‘Sad’ Keanu Reeves doesn’t disappoint at TIFF
by Marc Weisblott
These days, Keanu Reeves has an image to live up to. The kind that leads to Photoshop tributes to the 46-year-old actor slouching around in public, looking sad.
So, at his Tuesday morning Toronto International Film Festival press conference for the new thriller "Henry's Crime," he exhibited as little enthusiasm as possible.
Prodded by local reporters to feed them a decent soundbite about Toronto, his hometown from ages 6 to 21, Reeves wasn't too interested in playing along. A question about whether he has any rituals when returning to the city was too condescending for his tastes, although he noted the changes in his old Yorkville neighbourhood since leaving for Hollywood in the mid-1980s.
What about returning to give a boost to the domestic film industry?
Reeves reacted like he never gave much thought to the idea before. "I don't have any Canadian agenda," he said.
Certainly, he has never dwelled on those Toronto roots after making a breakthrough in the 1986 teen drama "River's Edge."
A woman from Barrie, Ont., recently alleged Reeves was the father of her four twenty-something children, forcing him to submit a DNA test despite claiming to have never met her, but the paternity suit was thrown out in January on grounds that any trial would be "a waste of judicial resources."
This week, Reeves answered a question about whether he'd consider a third 20-years-later sequel to the "Bill and Ted" time-travel comedies. "If they come up with a good script and there's a worthwhile story," he told QMI Agency reporter Kevin Williamson, "it would be fun to play him at 50."
When promoting his latest film alongside co-stars James Caan and a very pregnant Vera Farmiga, though, Reeves wouldn't surrender any thoughts for the sake of nostalgia. No, he is not interested in re-watching "The Matrix" series, although he would gladly re-watch Caan's role in "The Godfather."
"Henry's Crime" concerns a toll booth employee inadvertently caught up in a foiled bank robbery, leading him to serve three years for a crime he did not commit, which leads the character to rationalize stealing from the bank after the fact. The movie was co-written by Sacha Gervasi, director of "Anvil! The Story of Anvil," about the Toronto heavy metal band whose U.K. premiere was hosted by Reeves.
Filming partly took place in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls, N.Y. area last December, bringing some needed Hollywood excitement to the region, and Reeves happily accommodated all autograph and picture-seeking fans.
Subsequently, the image of "Sad Keanu" originated with a June photo from British agency Splash News, which showed a scruffy Reeves contemplating a sandwich on a park bench. Based on the viral popularity of the image, and a string of creative manipulations collected at SadKeanu.com, paparazzi have spent the summer chasing down more photos of the actor in an introspective mood.
Splash News triumphed on Sept. 2 with pictures of Reeves sitting outside a New York City prop warehouse on his birthday. A cupcake with a solitary candle rested by his side.
Sad Keanu might have foiled them on his visit to Toronto, however, given he found at least one unidentified woman (Note: It's producer Lemore Syvan. - Ani) to hang out with.