Bill & Ted Face the Music is about many things. Destiny. An enduring bromance. Couple’s therapy. A most excellent unwillingness to ever grow up and get real jobs. And during one of the grimmest periods in our collective history — the COVID-19 pandemic — it’s also an admittedly cheesy, gleefully stupid gust of positivity and hope, in the form of Ted (Keanu Reeves, otherwise known as the internet’s boyfriend) and Bill (Alex Winter), who travel to the future to save the world. But is Reeves truly as magical as one would believe? Erinn Hayes, who plays Ted’s wife, is here to put any niggling worries you might have to rest. You may recall (or you may not) that in Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, that the titular Bill and Ted proposed to two 15th-century princesses named Elizabeth and Joanna. Hayes plays Elizabeth in the new movie, a part previously played two different actresses, Annette Azcuy in Bogus Journey and Diane Franklin in Excellent Adventure.
So, how did Hayes feel stepping into the role of Elizabeth, the princess who became Ted’s wife as he and Bill face the music? Turns out, she had a blast and Reeves is every bit as heroic and perfect as you would imagine. Read on.
It’s very strange to be doing interviews right now, I would imagine. How does it feel to be back at work?
It’s a little jarring, to be honest. I have two kids. But I’m into it. It’s nice to have something to look forward to right now. My girls are 11 and 13. We showed them — when I booked this part — we watched the first two with them. It’s really good for this age. There’s nothing inappropriate.
I assume you were a fan of the two original movies? Because collectively, everyone was.
Of course. I don’t remember how old I was when I first saw it but it was a huge favorite for my brother and myself. We watched it like 10 times.
On a scale of one to 10, how horrific was it to work with Keanu Reeves?
It was terrible. It was wonderful, come on. He’s a kind man. He’s very collaborative. He’s a huge movie star. He certainly didn’t need to open the room to collaboration in the way he did. Anything I was game for, we had a very fun time being this married couple.
Give me an example.
When Jayma Mays, who plays the other wife, and I arrived in New Orleans. They wanted to do a read-through of the first scene. The scene is not that long. We were in that room talking for three to four hours. It was Jayma and myself and Keanu and Alex and the director and the producer and the writers. Let’s actually work this. It was all of us sitting around. I can’t believe I get to be a part of this. We fleshed out our marital relationships. To invite someone who’s not one of the stars and give their voice equal value is a rare thing.
Sure, the movie is silly but your relationship has authenticity. How did you and Keanu create that bond?
A lot of it has to do with that first day. I’ve been married for 16 years so I tried to bring a lot of that to it. The ups and downs. The pitfalls. He brought what he had to bring. We just fleshed it out a little bit. At the core, these are people who love each other but are at these crossroads. The first where we’re about to walk in, he looks over, ‘Do you think we should hold hands?’ Let’s be the couple that’s still holding hands. That says a lot.
What would shock the world about Keanu?
He’s very shy. Everybody knows he keeps to himself. I think that’s why he’s the internet’s boyfriend. He doesn’t publicize it when he does these amazing things. On a day to day level, he’s a private and shy person. So many actors are so out there and gregarious but he struck me as more reserved than I had thought.
Did working with Keanu give you extra cool points with your daughters?
No. I think they would be more impressed now. This summer we watched The Matrix. They’re old enough to watch more of these kinds of movies. Now they might be impressed.
As for you, what’s the secret to being married and staying married?
The secret sauce is, every day thinking about being 85 years old and sitting on a rocking chair on the porch. You need an end game. And that makes you more thoughtful to your spouse. You can see the low times as just low times. We’re in a little dip right now.