Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix from the Interview magazine photo shoot, November 1991
"My Own Private Idaho" (dir. Gus Van Sant, 1991) --- Surreal character study focusing on the friendship between two male hustlers, Mike Waters (River Phoenix) and Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves), in Portland, Oregon. They live on the streets, do drugs, and sell themselves to men and women. The gay Mike is in love with straight Scott, who rebuffs his advances. Together they travel to Idaho in search of Mike's mother.
Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho (loosely based on Shakespeare's Henry IV plays) came out 21 years ago today starring River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves. During production Reeves and Phoenix lived in a house in Portland with several cast and crew including Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea.
Flea, bass player for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was a close friend of River Phoenix. He wrote most of their song 'Transcending' and said, "..it's about one of the kindest people I ever met in my life. When I think about River I don't think about his death. I don't get sad about it. I think about how incredibly fortunate I was to be friends with a person who looked inside me and saw things that no one else ever saw before. And that song is a respectfully loving song for him." (Jessica Ransford)
Stand by Me (1986) Directed by Rob Reiner, starring Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, River Phoenix & Jerry O'Connel. Based on a Stephen King novella...the coming of age classic where four disadvantaged friends discover themselves along their journey to locate a dead boy's body for rewards. John Cusak and Keifer Sutherland also co-star.