This ‘Bill & Ted’ Actor Was Doing Shakespeare Right Before ‘Excellent Adventure’

The Bill & Ted movies made Keanu Reeves a big star. His co-star, Alex Winter, moved behind the scenes. Winter has directed many documentaries on subjects like Napster, the dark web, and most recently child actors. Bill & Ted Face the Music is Winter’s return to acting to reprise his role as Bill.

Bill & Ted Face the Music
L-R: Samara Weaving, Bridgette Ludy-Paine, Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter | Patti Perret/Orion Pictures

Winter spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about Bill & Ted Face the Music. He told us he was doing Shakespeare right before he landed the role of Bill. Bill & Ted Face the Music is now in select theaters and on VOD.

Returning to acting in ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ wasn’t hard

Winter did keep up with acting with voice work, episodic TV work and roles in filmes like Grand Pianio. They weren’t lead roles like Bill & Ted Face the Music but he said playing Bill again wasn’t a huge adjustment. 

“I started acting when I was very, very young and I trained my whole life including while I wasn’t acting over this last chunk of years,” Winter said. “I trained quite seriously as a big part of all the other work that I do.”

Bill & Ted Face the Music
L-R: Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves | Patti Perret/Orion Pictures

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Bill & Ted co-star Reeves helped, too.

I think that was certainly aided by the fact that I was working with so many people who I knew so well. That was very comfortable. Keanu and I have a kind of unspoken shorthand when we’re performing together that we had a feeling was still going to be there. We didn’t really have any reason to think it would have gone away. We’re still very ,very close friends and we know each other very well, where we are in our lives at the moment. So we felt pretty comfortable with the idea that once we get back in front of the camera, we find that rapport again. It was nice to find it. It’s like playing in a band with someone who you riff well with. That helps a lot. The movies are a double act. 

Alex Winter, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 8/19/2020

‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ isn’t exactly Shakespeare

No disrespect to Wyld Stallyns, but the Bill & Ted movies are intended to be fun and light. Winter concedes that he’d be more stressed about performing heavier material. 

“I think if I was returning to play King Lear at the Royal Shakespeare Company I would have been a bundle of nerves,” Winter said.

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter
L-R: Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter | Orion Pictures

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Bill & Ted Face the Music producer Scott Kroopf jumped in, “It would have been better if Keanu played The Fool. Then you would’ve felt comfortable.That would be so cool.”

Alex Winter did do Shakespeare 

Prior to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Winter appeared in movies like The Lost Boys, Haunted Summer  and Death Wish 3. He also did Shakespeare on stage right up until he got the role. 

“In fact,, I was working on Henry VI the year leading up to doing Bill & Ted but I haven’t taken that into a professional production,” Winter asid. “Again, what I do now is I train privately. I’ll just sort of dig into certain pieces of theaters and just work them for an extended period of time. I have for years.”