In the upcoming movie “Constantine,” actor Keanu Reeves plays a man who can see demons as they walk the earth and bait human souls.
While a role laced with religious themes isn’t anything new to Reeves, he’s not letting on about his spiritual side.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
At a recent press conference in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Beverly Hills to promote the movie, one journalist asked Reeves if he, the journalist, could ask some questions about Reeves’ religious or spiritual life.
“Please don’t,” said Reeves. “It’s something I think is very personal, and it’s something that is private.”
When another journalist tried to prod Reeves into talking about the subject, the 40-year-old actor reiterated his position.
“It’s personal and private,” he said slowly and deliberately.
Reeves achieved stardom after playing Ted Logan in the 1989 teen flick “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” He successfully moved into action films several years later by playing Officer Jack Traven in “Speed.”
Though Reeves took the part of Siddhartha in 1993’s “Little Buddha,” it has been his portrayal of Neo in “The Matrix” franchise that has pegged the actor as having a penchant for spiritual characters.
John Constantine, Reeves’ character in the new comics-based movie, is steeped in Catholic traditions—or least a Hollywood version of Catholic tradition. He knows how to exorcise demons and blow them back to hell. He’s a chain smoker who takes on the devil’s emissaries in an effort to buy his way into heaven.
Reeves humorously described John Constantine as a “hard-edged, hard-boiled, world-weary, cynical, fatalistic, nihilistic, self-interested—with a heart—guy.”
Yet another journalist at the press conference said he had heard from Reeves’ fellow actors that Reeves himself had kept a journal of spiritual notes on the set of “Constantine.”
Reeves quickly dismissed the story.
“They have no idea what they’re talking about,” he said. “In the process for me, it’s just writing things down, thoughts, just working on the role.”
For all of Reeves’ dodging of spiritual questions, he did offer that he wrote one of his own lines near the end of the film. Curiously, it’s one of the most memorable.
“I guess there’s a plan for all of us,” Constantine says, courtesy of Reeves. “Like the Book says, he works his works in mysterious ways. Some people like it, some people don’t.”
Reeves said little else of his role as John Constantine, save this:
“Obviously it’s to my taste, but in terms of any specific denomination or aspect of that, I’d rather not touch upon personally, thank you.”
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.
The movie’s official Web site is here. “Constantine” opens nationwide Feb. 18.