Keanu Reeves interview
There will always be a question about River and Keanu. When I saw the film in January of I thought, "Oh my god! River just told Keanu. When the controversial film My Own Private Idaho began production, the word around Hollywood was that Phoenix convinced the recalcitrant Keanu Reeves to . Keanu Reeves has always been one of Hollywood's least Private Idaho, sources say the late River Phoenix developed a crush on Keanu.
In June, when his father Sam was jailed in his native Hawaii for 10 years for supplying cocaine and heroin, Keanu refused to help him and swore never to talk to the year-old drifter again. Chinese-Hawaiian Sam has not seen his son for 17 years, following a bitter divorce from Keanu's English mother, Patricia.
His Speed co-star Sandra Bullock says: He definitely has a past that hurts. There's a sadness in his eyes, and you want to ask: From his cell in Halava Correctional Institute, a penitent Sam says: I hope we can be reconciled one day, so I can explain why he didn't have a father as a young boy. My actions never victimised anyone," he told a judge.
Sam's friends, near his humble prefab house in Pahoa, Hawaii, confirm he never told them Keanu was his son, and even in jail he hid the information from inmates for two years until it leaked out from other sources. Keanu's cousin, Leslie, claims Sam tried to wheedle money from him some years ago, but this is denied by the actor's Hawaiian grandmother, Momilani, who says: But then Keanu has not been a good grandson. He makes no effort to contact me.
His behaviour while playing a junkie male prostitute in My Own Private Idaho caused concern. He was even quoted as saying: It made him cautious, and later that year, when Twentieth Century Fox came calling to enlist him for a Speed sequel, he made other plans.
You guys will send me to the bottom of the ocean and I will not make it back up again.
I've never heard anyone outside DL accuse Keanu Reeves of being gay
I really felt like I was fighting for my life. The role he played, of course, was Hamlet. As a result, Reeves was effectively blacklisted by Fox for more than a decade, only working with the studio again in the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, which was hardly worth the wait.
So would Reeves make the same decision again, in the full knowledge of how things would pan out? That was a whole, 'Hey, kid, this is what happens in Hollywood: I said no to the number two and I never worked with the studio again! Keanu Reeves in 'John Wick' Credit: The setting is present-day New York City, spattered in streetlit, Sidney Lumet grit, but its style is pure Seventies Hong Kong, with surgically steady-handed camerawork, a ripened sense of mischief, and the kind of limber, elegant combat that brings to mind names like Kelly and Astaire rather than Stallone and Schwarzenegger.
The directors, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, are martial artists and fight choreographers: The moment Reeves read the John Wick script, he sent it to the pair, who he knew were looking for something to direct: What was in it for Reeves is slightly more complicated. But what drew him to the character, he says, was his sadness. Actually, I met Keanu through my ex-girlfriend Martha [Plimpton] while they were doing Parenthood—they were sucking face regularly.
My brother, Joaquin [Phoenix], otherwise known as Leaf, was also in it. So, Leaf and Martha were his buddies before I was even a friend of his. And I liked the guy. I wanted to work with him. Yeah, but in the Shakespeare world, Prince Hal turned out to be a good king. To avoid eternal strife he gets into these wars.
All the dukes and lords were pretty happy because men were going off to die for a noble cause and people were being fed. But in Idaho, Scott is not connected to the people.
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He just dogs everybody and goes his own way. In the end, his father was perhaps very compassionate and concerned. Were you concerned at all that Mike speaks in street vernacular throughout the film, whereas Scott goes in and out of Shakespearean verse?
Did you think your switch in speech might seem jarring, Keanu? The Shakespeare stuff was an aspect of the script. Gus said it was something to do and think about it. So that was my game. It just seemed challenging and interesting to me. I was afraid of it not working.
Keanu's gay lifestyle
No, for the entire film. I felt we needed to be very clear on how we set up the transition scenes between the mock Shakespeare stuff and the docu-drama stuff.
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It was important to organize our thoughts and to support Gus stylistically. You were looking through the camera a lot more than me. The thing I like so much about Gus and his work is his compassion.
Mala Noche just ripped my heart out. Was that theme important to you in deciding to do this film? Oh, not for me. I have really strong feelings about the search for home and mother. I thought it was very, very touching. You just knew that someone who could come up with this premise would have something to back it with in terms of knowledge and experience. What was it like working with Gus as a person—living in his house, on location, and so on?
Gus just has those qualities that we all need to get back. Just being a kid. He was very collaborative, completely wide open. It was like a family operation—co-op style. How did you two manage on the set? Every morning, Matt [Ebert, production assistant] woke us up by singing show tunes. I was always there, prompt and ready.
But he had to drag me by the ear down to the van. Yeah, Keanu would wait downstairs with his script in hand, ready to get I the van, and I would be upstairs fumbling for my clothes, although I usually sleep with my clothes on. I have no clue. The movie starts in Portland, moves to Idaho, then to Italy.
The campfire scene was definitely a combination of Keanu and me working together off-set, fucking around with improv, talking about our characters. Getting deeper into it, we discovered a lot about our relationship within the film, and by the time we were ready to shoot the last scene in the States, we had enough insight to go a hell of a lot deeper than the script every told us it would.
There was a lot of deep love [in the film]. But because we shot in sequence, we were watching the film unfold before us, and when that scene cam around we could just, like, ad-lib it.