( the characters -1- )

Alex - Jonathan | John C. - Martin | Matt - Winston

Alex Wyler

Receiver of Awesome Postal Service
The Lake House (2006)

Distinguishing Feature:Eight kids, none of whom look like him. Not.
What He Taught Us:This can't be happening...

(Anakin McFly:) Generally a nice guy of the sort that tend to pop up in romance films: friendly, understanding, caring and kind, but also the sort who are doomed to fairly boring lives. At least, the kind of boring lives that can be had while living in a house with a time travelling mailbox. Those things are cool. I want one.

He would probably make a good father. And his kids would probably all have more interesting lives than his.

I shall stop knocking the poor chap now.


(LuxuriantN:) To me, Alex is living someone else's life. He is going through the motions because he hasn't yet found the direction he wants to take. Desperate not to be like the father he both respects and despises, he is resisting the path that his life seems set to follow if he does nothing to change it.

His character seems pretty selfish initially - he manages to totally disregard the obvious infatuation of his office assistant as well as the needs of an ageing father who doesnt know how to change. He also seems oblivious to the pain his brother goes through due to the distance between Alex and his father.

His attraction to Kate comes about due to her unattainability IMO. Alex is a person in longing and being unable to have her fits into his expectation of life, after all - he wants his mother back, as well as the father he thought he had as a boy (which is why the picture in the book is so painful for him - he realises that his father WAS the man he wanted him to be IMO).

The arrival of the dog begins a period of re-awakening for Alex of needs that he has supressed for years as well as the end of a period of mourning - both for his deceased mother and for the father he thought was lost to him.


(lefty10:) When I watched The Lake House for the second time, I was more touched by the story between Alex and his father. Alex did not actually want to forgive his father although he said he had tried. He never stopped resenting his father for his ignorance of his beloved mother, especially her death. Although he still respected him and talked to him, the emotional communication was cautiously hidden. His father always loved Alex. Even though a gap was hard to come across, they shared the same strong loving for architecture and the same incredible talent. I even feel the father loved Alex more than Henry because Alex was more like him. But his father was much more aggressive in personality. Career was placed ahead of family in his heart. He did not show emotions easily. Alex knew but refused to accept it.

When the father had a heart attack and stayed in the hospital, he was still passionate about the architecture. When Alex answered the question about lighting and building, he showed obvious appreciation and was very proud. He was excited to talk about his life-long understanding of architecture and nature. At the moment, Alex was willing to look at his father with a different perspective. When he received the book from Kate and saw the old picture of father and son, he finally understood his father and was motivated to grasp a chance for his love with Kate.


(Alejandro Agresti [director]:) He's trying to go beyond things that his father has predetermined for him, in life and in his profession.


(stellala:) Alex is less a three-dimensional character than the ideal lover. He is beautiful, sensitive, talented, smart, sensual, financially secure, and faithful. He falls in love after a series of letters, a single dance and a kiss. He is faithful to the kiss: he waits four years for Kate, and he'd probably wait forever. He has the required prestigious but difficult background, as he's had his Kerouac days and horrific family problems. His dad, however, is a world-famous architect and Alex and his brother eventually move into a posh office in Chicago. A good match for Kate the physician. A good match for anyone.

So...he's pretty, sensitive, talented, and well-to-do and absolutely faithful. What more can any woman want?

Bob Arctor

Occasionally Answers to 'Fred'
A Scanner Darkly

Age:Early 30s
Occupation:Undercover narcotics officer
Distinguishing Feature:Animated fellow.
What He Taught Us:There is no sheep.
(Anakin McFly:) Still trying to hold his life together as his mind slowly breaks down, angry at the system and the inhumaness of the almost-robotic people who run society.

Chris Townsend

Records of Permanence
Permanent Record (1988)

Age:Late teens
Distinguishing Feature:Meh.
What He Taught Us:Suicide = not good. Unless you write nice happy songs that your friends can sing to be happy again.


Conor O'Neill

Provider of Good Pizza
Hardball (2001)

Occupation:Unemployed; sometime children's baseball coach
Distinguishing Feature:Really cool leather jacket.
What He Taught Us:The most important thing in life is showing up.

(Anakin McFly:) Twitchy guy, just trying to deal with life, hardened by circumstances and forced into situations he'd rather not be in, only to find himself incapable of getting out of them. He's always on edge, perhaps because he can't afford the luxury to be otherwise; he doesn't have the freedom to relax. He has too many problems of his own - addictions, mostly, with gambling, smoking, all these ensnaring him, and the only thing he knows how to do is to go along with them for the time being, because he's already got too many other things to deal with, and these are the ways he escapes temporarily from harsh reality, even though he knows at the back of his mind that they're only making things worse - one day he will have to pay.

Somewhere in him there's a good person, but that's since been buried under layers of cynicism and too many disappointments in life. He's been hurt once too often; it's made him defensive, untrusting, and filled with a repressed anger that all too often ends up being directed at himself, the only one he knows how to blame without consequence. Beaten up by the world and by his own hand, he's just trying to survive, nothing more, and maybe have things get better somewhere along the way, although he's more or less resigned himself to how it never will - last flickers of hope flaming up temporarily with each new bet, hoping that the next one will be his way out and into a better life, only to die again and find him sunken even further in the hole he finds it increasingly hard to get out of. Yet there's something in him that refuses to give up, stubbornly and determinedly persistent in continuing the fight, on and on even if it kills him.

(Keanu Reeves:) I took the part because I just enjoy the journey that Conor takes. This guy was so far down, as a gambler, a scalper and a hustler. I liked Conor because for all his hustling and scalping he has respect and a good heart. There was this inherent goodness to the character, even if he may not like himself all that much. He has a lot of self-loathing ... but he can be redeemed.

I liked Conor because he is transformed and that scene in the church where you see and hear his realization, and how he developed a greater appreciation for life and became a better person for it, that excited me as an actor. He's kind of trapped, and I think that's one of the reasons why, if you do respond to the piece, you might root for him. He's a guy who is so damaged, so full of self-loathing, and he finds something inside of himself where he thought he had nothing.

He wasn't a bad man. You honestly like my character Conor despite all of his failings. He gambles. He scalps tickets outside the United Center. But the minute he's forced to get on that field and be with those kids, he likes them. He respects the kids. And he doesn't talk down to them. All of a sudden, you see a man with a good heart. And I like anyone who treats kids with that sort on inherent goodness. His humanity made him beautiful.

It's a great part. I had one of my best acting experiences playing that guy.

Cornflakes Guy, The

The Cornflakes Guy
Kellogg's Cornflakes Commercial (1987)

Occupation:The Cornflakes Guy
Distinguishing Feature:He likes cornflakes.
What He Taught Us:I want the best in my life. I want Kellogg's Cornflakes.

(Anakin McFly:) First, a disclaimer: I hate cornflakes, and no one is going to convince me otherwise.

Okay, so the cornflakes guy. Yeah. He doesn't talk; if he does, he has yet to show it. All the guy does is go around laying a table and then - after a surreptitious glance to make sure no one is watching - steals some cornflakes to eat and looks disproportionately blissed out by it. One can only conclude from the resulting expression on his face that cornflakes are what give meaning and purpose to his life; he lives solely for the cornflakes, and he would be nothing without the cornflakes. He probably eats nothing else. Cornflakes is all he needs and all he ever will need, and from that the entire meaning of his existence is pretty much covered.

David Allen Griffin

Possible TV Addict
The Watcher (2000)

Occupation:Serial Killer
Distinguishing Feature:A large number of dead bodies in his vicnity
What He Taught Us:Don't go home alone. Unless you're Kevin McCallister. And even then maybe not.

(Anakin McFly:) The silent observer watching from the shadows, seeing the way the human race goes about its business and perhaps wondering at it in an anthropological sort of way. It fascinates him - people, the way their minds work, the way their feelings and emotions work, the way they can be so easily manipulated and driven to the depths of despair. He likes this control he can have over them, the mind games he can play, which at the same time means a certain dependency - he needs them to provide him with that particular form of entertainment. He plays with people primarily to see their reactions. He doesn't kill out of malice or for any material gain such as money - those are of no importance to him - but for the sake of the act itself. For that final look of fear in their eyes, or resignation, when their true selves are revealed, for the reactions of those who knew the murdered - and for the process itself, the strategy involved, the calculated planning, the execution, each murder perfect in its own way. He does things neatly - no unsightly splatters of blood, strangling would do fine. He keeps things neat. It's just a game.


(Keanu Reeves:) A stylish serial killer - homicidal in Armani and shades.

Don John

Doing nothing much
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

Age:I'm guessing 20s-30s. Google refuses to cooperate.
Occupation:A plain-dealing villain.
Distinguishing Feature:Aura of villany
What He Taught Us:Genetics work in funny ways; brothers can be different colours.

(Anakin McFly:) okay I suck at this.

Donnie Barksdale

Do Not Ask For Presents
The Gift (2000)

That's Not An Occupation:Free your mind...
Distinguishing Feature:Beard.
What If He Shaves?Then we're screwed.
What He Taught Us:Um.

(Anakin McFly:) Angry and confused. The confusion makes him angrier. He doesn't like that.

He likes yelling, though. Volume is always useful in getting points across. Simple-minded fellow. Would be fun to poke with sticks.


(LuxuriantN:) I don't agree that he is angry and confused. This character is very sure that he is right in whatever he says or does. He uses anger to control his enviroment and people around him in a very calculated manner.

I also dont think he 'likes' yelling. He only raises his voice when people who should be doing what he 'told' them, ignore his commands.

He is also far from simple minded. His methods are simplistic (almost neanderthal) but his aims are complex. He manages to control his wife whilst having affairs himself as well as convincing the local police that he is not guilty of harrassing Annie. He also has enough insight to realise just 'how' to scare Annie by tapping into something that he knows she believes in.

He also manages to manipulate his wife into forgiving him for his affair and believing he is innocent as well as convincing her to betray Annie.

Donnie has found that aggression gets him what he wants and I think its a tool he uses, not a part of his character. He also realises that he is hot property for the women in a small town such as his and that his peers look up to him. This has made him arrogant and greedy.


(Anakin McFly:) I haven't watched The Gift, and somehow the couple or so pics I saw of Donnie gave off angry and confused vibes... but anyway. Is he still fun to poke with sticks?


(LuxuriantN:) Yes, I think he would be fun to poke with sticks lol (if you were gonna do it though, I would suggest you make sure your exit is clear).


(Keanu Reeves:) Donnie Barksdale's pretty direct, and he's someone who would use his physical aspect. I always felt that the character, though damaged, had a sincerity to him, and an emotional vulnerability to him. That's the base of what he is. He's emotionally damaged because of suffering something as a kid, and not being able to extricate himself from that consciousness. And I think in the courtroom, he gets a chance. "I swore I'd tell the truth. Yeah, I'm a wife-beater. Yeah, I do that." ... Somehow, humans always kind of relate to the humanity in all our human monsters. ... He gets to show his vulnerability. Frustration. He's getting cross-examined. ... And you see why he resorts to violence. He's out of control. And he wants control, physical control.

This guy knows what he's feeling, knows what he's thinking and he's acting upon it. There's no confusion on his part, though he's ultimately misguided. There was a nice vitality to Donnie Barksdale, and a real freedom to it. I think he's the only character who is uncensored. He's definitely damaged as a person, but he's saying what he thinks, and what he feels.

Donnie's just good people. If you're looking for someone to go fishing with and drink a few beers with, Donnie's your man. It's just that he's shut down all his emotional responses.

Eddie Kasalivich

*insert something clever here... like, er, 'sonoluminescence'. Yep. Hail my very good vocabulary.*
Chain Reaction (1996)

Occupation:Student machinist
Distinguishing Feature:Weird last name.
What He Taught Us:How to spell 'Kasalivich'.

(Keanu Reeves:) He's a kind of a intuitive machinist.

I was attracted to the journey Eddie has to take. He is a young man who has to come to terms with what he is actually participating in by creating this new technology. Suddenly, he finds himself involved with the government and big business. The 'back story' is that he grew up in the steel mills working with his father, who was working tending the mill. He is the kind of a guy who had to fix everything, to maintain everything, and [Eddie] grew up around that. His formal education is a little behind his practical education.

Eddie Talbot

E.T. For Short
Under the Influence (1986)

Age:Late teens
Distinguishing Feature:Angst
What He Taught Us:Um.

(Anakin McFly:) A teen with a good heart, emotionally damaged by his family problems but hiding it and presenting a cheerful facade to the innocent parties, while in private is mired by feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem, and a deep-seated anger at his family that sometimes turns violent.


The Ever Elusive
Providence (1991)

Occupation:No one knows
Distinguishing Feature:Nobody knows who he is. Poor Eric. :(
What He Taught Us:You could have a girlfriend and a really cool motorbike, and people still won't know you exist.

(Anakin McFly:) No one ever cares about Eric. Seriously this guy is the only of Keanu's characters who doesn't have a single photo on any of the three main fansites. This blacked-out silhouette photo thing isn't even of Eric. Or maybe it is. Maybe it's not even a Keanuspawn. Or maybe it is. YOU WILL NEVER KNOW, AND THE MYSTERY SHALL HAUNT YOU TO YOUR GRAVE.

Back to Eric. Poor guy. People don't know he exists. :(


To be or not to be
Hamlet (1995)

As In During the Story: Google claims 29 going on 30.
Occupation:Prince of Denmark
Distinguishing Feature:An extra skull, apart from the one presumably inside his head
What He Taught Us:To be or not to be, that is the question. Sadly, 'Forty-two' doesn't work there either: "To be, or not to be?" "42". See, doesn't work.

(Anakin McFly:) Creation of one dead dude called Bill who was a most excellent writer; speaks funny, though.


Still Alive
The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997)

Distinguishing Feature:A lightning-shaped scar Wrong Harry.
What He Taught Us:Alcohol is nice to drink.

(Keanu Reeves:) Harry was fun to play. He's a good-hearted drunk.

Jack Traven

What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?
Speed (1994)

Occupation:SWAT officer
Distinguishing Feature:Bus. (Sandra Bullock sold separately)
What He Taught Us:Don't go under 50.

(Anakin McFly:) Quiet jock prone to sudden explosions of temper, a person with good intentions but not much ability to properly execute them.


(Keanu Reeves:) I wanted to give my character of Jack Traven some sort of Everyman quality. I wanted him to be good, altruistic, imaginative, experienced in special weapons and tactics. I was more interested in those qualities than in just being another artificial hero. I wanted the SWAT guy I played to be "every-guy," not this hunkster studly, but sort of sensitive.

I dealt with the LAPD before on Point Break, and the thing that came off is their concern for human life: 'We get the bad guys, and we get to save the good guys'. And with that basic tenet I began with Jack.

I like him, because he likes to save lives. I don't know where that impulse comes from. I mean, it's not like being a doctor -- the aspect of being a hero, taking it on, it's not like it's thrust upon you. This guy decided to become a police officer, and I'm sure it started when he was a little boy. He saw a policeman, thought it was such a good thing and he wanted to be a good man. And there's a part of him that enjoys the weapons and enjoys the military tactics. So it is a mixture of his altruism and his desire to be a warrior, wanting to blow things up and come through walls. There's a saying that the good guys get all the best weapons, but in this one he's using his mind and his courage rather than James Bond-devices.

This character lived through peril, [but] he didn't quite have the skills to know himself - to experience life. So Sandra's character pulled that out in him. You saw him smile.

Jesse Walker

Lost Soul
Two Lost Souls (1989)

Age:Late teens
Distinguishing Feature:Er.
What He Taught Us:His mom makes great waffles.

(Anakin McFly:) Energetic, talkative, won't effing shut up, touchy-feely, impulsive and yet still very much a kid.

Jjaks Clayton

The One With the Typo in the Birth Certificate
Feeling Minnesota (1996)

Distinguishing Feature:...His name is Jjaks.
What He Taught Us:How to spell 'Minnesota'.

(LuxuriantN:) I feel Jjaks is the most honorable character in this film. Although initially, he is introduced as the black sheep of a dysfunctional family, he is actually the only one with any honour.

Despite the appalling treatment he put up with his whole life from his brother, he still attends his wedding. His Mother's disappointment at his failure to bring a gift for his brother moments after seeing him again for the first time in ages, sums up his relationship with her.

True, he has sex with his brother's new bride on their wedding day - but anyone who has seen the film will know he wasnt the instigator of this (hilarious)situation.

That is actually a theme repeated throughout the movie - Jjaks being dragged into a set of circumstances to please other people - or having to fight hard to get himself out of sticky situations brought about by others.

The fights between the brothers are very funny...but rather than actually disliking each other, I feel they are simply acting out feelings left over from their childhood and the friction caused between them by their mother. A mother who left them both with emotional burdens.

We come to see that Jjaks is actually the more fortunate one with regard to the relationship with his mother as he has been able to avoid her manipulation most of his life - and is therefore a much more stable adult than his brother.

Jjaks doesnt get any lucky breaks in life - and even his love (lust?) at first sight relationship with Cameron Diaz' character, costs him dearly.

A great film with Keanu at his cutest/funniest. The other performances are fabulous too. Strongly recommended - although I should warn you that those with a slightly left of centre sense of humour will enjoy it the most.


(Keanu Reeves:) He loved his mother and she sent him away. I guess he's just someone with a huge hurt and abandonment and yet he's someone who has become conscious of that somehow and trying to fight his own nature. And yet, he meets this woman who rocks his world and he says to her 'I got a car, I got a car waiting outside' and he goes for it. He's a good hearted man who has a couple of wounds. He was trying to get over the difficulties. I understood 'it feels too good', which is a line that the character says. And the line, 'It'll always turn to shit.' And that's really one of the moments, the backbone of Jjaks. It was cool, because the character tries to get over it. He jumps in.

Jonathan Harker

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Distinguishing Feature:Magical colour-changing hair. And an awesome accent.
What He Taught Us:The ability to recognise vampires is an important one in life. Far more important than, say, trigonometry. Now go tell your maths teachers I said that.

(Keanu Reeves:) Harker is the first yuppie. In a way, he is the perfect Victorian gentleman. An earnest, humble, pure man. He's fun to play.

Alex - Jonathan | John C. - Martin | Matt - Winston