(Tunisia), April 15, 2008

Interview with Keanu Reeves for his latest movie "Street Kings"

(Translated from French by Karamelle, with minor edits by Anakin McFly.)

While waiting for Keanu Reeves, I found myself looking up his year of birth: 1964. 44! Keanu Reeves is 44 years old and still active in the Hollywood sphere. The last time we met for a "print media" interview was five years ago, for The Matrix Reloaded. Time flies like an arrow, but on the screen, Keanu seems not to have changed. There's always the same expression, which some find void of any substance. Always the same way of acting, which consists of him saying his lines in the most banally possible way. In brief, Keanu enrages the drama teachers who find him a bad actor and wonder why he continues to work. The answer is nevertheless simple. Keanu Reeves pleases the general public who pay to go to see him in the cinema. From Speed to The Matrix, Reeves is called a "bankable" star, that is to say capable of generating money for the Box Office. In Street Kings, his new film, he plays a police officer in Los Angeles: a widower who is implicated in the murder of another cop. He will break all the rules to try to find the real culprits. He's forced to go against the police culture - in which he spent his career immersed - in order to find the real culprits. Street Kings was written by thriller-master James Ellroy, the author of, among others, LA Confidential, Dark Blue, The Black Dahlia and White Jazz.

Ramzy: Hi, Keanu. Watching this film, I felt like I'd been transported back 15 years. We find in Street Kings all the energy of Speed. And furthermore, you've not changed at all, physically.

Keanu Reeves: Thank you. That's nice.

Ramzy: No, seriously. One realizes that your career is linear, constant, and free of error. But I guess it's not that easy, right?

Keanu Reeves: It's not easy to ensure a career. I hope to stay on track for what is to come. Yes, from Speed to Street Kings, time has passed. How can I sum it up? I've had the chance to make films that have impacted the public, and I hope I shall continue to do so. But I don't know if you noticed that in Speed, I ran everywhere; in Street Kings, I let the young people do the running. I run by car. You see, I'm a little older and a little wiser ... (laughs ...)

Ramzy: Precisely. Now that you're into your forties, are you always so hard with yourself? Always so alone and mysterious? What has changed?

Keanu Reeves: I run less, but I know which direction I'm running in, if you know what I mean. Before, I walked round and round (laughter). Today, it's a much more fascinating, completely different kind of running. With age, I can now bring my own life experience to bear on my roles. I think that I tend towards characters like the one that I play in Street Kings. It's not necessarily that I'm now exploring the "dark" side of the human condition, but that there's more maturity in my acting, more emotion.

Ramzy: You're still a workaholic?

Keanu Reeves: Work is still very important to me, but it's no longer a priority. Family, friends, my health ... that's what's important.

Ramzy: Los Angeles is one of the main characters in Street Kings. You were born in Lebanon, you grew up in Canada and you came here to LA to make movies (at 20). What's your relationship with the city of Los Angeles?

Keanu Reeves: L.A. is a changing city that's constantly reinventing itself. I've always lived here. I bought a house in West Hollywood. Every time I shoot outside Los Angeles, as soon as I come back, everything's changed. It's the peculiarity of this city. I love L.A.: the ocean, trees, climate. This town is steeped in history, but at the same time, it evolves. I'm happy to live through all its transitions.

Ramzy : Well, I come to your acting. You've always refused to talk about your approach to your characters and your acting technique. So I'll give two examples: on one side, Burt Lancaster was rather favorable towards intellectual analysis of a character. On the other, Kirk Douglas had an instinctive approach towards roles, assuming he simply needed to let himself go to get into character and enjoy the acting. What do you think?

Keanu Reeves: They're both right. I belong to both schools. I assume that a film must firstly entertain, but it should also leave room for debate. My job as an actor is to show the transformation of the character, both inside and outside. Whatever facet I reveal has to make the viewer react. He can identify with my character, his evolution, his journey. Even if it's the simple pleasure of seeing this character save lives and play the hero. As long as it causes a reaction, that's all that matters.

Ramzy: What are the roles that interest you today? Those you haven't played yet, of course. Any kind of cinema in particular?

Keanu Reeves: Musicals. I'd like to sing and dance (laughs).

Ramzy: Are you serious?

Keanu Reeves: Why not? But that would mean that I have to write the musical myself. Because there hasn't yet been any written for me.

Ramzy: You sing well?

Keanu Reeves: I don't know. Maybe. You saw Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd? It's awesome. I'll try to find my own voice. (laughs)

Ramzy: We can't leave without mentioning The Matrix. Looking back from now, what has this trilogy represented for you, both professionally and personally?

Keanu Reeves: It will remain one of the highlights of my life. What an experience, these films were! They were the hardest thing I've ever had to work on. One of my best performances too. I don't really know if The Matrix has changed my life, but it certainly influenced my choices, whether in my career or in my private life. Every time I think about it, I feel good. It's been 10 years to the day we began to physically get ready for the Matrix, rehearsing fight choreography. The three films are exceptional, and I'm proud to be part of this trilogy.

Ramzy: Keanu Reeves, how do you define yourself? As a great man of action, or a romantic?

Keanu Reeves: A man of action first of all (laughs). In the cinema, if I had to describe myself I would say I can do anything. There are only musicals left. I don't know if I can sing and dance.

Ramzy: Geez ... you want it!

Keanu Reeves: Yes. Hopefully it'll happen, eventually. (Laughs).

Article Focus:

Street Kings


Street Kings , Matrix Reloaded, The , Speed , Matrix, The , Articles Translated from French


Love him. (2014-03-27 00:12:11)
 "I run less, but I know which direction I'm running in, if you know what I mean."
GuestAnakin, (2014-03-28 19:51:52)
 That commercial is awesome. Thanks for posting it. You're awesome too. :)

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