The powers of the entities that control information seem to be increasing while the individual’s rights are diminishing.”
In touch with Sandra
Of Sandra, he revealed this much: “Sandra and I have kept in touch over the years. We’ve had some dinners. She’s written me some letters when I was in Australia working on a film.”
An avid reader, Keanu was more forthright with his current reading fare. “I just finished Timothy Leary’s biography, which was really good because it covers the period from the ’50s to the ’90s,” he said. “It was interesting to have that kind of cultural view of America, what happened through the years of counter culture. I am starting to read another Graham Greene novel. I’ve also been reading (F. Scott) Fitzgerald.”
When a reporter asked when was he settling down, since he was now in his 40s (he turns 42 in September), Keanu responded with, “Who knows? No comment.” But then he added, “I’d like to [settle down]—it’s certainly something I haven’t done.”