Keanu Reeves joined Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday, with Kimmel surprising The Matrix star with some very old footage from an interview Reeves did while doing press for one of his first film roles. In the grainy footage, Reeves almost appears awestruck at the experience of explaining his role.
“I’m playing a 17-year-old body with a 40-year-old mind, OK?” Reeves said. “But then I had to play with my conception of 40, which was sort of older, right? You look at a 40-year-old and go, ‘You’re old.’ Ya know, but he’s not. I mean, Robert Urich, I was watching him, he’s a bouncy guy. And so I was trying to get that in there as well.”
“I didn’t know you were gonna do that,” Reeves told Kimmel, adding, “Wow, that was a blast from the past.”
Reeves said that at the time, what he was promoting was called Young Again. He explained that he was just a struggling actor trying to get a foot in the door in Hollywood.
“I had a connection to someone who was a manager here in the states,” Reeves said, “and I went to meet an agent here in Los Angeles, and they were like, ‘It’s great, but you haven’t done anything. Come back when you’ve done something.’ I had an agent in Toronto. There [were] American productions coming to do — they needed Canadian content.”
Reeves said he auditioned and soon found himself working with two already established stars.
“I auditioned for this side role,” Reeves said, “but then they were like, ‘Hey, you could be the guy. One of the guys.’ And I was like, ‘Cool.’ And so it was Lindsay Wagner and Robert Urich, and…” “Wow,” Kimmel interrupted, “Lindsay Wagner? Bionic Woman?”
According to Reeves, that role was his start in Hollywood, and helped set him on the path to become one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.
“It was a big break for me,” Reeves said, “because it was, like, a Movie of the Week, it was a great role, and that allowed me to kind of get an agent in Hollywood.”
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