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Constantine - He’s dying and yet he gives the finger to the devil, the demon and he’s got this deadpan humour

Feature by: Jack Foley

HAVING appeared in three Matrix films, as well as box office successes such as Speed, Point Break and The Devil's Advocate, it is fair to say that Keanu Reeves is one of the world's biggest movie stars.

Yet the modest actor plays down such achievements, preferring to sing the praises of his collaborators.

Speaking about his career, while promoting his latest blockbuster, Constantine, Reeves opts to view each success as a stepping stone to achieve greater things.

"It’s great if a film works, like if Constantine works, because  it gives me an opportunity to hopefully do something great," he explained.

"And if it does succeed and people do enjoy it, then producers will want to work with me, so that’s another opportunity for me to make another film.

"But The Matrix wasn’t on my back; that was the Wachowski brothers.

"And Something's Gotta Give, that was Jack Nicholson and Nancy Meyers made that film."

For his latest, however, Reeves stars as John Constantine, a cancer-ridden, sarcastic mortal, who has literally been to hell and back following an attempt to take his own life.

Marked as an attempted suicide with a temporary lease on life, he patrols the earthly border between heaven and hell in a desperate bid to gain salvation by sending the devil's foot-soldiers back to hell.

That chance comes in the form of Rachel Weisz's desperate police detective, Angela Dodson, who asks him to investigate the apparent suicide of her twin sister.

The ensuing investigation, however, finds Constantine thrust into the middle of a wager between God and the Devil for the souls of all mankind.

The film is based on the popular DC Comics/Hellblazer graphic novels and is a dark, frequently scary tale that places as much emphasis on character as special effects.

Reeves, especially, is pleased to be a part of it.

"Well, I relate to him to a certain extent," he laughs. "I love Constantine’s sense of humour, the humour that’s in the face of extraordinary circumstances.

"He’s dying and yet he gives the finger to the devil, the demon and he’s got this deadpan humour.

"I also liked his anger. I liked that he didn’t like what was going on and he was pissed off. I could relate to that. It reminded me of school.

"But it was fun to actually learn about him; taking the shapes from the comic book itself and I lowered my register and found rhythms.

"I don’t quite have the Constantinian world view but I would relate so I guess that’s what made it so fun for me."

On the subject of fun, Reeves is also looking forward to his next project, Il Mare, which sees him reunited with his Speed co-star, Sandra Bullock.

He describes the film, which is an adaptation of a French film, as 'a real romanticist’s romance' and believes he and Bullock make 'a cute couple'.

When asked to explain what he meant by romantic love, he elaborates: "It’s believing in love. It’s believing that there’s someone for you; that there’s the ultimate person, the ideal who will be your soul mate and your perfect match and that all your pain and suffering will go away and you’ll live happily ever after and you’ll be together in a blissful union."

As for his own perception on finding a soul mate, he smiles and concludes 'I’m the wrong guy to ask'.


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