Keanu Reeves was told to 'be more Keanu-y' as voice of 'Keanu' cat
by Carly Mallenbaum
If Keanu Reeves is interested in voicing the cat character named Keanu in your movie, you let him. At least Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, the stars and producers of action-comedy Keanu, believe that's how it should go: Part of their movie was rewritten to make room for the actor, who was a late-add to the production.
At the Los Angeles premiere of Keanu Wednesday night, Peele (who cowrote the movie with Alex Rubens) said he wanted the dialogue written especially for Reeves to have an impact.
"You definitely wanted to do very Matrix-y, iconic lines, like (the Point Break quote) 'I am an FBI agent.' We don't have Keanu say that, but (we wanted) things that you hear once, but are stuck with you..."
"... you never forget 'em," said Key, finishing Peele's thought on the red carpet. "You know, good lines, like 'Be excellent to each other' (from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure) that are stuck in the fabric of society."
To help Reeves deliver a memorable vocal performance, Peele said the actor was given some funny direction.
"For the record, we did have to tell Keanu (Reeves), 'Can you do it a little more Keanu-y? Keanu Reeves it up!' And he did."
The cat only had one voice, but Keanu was played by about seven cats (or eight, as actress and cat-adopter Tiffany Haddish told us). Three of the "cat actors" as Peele refers to them, were from the same litter. After the cats got too big, however, new kittens from an animal shelter were cast. Of course, not all of the cats looked exactly the same... so paw makeup was used.