LOS ANGELES — It’s been a few years since we’ve seen Keanu Reeves star in a major action blockbuster film. The last time was “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” in 2008. He’s kept a relativity low profile since, focusing on indie films like “Generation Um,” which opens in theaters in a limited release on May 3.
In the movie he plays John, a driver for an escort service whose life is going nowhere. At 40-something, he still gets cat-themed birthday cards with checks from his family. He doesn’t have much to say about anything, but two attractive escorts, Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens), think he’s cool and they become friends.
John steals a video camera and shoots the girls half-naked as they reveal their darkest secrets after an intense night of partying, which forms an intimate bond between the three characters.
But what Reeves didn’t realize when he was cast in the role was that he actually had to film these scenes in character.
“When I was going into the project, I didn’t know that I was literally going to be filming the sequences. I was assuming that the cinematographer would take that over, but the director, Mark [Mann], was like, ‘No, you’re going to do it.’ That was a great trust and really a cool opportunity,” Reeves said at a recent press conference.
The story takes place in a single night and follows the three drunken friends through New York City. But don’t let the title fool you — it’s not really about any particular age group, according to Reeves.
“I don’t think the intention of the title of the film is supposed to be about this generation. It’s bigger than one era. It’s not just a decade generation. It’s now and it’s the past. It’s all about in this moment. I think it’s asking for interruption, which is a kind of connection. I think the characters in the film are seeking to connect but are damaged.”
“Generation Um” is currently available on VOD.