accessible’, fawned one fashion mag euphemistically: in short, Keanu wasn’t at the front of the queue when the brains were handed out. Consequently, the cap of ‘mature leading man’ sits awkwardly atop Reeves’ seemingly empty head. ‘Hollywood’s Grooviest Airhead’, ran one headline recently.
Ofthe Mickey Rourke, Harley-riding school ofstreetpunk credibility (his favourite words are ‘man’, ‘wow’, and ‘fuck’), Keanu freelances as bassist in a ‘new wave’ band and makes Emo Phillips sound like a newsreader. “I’m a meathead. I can’t help it, man,’ he admits. Associates joke about Reeves’s social ineptness: in a Hollywood circus where you are who you’re with. Keanu’s a non-starter. Though his opposite in Point Break, Lori Petty, claims that he’s ‘a very good kisser’, the raffish one’s name has not ‘been linked with’ any female ofTinseltown note. Rumours ofa ﬂing with Paula Abdul (in whose latest video; Reeves appeared) were vehemently denied 5 by the songstress. ‘But his intelligence and charm . . . hold the screen,’ protests director Bigelow, though her opinion is by no means universally shared in Hollywood; critics gripe that Reeves repeatedly plays a sanitised version of himself in his films, which certainly makes his forthcoming role as public-school-accent-with-cravat Jonathan Harker in Coppola’s version Ofthe Dracula story a tantalising prospect. ‘He’s got a magical ability to put the audience in his back-pocket’, Bigelow continues, loyally.
Judging by his off-screen image — out-to- lunch dissipation. punk sneer and Byronic sullenness— the audience isn’t the only thing you might find in Reeves’s back-pocket. He admits to having dabbled in mind-altering substances in the past: they seem to have worked. Filming of Point Break was reputedly held up for three weeks whilst Keanu ‘sorted himselfout’. When Channel 4’s. Amanda De Cadenet (no great shakes in the cerebral field herself) ‘interviewed’ our hero for The Word. the poor gel stood bewildered as he delivered an excruciating . mystic monologue that made Allen : Ginsberg’s Howl read like a sewing-machine : manual. Certifiably mad. wearing ludicrous
lamb-chop whiskers. Reeves raved on.
HE'S A FUN GUY: in Bill and Ted's BogusJoumey
HE’S VULNERABLE: in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
But how important are brains anyway? Let’s face it. Errol Flynn and Clark Gable didn’t pick up too many astrophysics
degrees, and James Dean couldn’t even read '
a Slow Down sign. Reeves undeniably has other, more basic. attributes. His acting, in the entertaining FBI adventure tale, Point Break, is passable and he may even turn out to be impressive in My Own Private Idaho, when he at last manages to shrug offthe clean-cut image he’s been saddled with on screen. And, he’s “maturing ve~ry nice-ly. girls’, as one female journalist drooled recently. At the moment this is plenty, although that fact might serve as an indication ofjust how desperate the search has been for the face that fits the New Age icon. Keanu Reeves might just have that face but, then again. nowadays any dream will do. and Keanu is certainly as ‘dreamy’ as the next guy, in a euphemistic kind ofway.
Point Break goes on general release on 22 November. Bill and Ted ’5 Boguslourney and My Own Private Ida/to are due for release early in the New Year.
HE'S A GAY LOVER: in My Own Private Idaho
‘l’m a meathead. I can’t help it, man.’
‘l’m so glad l’ve hallucinated. I think that’s one of the most beautiful things. Isn’t it one of the most amazing things?’
‘I remember being little and grabbing my father’s linger . . . And then I tlashed after I’d eaten acid. “My God, l’mtaller than dad!” Weird. Beautiful. Heavy.’
‘l’m the worst bass-player in the world. I have no rhythm.’
‘I love dirt and earth and tuckin’ ﬂowers and big skies and the desert.’
‘I’m not tamous, man. lplayed Ted—that’s it.’
‘l’m a homebody. I don’t get invited to much, man.’
‘I would really like to do Shakespeare with River (Phoenix). lthink we’d have a hoot’
The List 22 November - 5 December 1991 7