Since Keanu Reeves first hit Hollywood like a cool breeze in the 80’s he’s saved humanity from robot slavery, kept a doomed bus from exploding and even made out with Paula Abdul. But even though Reeves in pretty prolific actor, he remains far more enigmatic than many other celebrities until now.
Here are some things you may not know about Keanu Reeves.
Thanks to his role as dumb guy Ted in ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ and dumb guy Tod in parenthood, Reeves was in danger of being typecast in the early ‘90s. That’s why it was something of surprise when Kenneth Branagh cast Reeves as Don John in his 1993 screen adaption of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing”
But Reeves had been actually performing Shakespeare for years, dating back to a 1985 production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at a Toronto theater school. And ‘My own Private Idaho’ was based on Shakespeare’s work.
How much does he love Shakespeare? He turned down a $12 Million offer to star in ‘Speed 2’ so that he could play ‘Hamlet” in stage production in Manitoba, Canada.
Now that’s Love. I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace.
HAUNTED by A JACKET
While living in the New York area, young Reeves uncounted what can only described as a ghost.
A ghost jacket anyway. There’s really no explanation. So let’s just have Keeny tell the tale himself.
“There’s a doorway. All of the sudden we’re looking over there and this like jacket comes waving through the doorway, like just an empty, there’s no head, there’s no body, there’s no legs, it’s just there. And it disappears. And I was a little kid and I thought “Okay well that’s interesting. And then I looked over at the nanny, and she’s like this….” Whoa…..
HE CAN’T QUIT SMOKING
While smoking is often a youthful indiscretion, Reeves was well into adulthood before he picked up the habit. He says he started doing it on the set of the 1996 comedy feeling Minnesota because his character was a smoker, and then he just got hooked. He’s called smoking “a Prison” that he’d love to quit, but can’t.
Reeves endured multiple heart breaking tragedies in rapid succession. He met an actress and a product assistant Jennifer Syme in 1998 and two fell in love. In 1999 Keanu and Syme were expecting a child together. But when Syme was almost full term doctors discovered the baby had passed away. The stress of the lost of the child contributed to the demise of there relationship. Less than two years later while driving home from the party at Marily Manson’s house in Loss Angeles, Syme was killed in a single car accident. She was only 28 years old.
Reeves is very close to his sister Kim Reeves who was diagnosed with Leukemia in the ‘90s.
Filming on the Matrix Reloaded and the Matrix Revolution was reportedly delayed so Keanu could spend more time with his sister and help nurse her back to health. In Kim’s honour Keanu has donated huge amount of his time and money to cancer charities, hospitals and research facilities.
“I have a foundation that does some it’s mostly directed towards healthcare.”
And he also works with organizations like the Sick Kids foundation and Stand Up to Cancer.
FILM CREW FAVOURITE
While negotiating his contract for the two Matrix sequels, Reeves scord a bunch of “back end” points meaning he’d make a portion of the movie’s box office take in addition to a salary.
Instead of taking all the cash for himself, Reeves diverted the money to the Matrix trilogy’s costume and special effect teams, essentially donating Millions so the movies could be completed, after the production nearly ran out of cash. He also bought each of the trilogy’s 12 stuntmen a Harley Davidson his way of saying ‘Thanks”
If Reeves really wants to work with an actor he admires, he isn’t above foregoing a portion of his salary to help make it happen. He reportedly did exactly that so that he could star in The Devil’s Advocate” with Al Pacino and in the Replacement with Gene Hackman.
Reeves like motorcycle so much he started his own business the Arch Motor Cycle Company whose signature product is the Arch Motorcycle KRGT-1. Designed and Arch co-founder, bike architect Gard Hollinger, the custom built ‘Super Bikes’ have two V-twin engines and cost $ 78000 each.
Reeves has often been an inspiration for memes, viral pictures and the overall delight of the internet.
Among the most famous a viral video of Keanu giving up his subway seat to someone who needed it more.
Then there’s this uncanny 16th century painting from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence Italy which seems to suggest that Keanu is actually a time traveler himself. And of course, there’s the infamous sad Keanu meme which actually made Keanu kind of sad but not that sad.
“I mean, do I wish that I didn’t get my picture taken while I was eating a sandwich on the streets of New York”?
NOT QUITE THE WYLD STALLYNS
Shortly after the release of the Bill and Ted movies, Reeves formed a garage band called Dogstar in his actual garage.
“I play in a band called Dogstar and we made a couple of albums, I played electrical baas”
At their first gig and up and coming band called Weezer was their opening act and Dogstar even played The Tonight Show.