Unknown Source (Russia), December 2008
Keanu Reeves in Russia
(Translated from Russian by Olga of Club-Keanu, translation edited by Anakin McFly)
Keanu Reeves arrived at the capital of Russia on Saturday evening. His guardians met the Matrix star on the stairs of a private aircraft, and accompanied by a five-tinted Mercedes the guest was taken straight to the Ritz Carlton hotel.
It seems that he'll remember the flight for a long time. The crew reported that on the ground there was a strong hurricane wind. Reeves’s aircraft spent nearly an hour circling over the airport in anticipation of landing in Moscow. The actor was very nervous.
Keanu strictly ordered his guardians to protect him from paparazzi. But near the hotel were found people with cameras. The actor wasn’t going to go through the front door; he was offered to take the way through the garage into the posh Presidential room.
There were not any special requirements. Perhaps the only one was that between him and the outside world would be set the tight cordon of an American escort.
The organizers of the visit had mentioned the actor's modesty, who unlike many of his famous colleagues doesn't claim a lot, and has always been perfectly polite with attendants.
Only three times has the actor shown perseverance: when he asked to be taken to a restaurant with real Russian cuisine, to arrange a visit to the museum and to have personal protection provided by the Russian side to keep him at a distance from the people.
On Saturday evening Keanu Reeves has preferred to stay in the hotel. But at noon the next day, the actor decided to walk to the Kremlin accompanied by a retinue of guards. He’s bought a ticket to the museum as an ordinary tourist. Security were worried for nothing! Unshaven, dressed in gray coat and a warm scarf, the Hollywood actor was barely recognizable. When Keanu decided to demonstrate an enviable resistance to cold weather, he took off the coat and went to the Kremlin in the suit.
After the walk, Keanu Reeves returned to the hotel. Half an hour for lunch and then he darted away in his car again. At this time, Reeves had been waiting at a private showing in the cinema for the film October. At the entrance of the cinema, the actor met Dzhanik Faiziev - producer of the films Admiral and The Night Watch. The rumor goes that Keanu Reeves may be one of the candidates for the role of Anton Gorodetsky in the American version of The Night Watch.
But a later interview made it all clear:
Rumor is that you're going to act in the American version of "Night Watch". Is it true?
KR: Ah, this is what has made Timur (Bekamambetov) ... No, it's not true.
On Sunday Reeves visited the collection of Armory and the Diamond Collection. Everyone was surprised that the actor knewRussian history well. Reeves was genuinely surprised at what a polite people live in Moscow. The actor calmly walked from Red Square to the hotel (the security following after him), and on that way he gave a few autographs and even photographed with the passers-by.
Reeves had a dinner in the restaurant, located in one of the top floors of the Academy of Sciences. The table was filled with black caviar, fish dishes, sterlet and lamprey. The actor is a big fan of wine, so he started the evening with it although he couldn’t refuse Russian vodka. However, the pair of small glasses were enough for the whole dinner.
In his free time, Reeves watched the film Admiral with English subtitles. Reeves enjoyed the film, and for the hour his face remained pensive.
Photosurveying of Reeves was prohibited everywhere. Journalists were permited about twenty minutes for the photo session before the press conference, but the actor didn't stand for three minutes.
He leads a secluded life and he is not very fond of the press. We know that in interviews, which are very rare, he comes in threadbare jeans, shaggy and gloomy. Today, everything was different.
Keanu Reeves: In fact, all that's not quite true. I'm usually collected when going to meet with reporters. But in life, I'm quite relaxed on the contrary. Just that today, I felt that for some reason I had to wear a tie. That's all.
Several conditions had been set for Russian journalists by the organizers of Keanu Reeves’s visit. Television was not allowed to work with their camera crews.
The interview with the actor had been filmed by specially hired operators and journalists have received only a video recording.
Derrickson talked about the talent of Keanu Reeves, about how he is very disciplined and ductile. He can convey his sentiments with one gesture at times when other actors would need words.What Keanu Reeves did in Moscow, who he communicated with and where he was are all secrets. But sometimes people recognised him and shouted, "Hi!"
Keanu Reeves, actor: Unfortunately I only got to see Moscow. There are very lovely people there. Indeed, when you work, you don't have enough free time. I walked down the street, and toured the Kremlin; I bought a ticket as a normal visitor. It was simply brilliant. It's a pity that I only got to see a little of it. But what I saw was very pleasant.
You have extensive experience of working in science-fiction films. What was the most difficult thing in being on the film set?
I had to learn a few phrases in Chinese - it was funny. But in fact it was difficult to play the absolute confidence in my legitimacy, to carry that through the entire movie, and then change myself.
Mr Reeves, how is Moscow? Is it cold here?
I have in my luggage everything I need for it. After Moscow, I’ll immediately fly to Madrid and warm myself there.
Have you visited museums? Did you like them?
I really liked the exhibition reflecting the rule of Catherine II. I was full of admiration!
What do you think about Russian cuisine?
You know, now it'll become one of my favorites. I've heard a lot about it, but I never thought that it would be so delicious. Even your vodka! Now I will drink it, not only in restaurants! I'm kidding!
Your three pictures - "The Matrix," "Constantine" and the latest, "The Day the Earth Stood Still," are all about an alternative development of history. Which one do you think is closest to the truth?
Wow, what a question! The most truthful situation, of course, is in the last one. This movie tells of the impact of humankind on other species. This situation is just terrible - the idea is, first and foremost, that humankind is at a crossroads.
What are your own thoughts on this - is mankind deserving of life on Earth or not?
Certainly, yes. While there is the problem of wars, the world crisis and environmental pollution, we deserve to live in this world - as in the movie, I believe that we also have another side.
What do you think about the history of the real world?
The real story is very interesting: the possibilities - that's the world's history. You are involved in the idea of what happened, and you have your own interpretation of what happened. So, I think the real story - this is what has happened.
Your character in the movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still" is this creature without emotion. How difficult was it to play a man without emotions, and, in fact, not a human?
It was fascinating to think about and play such a character. And so it was interesting that when I played this role, I had to maintain a neutral expression, looking at people without emotion. In addition, it was necessary to introduce some sinister elements in this character, so it was very curious.
For the most part, characters that you have played are serious people. Don't you feel that filmmakers typecast you based on one selected image and use you as a sort of bait?
Well, certainly not. Have you watched Mike Mills' movie "Thumbsucker "? There I played a completely different person, and I think that we can't say that my characters resemble each other. Of course, the other films are more popular and, in a commercial sense, more successful. Such pictures as "Thumbsucker" are not for everyone, and therefore the impression is that they all are the same. But in fact, I try to maintain a balance.
What will you remember most of all in Russia?
First of all Russia is interesting for its own history. I was only in Moscow, but this is a very unique city. Without doubt, the girls are very beautiful. Russian movies ... - I would like to act in a Russian movie. Yesterday I watched "9th Troop" and "Admiral". They are very nice movies.
Playing in a movie, do you have a prediction about its success?
Honestly, no. If I am interested in the project I agree to filming it, but whether it will be successful or not, I can't predict that. Apropos about the "Matrix" - I didn't expect that this would come - people just got enthusiastic over the idea. So from here you can only hope.