Published Apr 27, 2016Taking a break from Bill & Ted 3 and, er, his poetry book about shadows, Keanu Reeves made damn sure that he could voice the kitten in Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key's new movie Keanu.
The film stars the comedy duo as cousins Clarence and Rell, who wind up on a major action adventure when they must rescue a kidnapped kitty named Keanu.
In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, director Peter Atencio explains that the real-life Keanu Reeves asked to get involved after he saw the film's extremely badass trailer.
It all happened after Reeves' reps "politely declined" his involvement in the film. "But then we got a call after the trailer came out — apparently, his sister showed him the trailer and said, 'Hey, you gotta see this. You're gonna love this!'" Atencio recalled. "He flipped out and got in touch with us directly to say 'If there's anything I can do, let's make this work.'"
Before he signed on for sure, Reeves wanted to make sure that the film wasn't making fun of him. "He wanted to talk to me before he agreed to make sure that wasn't the case," Atencio said. "So I told him about the movie and talked him through the story. His personality has just transcended life, in a lot of ways."
They ended up letting Reeves voice the cat during a drug-induced hallucination scene. Because he was in Rome to film John Wick 2, however, they had to do the voice acting over Skype.
"I was on Skype with him, and I spent an hour recording a bunch of dialogue," Atencio said. "They hooked it up so that I could talk and he could hear it in his headphones. The studio [Warner Bros.] was wanting him to drop a bunch of references to his old movies. But we didn't want to make it overt or too pointed. We don't want him to do, like, his 'Bill and Ted' voice and beat you over the head with it. And he had great ideas for lines. He was having fun with it."
Keanu opens on April 29.