Pushed for time
(Translated from German, translation edited by Anakin McFly)
In Richard Linklater's film "A Scanner Darkly", a drug investigator becomes addicted to a new, devilish substance. Keanu Reeves plays this man, who soon gets into danger in his attempts to save others from it.
Keanu Reeves, your film is not only about drugs but also about the total monitoring of citizens through cameras. You must know this feeling well, being constantly pursued by cameras.
You're right, the paparazzi are everywhere. But even there I still have such a thing as free will. I can go into my house, pull down the shutters, and then nobody can see me. With surveillance cameras it's different. I definitely find those rather terrible. First they were only used in banks, but then in supermarkets. Meanwhile, it feels like they're everywhere. It takes away a little innocence from our life.
Are you an enemy of technology?
More of a technology-doubter. If you go for a walk on the streets at night, the lighting and the roadside billboards displace the stars in the sky. When did you last admire a sparkling starlit sky at night? Everything is concentrated solely on us, on the city. We became our own God. It's exactly the same with total surveillance. In former times, God was the abstract institution that sanctioned our acting. Today it is humans who want to supervise and punish - it's all the same. I hope I'm not becoming too philosophical and boring.
By no means. That's a beautiful picture and it can be applied to many facets of our existence. Think only about love.
Exactly! What happened to the romance? Where's the innocent love? They show so much sex on television and everywhere you see feelings being exploited. And that takes the light away from love. But perhaps romantic love is also just a fantasy.
You don't believe in romantic love?
I haven't given up hope yet.
Recently, you wanted to stop acting, but now you're back at work. What renewed your interest in your job?
I actually never lost interest. I just felt signs of fatigue. I'd just made many films - one after the other, I felt burned out and needed a break. But the love for the work was always there. I let things come more calmly to me now. Perhaps it also has to do with age. I'm over forty now. It looks as though I'm experiencing a third phase in my career.
Does it become simpler starting from forty?
Many people at this age run into a huge crisis because they start wondering: What kind of person am I? What are my hopes today, and how can I let them turn into reality? I'm pushed for time. I used to be able to say: later. Later is now.
You lost your child a few years ago and your girlfriend died in a car accident. Many people use drugs to flee such strokes of fate. What protected you?
My work. Since I began at the age of fifteen, years ago, work was a safe place for me. It gave me structure and joy. It's beautiful if one can find enthusiasm for something. Not everyone gets to have that. But some doubts also surface with my work.
In what way?
With me. Can I really act? I once worked with Anthony Quinn. We stood in a field early in the morning and waited for a scene. And I asked him: Anthony, does this ever end? All these self doubts, the fight and the search? He looked at me and just said: No. That's when I thought: God, if even Anthony Quinn feels like that, it looks like I'm in for some fun and games! Why does nobody tell you when you're young. Where's the damned manual for life? (Excellent question. I'd like to know that too. - Ani)
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Hero from "The Matrix"
Keanu Reeves was born in 1964 as the son of a designer and a geologist. Reeves grew up in Australia and New York and finally went with his mother to Toronto, Canada. He celebrated his largest successes with the three "Matrix" films. His film "A Scanner Darkly", adapted from a novel by Philip K. Dick, did not make it into German cinemas, but it is available on DVD from today.