By Iain Blair
Keanu Reeves admits to being a big science
fiction fan, so when offered the chance to play an alien for new movie
"The Day the Earth Stood Still," Reeves said he jumped at it.
But before his fans think the "Matrix" star has signed on for just
another big-budget space flick that is long on action but has little to
say, Reeves wants them to know this remake of a 1951 cult classic
speaks to today's audiences.
The movie is released in U.S. theaters on Friday.
"It's about the world we live in and the destructive nature of man,
so it gives you a lot to think about," Reeves told Reuters. "It's very
Growing up in the 1970s, the Canadian-born Reeves, 44, said he loved
the "Stars Wars" movies and read books like "1984" and "Brave New
World." As an adult, Reeves has always wanted to play characters in
He burst into the limelight in an escapist fantasy, 1989's "Bill
& Ted's Excellent Adventure," as one of two bumbling,
time-traveling teenagers, and throughout his career he has worked in
the genre in films such as "Johnny Mnemonic."
Even love story "The Lake House" had a supernatural element to its
tale about two people living in different time periods who trade
letters dropped into a mailbox.
By far, Reeves' biggest foray into sci-fi was the three "Matrix"
movies in which he portrayed a computer hacker who is suddenly thrust
into the role of being humanity's savior from machines that rule the
world. The trio of blockbusters raked in more than $1.6 billion in
global ticket sales.
But Reeves calls his new "The Day the Earth Stood Still" more than a standard sci-fi film.
"It's also a suspense drama, and it hopes to entertain in a "lets-go-to-the-movies-and-eat-popcorn way," he said.
PANIC AND FEAR
As in the original "The Day the Earth Stood Still," humans react
with panic and terror when an alien craft lands in New York and an
alien Klaatu (Reeves), backed up by the towering, indestructible
robotic figure of Gort, emerges to warn people and world leaders that
the planet is facing a crisis.
Klaatu has come to Earth to judge whether or not humans should
continue to exist because of their harmful effect on the other animal
life on the planet.
"Of course, the welcome committee don't exactly help the human cause as they immediately shoot him," laughs Reeves.
But he noted that his version of Klaatu is different than in 1951
because this new version is more sinister, and is both a judge of
humanity and its executioner.
Reeves said a key aim of the film is to explore human nature and how people react in a time of crisis.
The message, he said, is that "when we are faced with a crisis, we can change for the better."
Despite being one of Hollywood's most successful leading men, Reeves
has managed to remain an elusive, even enigmatic presence in a town
where scandals and 24/7 tabloid coverage are seen as badges of honor.
"I'm a very private person and I like to lead a pretty low-key
lifestyle," admits Reeves. "I don't go out of my way for the whole
partying scene -- though I did have my phases back in the early '90s.
But I've grown up since then."
He also admits to being "a bit of a loner, at least some of the
time...I'm really happy getting on a motorcycle and just riding alone
across France like I did last summer. No one bothered me and I had a
source : http://www.reuters.com/