Keanu comes to town: Why a rural Manitoba town's transformed into Siberia
The tiny rural community of Marquette, Man. has undergone a makeover of late. There is a newly-erected Russian-language billboard, vehicles with unfamiliar Russian licence plates and a once-ordinary house has been transformed to look like a junkyard.
And the scenery isn’t the only thing that’s changed. The community of about 30 people, located about 46 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, has become the temporary working home for Hollywood mega-star Keanu Reeves.
The actor, best known for his roles in blockbuster action movies such as The Matrix and Speed, is in the under-the-radar Manitoba community to make his latest film.
One Marquette resident, Tayvia Dorge, was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the famous leading man and even snap a quick photo with him.
"I think he was using the bathroom," Dorge said with a laugh. "So we waited and got a photo with him."
Lee McRae, another resident of the community, agreed that it was exciting to have the superstar in town.
“It's cool, you know?” McRae told CTV Winnipeg. "He's been in lots of blockbusters, so to have him come to middle of the nowhere -- Marquette -- is kind of a cool deal."
As for the Russian-themed sets and props popping up all over the place? Marquette is subbing in for Siberia, the setting for the new movie, which is appropriately titled “Siberia.”
Resident Bonnie Lawrence’s house has become one of the sets for the film. The exterior has been made to look like a junkyard complete with tires, bales of straw and even a fake door latched onto the back of her house.
“It’s a little overwhelming,” Lawrence said. “Because all of a sudden it’s an invasion.”
The Hollywood invasion will be short-lived, however. Reeves and the rest of the crew will be heading to another filming location in the coming days.
Reeves isn’t the only star recently spotted in Manitoba.
“Batman v Superman” lead actor Henry Cavill filmed scenes for the upcoming movie “Nomis” in Winnipeg last month. He posted a video on Instagram noting the -32 C wind chill.
With reports from CTV Manitoba Bureau Chief Jill Macyshon and CTV Winnipeg’s Jon Hendricks