Jordan Peele on ‘Keanu’: ‘It Looks Like Michael Mann Made a Comedy’
by Dave McNary
Cats were the dominant theme at Wednesday’s Los Angeles premiere for New Line’s comedy “Keanu” at the Cinerama Dome.
“Cats are everything,” asserted Jordan Peele on the red carpet. “Kittens are the cutest thing in the world but they’re also predators inside. There’s a bad animal in there. It makes it the perfect spirit animal for this movie with the duality of the action and comedy.”
Keanu is the name of the spirit animal for the action-comedy, starring the ‘Key and Peele’ duo. The duo also produced and Peter Atencio directed from a script by Peele and Alex Rubens.
Trainer April Mackin explained on the carpet, while toting a feline, that the shoot required the use of seven different kittens.
“They grow so quickly when they’re young that we had to adopt enough so that he would look like the same cat in the movie,” said Mackin, who works at Birds and Animals Unlimited. “And we were able to find homes for all seven.”
Keegan-Michael Key noted that the comedy needed to have a realistic look and feel, much like the action-comedies of his youth.
“It’s rougher and more grounded and more real than I thought it was going to be,” he mused. “It looks like Michael Mann made a comedy. It harkens back to films that Jordan and I hold near and dear like ’48 Hours,’ ‘Tango & Cash’ and ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ where the comedy is funny but the bullets are real.”
Key credited director Atencio with getting the maximum action out of the script. “Those scenes with the kitten running through the warehouse filled with cocaine feel real and dangerous,” he added.
For his part, Atencio said, “I’m amazed at the stunts that you can get a cat to do.”
Darrell Britt-Gibson, who plays the gangster “Trunk,” made no apologies for being a cat lover: “I’m going to be that cat guy who has 100 cats.”
The post-screening bash was held at Lure. “Keanu,” the opening film at South by Southwest last month, hits theaters Friday.