Young Keanu Reeves on CanCon-related opportunities

In 1985, the up-and-coming actor explains the kinds of roles that typically go to Canadians like him when American productions come north of the border.

'You usually end up playing the guy's best friend or his, like, enemy'

In 1985, Keanu Reeves tells CBC's Midday about his role in the film Young Again. 0:38

On his way to full-fledged super-stardom, Keanu Reeves had to work his way up in the film and television industry.

In his early days, he'd done some work for CBC-TV, appearing on the sitcom Hangin' In and doing some hosting duties on the kid-focused Going Great

By 1985, he'd landed a role in a made-for-TV movie called Young Again. It was about a man who wishes he could be a teenager again — and, being a movie, that's what happens.

'I'm basically confused'

In the movie, Robert Urich played the character as an adult and Reeves played the character as a young man.

"I'm playing a 17-year-old body with a 40-year-old mind, OK?" he explained, when speaking to Marla Lukofsky for CBC's Midday back in the summer of 1985.

"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, you know?'... I'm basically confused."

Keanu Reeves talks about his part in a film called Young Again. 0:28

As Reeves, who would turn 21 later that year, explains to Lukofsky — who also appeared in Young Again, playing Urich's secretary — it's the kind of role that doesn't always go to Canadians when they are taking part in American-shot productions on this side of the border.

"They have to have a certain amount of Canadian content, so you usually end up playing the guy's best friend or his, like, enemy, you know," he says.

Good luck out there, Keanu

The interview wraps with Lukofsky telling Reeves: "We look forward to seeing you in other things."

Reeves, as polite as you would expect an up-and-coming Canadian actor to be, thanks her for the interview and says goodbye.

Within a few years, he would appear in Youngblood, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Point Break and other projects that would launch him to a new level of stardom.