Reeves hits deck—many times— before filming shifts to the falls
by Tom Buckham
In less than 24 hours, at the same downtown intersection, Keanu Reeves went from bank robbery suspect to traffic accident victim.
Rather, his character in “Henry’s Crime” endured the plot twist during scenes filmed Wednesday and Thursday at Main and West Huron streets.
Most of Thursday’s activity centered on the staged accident, in which a car driven by co-star VeraFarmiga— making her debut in the Buffalo shoot — strikes Reeves as he crosses the Metro Rail tracks at the intersection on foot.
A stuntman set up the sequence, but when director Malcolm Venville signaled “action,” it was the leading man himself who bounced off the fender and fell to the cold, cold pavement in 20-degree weather. Not once but a dozen times, according to an unofficial tally of the number of takes required to get the scene just right.
It may be only a movie, but being knocked down repeatedly was considered risky enough for Reeves that Dr. Lou Irmish and Buffalo firefighters were on standby.
Though Reeves “really hit the deck pretty good,” as one gawker watching from a distance put it, he got back on his feet unassisted.
As the scene unfolds, Farmiga, who is talking on a cell phone when her car hits Reeves, gets out to see if he’s injured — while still jabbering away on the phone.
The episode leads to romance, and the story shifts to Niagara Falls, where Reeves and Farmiga spend their first date conversing at Prospect Point with the famous waterfalls in the background.
That part was shot Thursday night using banks of high-intensity lights trucked in from Toronto to supplement the powerful multi-colored beams that normally illuminate the falls from the Canadian side.
After the filming of another sequence in Kenmore’s Jinlan Chinese restaurant, local production of “Henry’s Crime” is expected to wrap up today at the former Marine Trust bank vault in the Main-Seneca Building.
Metro Rail service, which was suspended between the Fountain Plaza and Church Street stations for several hours Wednesday and Thursday to make way for the filming, will return to normal today.