In Hawaiian, Keanu means “cool breeze over the mountains.” That pretty much sums up the star.
Despite his Hawaiian name, Reeves was born on September 2, 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon. He inherited a bit of Hawaiian ancestry from his father, who was born of partial Native Hawaiian descent.
The star endured a fairly difficult time during his childhood years. At the age of three his father abandoned his family. His father, Samuel Nowlin Reeves, Jr., served prison time for selling heroin.
Reeves moved around to many different houses during his childhood, and lived with many stepfathers. He was expelled from Etobicoke School of the Arts and suffered academically due to his Dyslexia. Eventually he dropped out of school altogether to pursue his acting career.
Today the well-known actor is also a revered musician, director, and producer.
From his goofy role as Ted Logan in ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,’ to being ‘The One,’ to his infamous role as Neo in ‘The Matrix’ series, he has portrayed countless infamous characters during his ongoing work as an actor. He has acted in an array of different genres as well, from supernatural, to action thrillers, horror, and dramas.
It has been noted that many of his roles involve a character who goes on to save the world (Klaatu, Neo, Ted Logan, Johnny Mnemonic, and John Constantine), all of which demanded contrasting mindsets and techniques. In fact, he turned down a role in the movie ‘Speed 2,’ simply because he did not wish to play the same type of role again.
Music and other roles
Furthermore, Reeves is known for his roles throughout mediums. He is a musician, best known for playing bass in the band called Dogstars. He’s also performed in the theater drama Hamlet, where he starred as Prince Hamlet. The star has also written a picture book called Ode to Happiness.
Press reviews and critics
Angelica Jade Bastien, who wrote about Reeves’ acting skills, said: “[His] power lies not in transformation or the ability to wrap his mouth around clever word play. No, Keanu is at his most powerful when film is at its most elemental.” On the other hand, Reeves has received some bad reviews for his acting, but the public is divided on his skills, as many consider him as one of Hollywood’s best.
This was also discussed the TV series, ‘Community’, where Abed, talking about actor Nicolas Cage, says, “Is he a good-bad actor like Keanu Reeves? Or a bad-good actor like Johnny Depp?”
Reeves is known to have a big heart, and the internet is filled with inspiring stories about the star. Reportedly, he frequently buys lunches for workers on film sets. There is a photograph which circulated of Reeve’s on the street chatting with a homeless man, and he’s also been recorded giving his seat away to a woman on public bus.
During the Matrix series, he asked for earnings from the ticket sales to be added to the film budget so that the film budget could afford to have extensive special effects. He even runs a cancer charity, but keeps his name detached from it.
The humble star was interviewed by Elaine Lipworth in 2008, during which she learned that he “has only just bought his first house, having lived in hotels and on-set trailers for much of his life.”
During the interview with Lipworth, Reeves also talked about his passion for motorcycles and the injuries he’s suffered due to it. He is the co-founder of Arch Motorcycle Company, which specializes in custom-made motorcycles. His love for riding goes so far that he even did his own stunt for a Super Bowl ad where he can be seen standing on top of a motorcycle going 45mph.
Reeve’s Love life
To end things on an interesting note, the actor is, in some respects, ‘married’ to his co-star from ‘Dracula’ and famous actress, Winona Ryder. The movie’s director, Francis Ford Coppola, said he wanted to do an authentic marriage scene for the movie between the two actors. The event involved hiring a priest and performing the whole ceremony very realistically. After finishing the scene, Coppola realized that the actors had in a way performed an official wedding ceremony.
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