‘’My Own Private Idaho is a personal statement and a River Phoenix memorial. His presence can make every scene seem authentic and true, and the film now feels like a sweet, hazy, heartsick memory of him.’’
River as Mike Waters in Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho (1991).
My Own Private Idaho (1991) – When I turn twenty-one, I don’t want any more of this life. My mother and father will be surprised at the incredible change. It will impress them more when such a fuck-up like me turns good than if I had been a good son all along. All the past years I will think of as one big vacation. At least it wasn’t as boring as schoolwork. All my bad behavior I’m going to throw away to pay my debt. I will change when everybody expects it the least.
Keanu Reeves when asked about River during an interview, 1991:
‘’[…] One day he will be the biggest actor in Hollywood. Actually he is the most talented young actor there is right now in Hollywood. We knew each other already from working together on I Love You To Death. This made doing My Own Private Idaho a lot easier. We made a kind of blood brother pact. River is a real good friend. He’s so uncomplicated. And we have many things in common. For example, our love for motorbikes. Every evening we don’t spend together we’re on the phone. River doesn’t really like LA, so he’s planning to move to Montana. Then we won’t be able to meet that often anymore. But luckily he’s art actor, so to work he has to come here often so then we can do all the crazy things together.’’
“River’s presence was very important in the making of the movie, because he was so engaged with the effort. He cared about the story, he cared about the group of us making the story and he cared about getting it right. He was quite obsessive about getting this movie right. And early on, when a new draft of the script came out and it was time for him to get on top of his lines, all he wanted to do was read his character out, loud back and forth with somebody else. He wanted to go through it again and again; until it sort of sunk into his DNA. He felt that movie in every possible way and I’ve rarely experienced such a level of engagement with the broadest sense of the filmmaking as I did with River.” - David Brisbin, production designer talks about River in My Own Private Idaho
(Source: The Making Of that’s on the two disc edition of My Own Private Idaho)
so today i was animating membrane patting dib on the back, trying to cheer him up, for Mopiness, and it was a little forceful to where dib nearly stumbles and this jus t into my head, a time where membrane was careful with him
“Every day of my life since I finished “My Own Private Idaho”, at some
point in the day, I find the conversation somehow goes back to that
film, because it was just such a great experience. I just start getting
all joyous and start babbling about it.”[River Phoenix on his feelings about “My Own
Private Idaho” just after the film’s release in 1991]
Interviewer: Keanu, you’ve said you accepted a part in Idaho first, hoping River would do the film too.
Keanu Reeves: No. We were always together.
River Phoenix: He was lying. We were doing I Love You to Death, and we both got the Idaho script. We were driving in a car on Santa Monica Boulevard, probably on the way to a club, and were talking really fast about the whole idea. We were excited. It could have been like a bad dream—a dream that never follows through because no one commits, but we just forced ourselves into it. We said “OK, I’ll do it if you do it. I won’t do it if you don’t.” We shook hands. That was it.