Famous actor Keanu Reeves implemented a contractual clause that prevents studios and editing teams from digitally editing his acting.
Reeves remained steadfast in presenting audiences with his genuine acting skills and pushed back against deepfakes during a recent interview with Wired. He abhors the idea of having his performances digitally manipulated, and refuses to be part of the next generation’s editing trend.
“What’s frustrating about that is you lose your agency,” Reeves said. “When you give a performance in a film, you know you’re going to be edited, but you’re participating in that.” he said to Wired. “If you go into deepfake land, it has none of your points of view. That’s scary,” Reeves said.
Keanu Reeves made sure every one of his film contracts prevented digital edits to his acting after one movie “added a tear to my face, and I was just like, ‘Huh?!’ It was like, I don’t even have to be here.” https://t.co/38XeT4Don9
— Variety (@Variety) February 15, 2023
The actor is terrified that the world of technology is evolving in the wrong direction, and voiced his concern over genuine acting skills being overtaken by digital technology.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how humans deal with these technologies. They’re having such cultural, sociological impacts, and the species is being studied. There’s so much ‘data’ on behaviors now,” Reeves said to Wired.
He expressed his concern by highlighting examples the overuse of technology.
“People are growing up with these tools: We’re listening to music already that’s made by AI in the style of Nirvana, there’s NFT digital art,” Reeves said to Wired.
“It’s cool, like, Look what the cute machines can make! But there’s a corporatocracy behind it that’s looking to control those things. Culturally, socially, we’re gonna be confronted by the value of real, or the non-value,” Reeves said. (RELATED: ‘Forrest Gump’ Director To De-Age Tom Hanks, Robin Wright In ‘Here’)
Keanu Reeves on deepfakes: “You lose your agency. When you give a performance in a film, you know you’re going to be edited, but you’re participating in that. If you go into deepfake land, it has none of your points of view.” https://t.co/FMSl9EX6t7 pic.twitter.com/nXawWt9TX6
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) February 16, 2023
Reeves is concerned about the future, and about the broader impact that digital editing has on audiences
“It’s this sensorium. It’s spectacle. And it’s a system of control and manipulation,” Reeves said.
“We’re on our knees looking at cave walls and seeing the projections, and we’re not having the chance to look behind us,” he said to Wired.
Reeves is fine with light editing touches, but described being at the receiving end of a deepfake that he felt was taken too far.
“Yeah, digitally. I don’t mind if someone takes a blink out during an edit,” he said.
“But early on, in the early 2000s, or it might have been the ’90s, I had a performance changed. They added a tear to my face, and I was just like, ‘Huh?!’ It was like, I don’t even have to be here,” Reeves said to Wired.