Keanu Reeves Reveals What Drew Him to Genre-Bending 'Siberia'
"You know, he's married, he's a diamond dealer, he ends up having an affair, he ends up falling in love, he's trying to keep his world together and it's falling apart," Reeves said of his character in the Matthew Ross-directed film, out Friday. "I liked all of the dramatic possibilities of that."
Keanu Reeves shows his vulnerable side in the new film Siberia, in theaters and on VOD Friday, directed by Matthew Ross (Frank & Lola).
At the film's New York premiere on Wednesday, Reeves told The Hollywood Reporter he was interested in the script's emotional intimacy, as well as its humor.
"You know, he's married, he's a diamond dealer, he ends up having an affair, he ends up falling in love, he's trying to keep his world together and it's falling apart," Reeves said of his character. "I liked all of the dramatic possibilities of that."
In the movie, Reeves plays an American diamond merchant in Russia on business who ventures to Siberia after a deal with a threatening buyer goes awry.
"There's things at stake, lives at stake," said Reeves, who joined the project in its early stages after reading a screenplay by Scott B. Smith (A Simple Plan). Smith then went on the devise the story with Reeves and co-producers Stephen Hamel and Gabriela Bacher.
Ross said the variation in theme was part of what drew him to the project.
"I've always been attracted to films that work on multiple genre levels," Ross said. "It works as a love story on the one hand, as well as a thriller and a crime film on the other hand, and there's action in it but it's not an action movie."
In the film, Reeves finds himself in an intense romance with Siberian café owner Katya, played by Ana Ularu (Serena, Emerald City), despite a wife (played, in a quick cameo, by Molly Ringwald) back in the United States.
To the Romanian actress, the script demonstrated the complexities of relationships.
"I think I was really interested in having someone to tell a love story like this, a love story that doesn't involve things working or minor glitches like you usually [see]," Ularu said. "It just involves someone going through all of this mess, all of this pit of hell, and then coming out still loving the person."
Although the main turmoil of the film stems from the collapsed business deal between Reeves' character and a Russian customer, played by Pasha Lychnikoff, the film's story doesn't get into the current state of U.S.-Russia relations. Ross said he met with Reeves a month before the 2016 presidential election and prep for the film started early in 2017, months before investigations into Russia's possible involvement in the 2016 presidential election ramped up.