Sci-fi fan Keanu Reeves jumped at alien role

Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:48pm EST
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - 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 timely."

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 sci-fi films.

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.   Continued...

<p>Actors Jennifer Connelly and Keanu Reeves (L) arrive for the premiere of the film "The Day The Earth Stood Still" in New York, December 9, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>