CONSTANTINE - Q&A with Keanu Reeves
Keanu, can you tell us a bit about John Constantine.
Well the film itself has got a real original feel to me. It's not really like one particular kind of film - it's kind of a supernatural thriller, kind of like a hard-boiled film noir. Basically you're following this man who is going to die, he's condemned to hell and he's trying find a way to not go to hell. And he's an exorcist, trying to do good deeds to convince the man upstairs to give him a break but it's not working and as he's trying to find a way out he comes across this plot of these forces who are trying to get hell on Earth. His journey kind of coincides with stopping this.
In the comic books John is blond and from Liverpool - were you ever tempted to reach for the peroxide and try your best scouse accent?
When I came to the project I wasn't familiar with the comic books so I'd had no reference and then once read the script, really loved it, thought it was great. I went to the material and found out that he was English and blonde. But it had already been so done so the thing that was important to me was keeping the spirit of Constantine, this sort of hard edged, word weary, cynical kind of guy with an attitude - he doesn't like the way the world works but he's doing the best he can so that was what was important to me. I hope that the fans of the comic will accept that we kept the spirit, what I call 'Keeping the Constantine in Constantine.'
Have you had any feedback from the hardcore Hellblazer fans?
The director Francis Lawrence has sort of checked in once and while and we showed some stuff at a comic convention in San Diego a couple of months ago called ComicCon. And also we've seen some of the creative writers from Vertigo (Hellblazer's publisher). They seemed like they liked it, like we did have the spirit of Constantine in it, which was great.
The film reunites you with Rachel Weisz for the first time since CHAIN REACTION. Was it easy just to slip back into a rhythm with her?
Yeah, very much so. She's a lovely person and a fine actress. We get along and have because we have a rapport, having worked together before, there was that kind of trust right there so we just kind of got on with it - it was fun.
Is LA the best place to represent hell on Earth?
Well part of the construct of the film is that wherever you are, there is a hell version and a heaven version so in terms of LA being the perfect place for hell, you can find that anywhere at times.
Especially if you're stuck on the freeway.
Well that was one of the jokes that Constantine has the ability to cross over to hell and so he goes over and he comes up on the freeway and there's traffic.
This is the third film in which you've come face to face with the devil - which character do you think handles the confrontation the best - John Constantine, Kevin Lomax (DEVIL'S ADVOCATE) or Ted 'Theodore' Logan (BILL & TED'S BOGUS JOURNEY)?
Hmmm, handles it the best. (Thinks) I'd say Constantine. (Thinks some more) Yeah, definitely Constantine.
Francis Lawrence has said that the character of John Constantine is the closest we've ever come to seeing the real Keanu Reeves up on screen. Is that a fair assessment?
Is that what that guy said? He's.....get out of town. No way.
Would you be open to a sequel?
Well you know it's really up to whether people like him or not. I love the guy, it's really one of the best times I ever had making a film so I'd play him again. I'd love to.
In the comics John is a bit of a globetrotter - sequels could be a good chance for him to see the world, maybe take him back to Liverpool?
Yeah, why not? Where would Constantine go? You know, that's what's great about the guy. He is a character who you don't really know where he's from or what he's doing and which is great. He's an enigma.