“They were dying”: Late Actor River Phoenix Hated Keanu Reeves’ N-de Scene With Female Co-star, Claimed 5-Hour Scene Cost His Friend Dearly

There is no doubt that the late actor River Phoenix would have been a Hollywood superstar and one of the most versatile performers of his generation if he were alive today

The talented actor who was one of the youngest stars to be nominated for an Oscar for Running on Empty, made his presence felt strongly in the industry, despite unfortunately succumbing to drug overdose at the age of 23.
River PhoenixThe late Hollywood star River Phoenix
Among the many memorable roles that Phoenix did in his shortened career, one of his boldest parts saw him sharing screen space with Keanu Reeves in My Own Private Idaho which received a lot of critical acclaim. The two stars sat down for an interview after the film’s release in 1991, to speak about their experiences and their close friendship on set. During the course of the conversation, Phoenix elaborated on a s*x scene between Reeves and their co-star Chiara Caselli and the awkwardness that came with it.

River Phoenix’s Opinion On Keanu Reeves’ Lovemaking Scene

River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves shared screen space in Gus Van Sant’s 1991 film, My Own Private Idaho, in which they played gay hustlers who embark on a journey of self-discovery. The film was well received and gave Reeves and Phoenix a lot of critical acclaim for their performances and the chemistry that they shared together. Talking to Interview Magazine after the release, the Speed star and the Running on Empty actor shared their experiences on set, with Phoenix also sympathizing with his co-star regarding a difficult s*x scene that he had to shoot with Chiara Caselli.
“Keanu was filmed n*ked with the beautiful Chiara. That scene was really a drag. He was having a great time with this girl, but it was freezing cold and they were dying. So I think they were more worried about the temperature than the n*dity. That took five hours.”
River PhoenixRiver Phoenix and Keanu Reeves in My Own Private Idaho
Phoenix also recalled the fun he had trying to make Reeves extremely self-conscious while both actors filmed a bold three-way s*x scene in the film. The Oscar nominee revealed that he was admonished by director Gus Van Sant for his banter.

 Did My Own Private Idaho Cause The Mental Downfall Of River Phoenix?

The multifaceted River Phoenix started creating a stir from a very young age as a gifted musician and a talented young star. His acting chops that belied his age, led to people predicting that he would become the next big superstar in Hollywood. Sadly, the dream was not meant to be as Phoenix died of a drug overdose at the age of 23. While his fantastic performance in My Own Private Idaho was seen to be a huge stepping stone for him to enter the big leagues, it was also speculated to be the start of his mental disintegration.
River PhoenixRiver Phoenix received critical acclaim for his role in My Own Private Idaho
A few rumored reports suggested that Phoenix began using drugs other than alcohol to internalize and flesh out the character of Mikey in the film.  He allegedly went so deep into the role that these addictions he developed for the part, continued to dominate his body post-filming, which ultimately led to his mental deterioration and eventual death. Director Gus Van Sant though, was steadfast in his belief the Oscar nominee only used drugs for recreation and not as a lifestyle. While there is no confirmation of what the truth was, the fact remains that Hollywood lost a potential superstar in River Phoenix.

Source: Interview Magazine,

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