Ever since he emerged in 1985, we have loved everything about Keanu Reeves. From his roles in My Own Private Idaho, Bill & Ted‘s Excellent Adventures, Point Break, Speed, I Love You to Death, and The Matrix franchise, to his production and director credits for the documentaries Side by Side and Man of Tai Chi, Reeves continues to prove that his abilities are boundless (he’s even written the text to a picture book and interviewed the artist and filmmaker Robert Longo for us). Today, the Beirut-born, Toronto-raised actor turns 51, so we’re revisiting the first time Interview ever featured him, when he was only 28 years old.
In our July 1987 “Hip” special issue, more than 30 young actors and actresses—many of whom are now household names, like Patricia Arquette, Robin Wright, Johnny Depp, and Patrick Dempsey—spoke about their first roles. Here’s Reeves’s:
“The biggest problems with teenagers today are drugs and emotions, ’cause they’re so casual about both of them. Everybody says that drugs are a symptom of something else; but I don’t know, drugs are just drugs to the people who do them.
“But you want to know my favorite role? Mercutio—you know in Romeo and Juliet—’cause he’s so full of passion and wisdom and anger. I don’t know. I don’t know. I just live out here in L.A., man. Been out here for two years from Toronto. L.A.’s a twisted place. It’s a varied animal. I guess I like its free ways. Get it? Two words. Free ways. I don’t know. Nothing’s for free, huh?”
THIS QUOTATION ORIGINALLY RAN IN THE JULY 1987 ISSUE OF INTERVIEW.