Keanu, and the anguish over his new film's whitewashing uproar
by Emiko Ishigami
(Translated from Japanese to Romanian to English, merged with a translation from Japanese to Chinese to English. Content may be inaccurate.)
In the new thriller "Exposed", Keanu Reeves plays a cop from the New York Police Department who braves personal danger to expose shocking truths. Reeves accepted a telephone interview where he openly speaks about the controvery aroused by the film, frequently reported on by foreign media.
The film follows the challenges faced by a policeman, played by Keanu, in the course of the lengthy investigations he embarks on alone based on a series of photographs left behind by his murdered colleague. "I thought that it was a very ambitious project. It's a story based in reality but with fantastical elements, and a lot of pathos and suffering, which attracted me," the actor says regarding his acceptance of the offer after reading the script.
Over the past few years, Keanu has ventured into the role of producer. That was the case with this film, but he says that "I think I wasn't up to the task this time. Unfortunately. I tried to help the director, and I worked hard. Funds had to be raised and another producer - Robin Garland, who was closer to the director - was involved with that. I was more of an outsider. But I still wanted to support the director."
In fact, the reason why director Gee Malik Linton took to his soapbox in anger was that the film's editing wasn't happening to his satisfaction, protesting that he wanted to remove his name from the credits so as not to put his reputation at stake. Finally, the dispute was resolved by crediting the film to Declan Dale, a pseudonym. Director Linton originally intended to have the film follow the Latin protagonist and her Dominican family, highlighting the themes of violence against women and the atrocities of mass incarceration and police brutality against the black and Latino communities. In the final edit, however, Keanu was made the hero of the movie, raising many accusations of Hollywood 'whitewashing' and turning the film into a target of criticism.
Finding himself at the heart of the dispute, Keanu talks about the contractual obligations with the film's financial sponsors. "It was a very difficult situation. They wouldn't give us the funds unless we dropped the Spanish dialogue. We were out of time and money. I (We?) did everything I could, but ultimately disappointed the director (Ed: "Or the director was disappointed in the end"; or "I did everything I could, but it was the director who was ultimately disappointed"; translation unclear.) He was really very disappointed and didn't want his name attached to the film."
On the other hand, as Keanu's fans will definitely notice, this film features a particular attraction: Ana de Armas, who in 2015's Knock Knock played a beautiful woman who ruins his character's life. At 51, Keanu would find himself increasingly co-starring with younger actors, which makes us wonder if he feels responsible for them. Keanu denies this, humbly saying, "The young actors I've worked with are very good, including Ana. So, no. (laughs). Ana is a very talented actress."
The heroine, played by Ana, experiences incredible paranormal phenomena one after the other. Keanu calmly shares: "As a child, I thought there were ghosts. As an adult I've felt a strange presence in some buildings. I believe it's possible that spirits exist."