It’s safe to say that unless you have been living under a rock for the last twenty-plus years, you have heard the name Keanu Reeves, a name that comes from Hawaiin decent meaning “cool breeze over the mountains.” Judging from his poise and characteristics the name Keanu is a perfect match for his personality.
Throughout his lengthy career, Reeves has quite often disappeared from Hollywood for up to a year at a time every now and then. He is generous with his money, giving large gifts to charities and production workers on his films. He turned down $12 million to do Speed 2 because he was already committed to his role in an on-stage Shakespeare production in a small Canadian theatre. As a Buddhist, Keanu opposes war based on his beliefs, and has in fact turned down a long list of films because the roles seemed too violent for him to do. In an interview when asked about his drug use and which drugs he has experimented with throughout his life, he was reluctant to state which ones he has experimented with, but was quoted as saying “drugs have given me some amazing experiences” paused and said “amazing”‘ a second time.
There are a wide variety of different components to the action star. Different shades of Keanu, if you will. Which Keanu do you love the most – actor, director, musician, philanthropist? With over 30 years of acting under his belt, most of us know him for his cinema attributes, but here are some shocking facts that you may or may not know about one of the biggest action stars in Hollywood!
10. Ageless Keanu
What? Keanu Reeves turned the big 5-0 this year! It’s hard to believe that the actor that once played dopey-eyed Theodore “Ted” Logan from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure just celebrated his 50th birthday on September 2nd. Of this year..
Where does the time go? Perhaps the secret to his agelessness is a successful career, after all, the actor has been in over 70 movies, playing a wide range of roles from a hockey player to a time traveler, attorney and even an infamous hacker. Not bad at all for being half a century old, and it looks like we can expect to see quite a few more roles from Reeves in the next couple years – next year alone he’s signed up for 5 upcoming films!
9. Rockstar Keanu
Not only can Reeves act, but he was also the bassist in the rock band Dogstar (they were originally named Small Fecal Matter) – probably a good choice to go with Dogstar. The band was formed back in 1991 with actor Rob Mailhouse. In their 11 years together they only put out 2 albums, but back in ’95 they actually opened for Bon Jovi in Australia and New Zealand. Other well-known bands they opened for over the years include David Bowie, Rancid and Weezer. Although they haven’t performed live for a while they are currently looking into releasing a DVD covering their years on tour!
8. Obsessed Keanu
It’s tough sometimes being a sexy action star. On September 12, 2014 Keanu found a woman in his library who told him she was there to meet him. Even in such a creepy scenario he remained the calm, cool Keanu we all know and love and kindly spoke to her – while calling 911. Just three days later a second woman, clearly obsessed with the actor as well, broke into his home. She then undressed, showered and decided to go swimming naked in his swimming pool. When he found her he notified the police who arrived to arrest the stalker. It may be time to invest in upgrading security, Keanu!
7. Lawful Keanu
It’s hard to believe anyone would try to sue one of Hollywood’s most generous and lovable actors, but in 2008 Reeves was sued in Los Angeles by paparazzo Alison Silva. Silva tried to sue the actor for $711,974, claiming Reeves hit and injured him with his Porche, but was unsuccessful in his pursuit. Silva’s lawsuit took nearly two years to make it to trial, during which time Silva repeatedly continued to attack Reeves for payment for his allegations. Finally, during the trial, his suit was rejected.
6. Sad Keanu
After meeting at a party in ’98 it wasn’t long until Keanu fell in love with former girlfriend Jennifer Syme, an actress and production assistant. Within a year they were expecting a baby, but in December of ’99 Syme gave birth to the couple’s stillborn daughter 8 months into the pregnancy. Tragedy struck again for the actor a mere eighteen months later when Syme was killed in a car crash heading back to a party hosted by rocker Marilyn Manson at his home. At the time, Reeves, was scheduled to begin shooting the Matrix sequel.
5. Philanthropist Keanu
Like many celebrities, Keanu Reeves has many charities under his belt. He has organized a cancer charity, which he chose not to attach his name to (his sister Kim battled Leukemia for more than a decade). He has been an avid PETA supporter over the years and is also a huge supporter in the SickKids Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer, just to mention a few. He is also known to have given $75 million of his Matrix earnings to the film’s special effects and makeup crew. When asked about it, he has been quoted as saying “Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries.”
4. Hockey Player Keanu
It’s not a secret that it’s practically a requirement growing up in Canada, especially as a young boy, to play hockey or to want to play in the NHL, particularly if you spent your childhood in Eastern Canada like Keanu did. He excelled in hockey and was even given the nickname “the wall” for his totally awesome moves as a goaltender. His childhood dream was to become an Olympic hockey player for team Canada, but unfortunately an injury ended his potential hockey career. However, not long after his dreams were crushed he was able to hit the ice again for his first studio movie, Youngblood, in which he played a Quebecois goalie.
3. Young Keanu
Some people know when they are young what they want to do when it comes to their profession, but for others it can take years to find their calling and discover their true passion. Keanu was one of those kids that knew what he wanted to do from an early age. His first role ever came when he was 9 and starred in the theatre production of Damned Yankees. In his early years his acting was credited as K.C. Reeves instead of Keanu because his manager thought the name Keanu was way too exotic sounding. It wasn’t until 1984 that he made his TV debut on the TV series Hangin’ In. Soon after that he was hitting the road on his way to Hollywood, and clearly it worked out in his favor.
2. Literary Keanu
You would never know it by looking at Keanu Reeves, but he has stated more than once that he has suffered from dyslexia all his life, but that doesn’t stop him when it comes to literature; he has a deep love for books and is an avid reader. Some of his favorite books are The Count of Monte Cristo, The Lord of the Rings and Search of Lost Time just to name a few. Keanu has a love for poetry as well and in 2011, he became a published author after writing text for the adult picture book Ode to Happiness.
1. Travelling Keanu
Last but not least, here’s a really fun fact. Did you know among his many films, Keanu has appeared in three films whose title contains a US state: Feeling Minnesota, a film based on the torn relationship of two brothers where Reeves’ character Jjaks Clayton, an ex con, comes home to go to his brother’s wedding; My Own Private Idaho, where Reeves plays a male prostitute with his best friend, the late River Phoenix; and The Prince of Pennsylvania, starring Reeves playing a depressed, bored, teenage rocker in search of intellectual stimulation. And let’s not forget the name of his character in Point Break was name John Utah, an FBI Agent who goes undercover trying to arrest the leader of a gang of surfers/bank robbers played by Patrick Swayze.