His roles in beloved blockbuster movies, serene demeanor, and real earnestness have actually made him both an A-list actor and also a prince of internet memes.

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But despite a high-profile career extending over three decades, Reeves has actually remained an extremely personal person. There’s a lot you probably don’t know about him, from his beforehand life as a young actor to his behind-the-scenes exploits and also work-related exterior of movies.

He Was Born in Lebanon

Keanu Reeves is well-known as a quintfundamentally American actor, many thanks to personalities favor Ted “Theodore” Logan and Johnny Utah, that, exterior of a cartoon cowboy, are two of the many Amerideserve to human beings to ever exist. So it could surpincrease you to learn that Reeves isn’t actually Amerideserve to.

little-budha-keanu Image via Miramax
Reeves was born in Lebanon to an English mommy and also an American father. He moved to Ontario once he was a boy after his parents split up and his mom remarried a stage and also film director. Reeves stays a Canadian citizen, with an Amerihave the right to green card with his stepfather.

He Auditioned to be Bill, Not Ted

According to a long-standing city legfinish that has never been totally evidenced, Reeves actually auditioned for the part of Bill S. Preston, Esq. in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure prior to eventually landing the duty of Ted. At the same time (according to the rumor), Alex Winter tried out for Ted, only to be actors as Bill.

bill-ted-keanu-reeves-audition Image using Orion Pictures
Aacquire, the rumor has actually never before been confirmed, and Alex Winter can’t even respeak to if it’s true, although he has actually a concept about it. He thinks it can come from the reality that the two characters are so similar, he and also Reeves lose track over that played that.

And it is admittedly fun to imagine some Hollyhardwood producer looking at the 2 actors, unexpectedly being struck with a bolt of epiphany type of, then gradually rerelocating Bill’s tradenote baseround cap from Reeves’ head and also placing it on Winter’s and also shouting, “Now we’ve obtained a movie!”

He Filmed the Club Scene in John Wick With a High Fever

Reeves has actually a reputation for being pretty hands-on in terms of the stunt occupational in his films. This is specifically true for the John Wick series, in which Reeves performs the large majority of the driving, fighting, and gunplay himself. But one sequence In the original John Wick was even more grueling than you realize.

john-wick-keanu-fever Image through Summit Entertainment
Throughout the extended night club sequence, in which John Wick fight-shoots his way through one or two dozen of Theon Greyjoy’s henchmen, Reeves was actually exceptionally sick. According to the director’s commentary track on the John Wick blu-ray, the actor had a fever of about 103° while filming that scene, which involved the majority of demanding physical task and complex choreography. What can we say? Keanu is a pro.

His Name Means “Cool Breeze Over The Mountain”

Keanu’s unique name is a Hawaiian word definition “cool breeze over the hill.” Not just does his name make him stand also out in a actors list, however it likewise appears to explain him perfectly, as if he saw his paleas from the future and told them what name he must be provided.

little-budha-keanu-name Image via Miramax
Reeves traces his Hawaiian genealogy with his father, who was of Hawaiian and Chinese descent. The name “Keanu” is obtained from Keaweaheulu, the name of a well known Hawaiian high chief from the 18th century. In addition, Keanu was the middle name of Reeves" uncle.

Keanu Had a Difficult Time in High School

Reeves attfinished 4 different high institutions as a teenager. He was actually expelled from among them, an event the actor essentially features to “being a teenager.” Reeves shelp he was “simply a little too rambunctious and swarm my mouth off once also often… I was not mainly the most well-oiled machine in the institution.”

bill-and-tad-keanu-bad-school Image using Orion Pictures
Reeves eventually dropped out of college completely to go after acting. He actually acquired among his initially film functions while still living in Canada, playing a hocvital player alongside Rob Lowe in Youngbloods. Reeves inevitably driving to Los Angeles in a crummy old automobile to satisfy via an agent his stepfather, director Paul Aaron, had contacted for him. The agent, Erwin Stoff, represents him to today.

He Shares a Weird Orlittle bit with Val Kilmer

Throughout his acting career, Reeves has repeatedly uncovered himself sharing a starray orlittle through Val Kilmer. The 2 actors have actually never before appeared in a film together, yet have actually still managed to cross each other’s routes many type of times, start via Reeves’ audition to play Jim Morrichild in director Oliver Stone’s The Doors.

“I auditioned a couple of times, however I don’t think I was ever seriously in the running,” Reeves said. “I just review some of Jim Morrison’s poeattempt and also listened to some of his music and also did what I could.” Reeves would go on to relocation Kilmer in the lead function in Johnny Mnemonic when Kilmer dropped out. A year later on, Reeves was set to play Chris in the film Heat alongside Robert DeNiro and also Al Pacino, but had to back out and also was replaced by Kilmer.

He Was a Skilled Hocvital Player

Reeves had actually trouble academically in institution, but he excelled at theater and sporting activities. He was specifically great at hocessential, and was reportedly so formidable as a goalie that he earned the nickname “The Wall” while playing on the team at De La Salle College.

Reeves apparently taken into consideration trying to go pro as “The Wall surface,” which expected he could have conceivably supplied a successful sports career to segue into acting like Dwayne Johnboy. We could’ve seen a whole decade of movies starring Keanu “The Wall” Reeves. But Reeves made a decision acting was his true calling and we gained Bill & Ted instead, which is a fair profession.

One of His First Roles was a Coke Commercial

Reeves had actually numerous little bit components as soon as he was first getting his begin like many actors carry out. One of his initially functions was as a racing cyclist in a Coke commercial, which aired in the early 1980s. In the commercial, which is conveniently obtainable on YouTube, Reeves is up against a villainous Russian cyclist, because everything America did in the 1980s was about making Russians look negative.

On an episode of The Late Show via James Corden, organize James Corden actually had Reeves watch the old commercial and also talk about his memories of filming it. “I had so many type of Coca-Colas,” Reeves said, sharing that the commercial took three days to film and that he shaved his legs to look more believable as a cyclist.

He’s Apparently Ambidextrous

In something of an Easter egg for eagle-eyed Keanu fans, Reeves shows up to be ambidextrous. If you watch his movies closely, you’ll notice that he primarily writes via his left hand and does more facility actions with his ideal.

This is specifically noticeable in John Wick. For example, once the courier arrives to supply John Wick’s new puppy, he signs the shipment receipt through his left hand also. Throughout the film’s comprehensive activity sequences, you deserve to watch that he fires every one of his tools right-handed.

He Surprisingly Turned Down Speed 2

Speed was among Keanu Reeves’ breakout hits, coming shortly after Point Break and also proving that he could be a bonafide activity star and also a man through short hair. (Director Jan de Bont famously asked Reeves to trim his trademark lengthy hair, to which Reeves responded by shaving his head entirely.)

Speed was among the greatest films of 1994, so as soon as 20th Century Fox determined to develop a sequel, they were all set to sell Reeves a tidy salary of $11 million. However before, Reeves turned them down, opting instead to take some time off from film, tour with his band also and do some theater.

While Reeves more than likely doesn’t regret his decision (Speed 2: Cruise Control is a notoriously poor film that routinely reflects up on “Worst Sequel” lists), he has declared in later on interviews that had he been asked also a few minutes later on, he might’ve agreed to perform the movie. That said, he clintends to remember telling de Bont, “You understand, boats aren’t that rapid.”

His Cameo in Keanu Was a Last-Minute Addition

The 2016 comedy Keanu was created and created by the sketch comedy duo of Jordan Peele and also Keegan-Michael Key. The movie, about a kitten called Keanu that winds up in the middle of a gang war, is essentially a parody of John Wick, so Peele and also Key wanted Reeves to be associated.

However before, Reeves’ monitoring turned down the sell, supposedly without consulting the actor. When Reeves experienced the initially trailer for Keanu, he instantly contacted Key and Peele himself and asked if he can be in it. So he was added at the last minute as the voice of the kitten Keanu in the time of a dream sequence.

He Supports Several Cancer Charities

Reeves has been quoted as saying, “Money is the last thing I think around. I can live on what I have already created the next few centuries.” Regardless of whether that quote is 100% accurate, it appears to convey just how he actually feels – Reeves has actually generously supported clinical research programs like Stand Up to Cancer and the SickKids Foundation, which is just one of the largest pediatric research centers in the people.

In enhancement, Reeves established his very own cancer charity, but decreased to have actually his name attached to it, presumably so his involvement wouldn’t overshadow the charity’s occupational. There’s an individual reason for every one of this – Reeves evidenced in an intersee that his sister, Kim, had actually been battling leukemia for many type of years.

He’s a Shakespearean Actor

Keanu Reeves is many kind of wonderful things, however “Shakespearean actor” is not one that immediately pertains to mind. He’s mostly seen as an action star, a romantic lead, or a comic buffoon, so it can be surpincreasing to learn that he’s actually starred in a number of Shakespearean productions.

One of Reeves’ first experiences acting remained in a manufacturing of The Tempest as soon as he was a teenager. He additionally played the villainous Don John in Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 adaptation of Much Aperform About Nothing, primarily concerned as the ideal film variation of the renowned play. Reeves additionally tackled among the the majority of hard Shakespeare roles once he played Hamlet for the Manitoba Theater Centre in 1995, a part he turned down Speed 2: Cruise Control to do.

John Wick Isn’t the First Assassin He"s Played

John Wick could be the the majority of well known assassin in movie background, outside of that GIF of Antonio Banderas in Assassins. He’s another among the iconic characters Reeves has carried to life, alongside Neo and also Ted, yet he’s not the initially assassin Reeves has actually played.

In the 1990 comedy I Love You To Death, Reeves plays a bumbling hitman named Marlon, that is hired alongside his equally-dimwitted cousin Harlan (William Hurt) to kill philandering husband Joey (Kevin Kline) by Joey’s wife Rosalie (Tracy Ullman). In sharp contrast to John Wick, Marlon is a soft-hearted guy who can’t actually carry himself to hurt anyone.

He"s an Avid Motorcyclist

Reeves has a famous affinity for motorcycles. He learned to ride while filming at a studio in Germany and automatically bought one for himself when he got back to the States. He’s owned many various kinds of bikes and also pushed hundreds of miles on his favorite, a 1973 Norton Commancarry out. Reeves also co-founded Arch Motorcycle Company kind of, a practice motorcycle dealer.

Reeves has admitted he doesn’t ride as quick as he offered to, partly because of the variety of accidents he’s remained in while on a motorcycle. In addition to losing teeth, breaking his ankle, experiencing road rash, and also actually having a tooth go via his lip, Reeves ruptured his spleen once he craburned right into the side of a hill while riding his bike at night. One of the paramedics attfinishing to him accidentally dropped one finish of his stretcher, which Reeves actually thought was funny, all points considered.

He Was Nervous About Doing Stunts in Speed

Reeves is known to do the majority of of his very own stunts, from the extfinished wire sequences in The Matrix to the facility driving and also choreography of John Wick. But he wasn’t constantly as gung-ho around taking bumps in front of the camera.

When he was cast in Jan de Bont’s Speed, a movie filled through loads of dangerous stunts entailing cars and explosions, Reeves was initially very nervous. But he eventually wequipped approximately the concept and also convinced de Bont to let him do a particularly dangerous stunt wherein Reeves’ character jumps from a speeding Jaguar into a municipal bus as both vehicles rocket dvery own the freemeans.

He Was Partially Paralyzed During The Matrix

The unique visual style of the gravity-defying fight scenes in The Matrix forced the actors to carry out substantial wire job-related. Trying to carry out martial arts while dangling from wires can be dangerous, yet, and also numerous of Reeves’ costars wound up via injuries, including Laurence Fishburne and also Hugo Weaving.

Unfortunately, Reeves was currently suffering from a spinal injury in the time of filming – two discs in his ago had actually started to fusage together. It was so poor that he was beginning to experience paralysis in his legs, and also if you notification, Reeves doesn’t throw many kicks in the initially Matrix film. He had actually to obtain neck surgical procedure to correct the difficulty.

He Had a Side Career as a Bass Player

In addition to acting, playing hoccrucial, riding motorcycles, and also possibly courting immortality, one of Reeves’ various other interests is music. He’s actually a professional musician, having played bass in 2 various touring bands over the years. Reeves created his first band also, Dogstar, through his friend Robert Mailresidence, whom he met at a supermarket.

Dogstar released two albums in the 1990s, and opened for artists prefer David Bowie and also Bon Jovi. The now-legendary nerd rock band also Weezer actually played their initially skilled display opening for Dogstar, so in a way, Reeves deserves credit for all of Weezer’s success.

His Directors Wanted to Challenge Him With John Wick

Reeves learned multiple martial arts for the Matrix trilogy, working alongside stunt performers Chad actually Stahelski and also David Leitch. When he recruited the duo to choreograph and straight John Wick, he was expecting them to carry the same level of awesomeness.

Stahelski and also Leitch undeniably accomplished awesomeness through the John Wick series, and it was partially due to the truth that they chose to challenge Reeves through the choreography. Rather than reuse any kind of of the skills Reeves had actually developed filming The Matrix, Stahelski wanted Reeves to learn martial arts that the actor had actually never done prior to. This contained jiujitsu and also the considerable “gun fu” methods that have actually become the staple of the John Wick movies.

He Voiced Ted in a Cartoon Series

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure was a surpclimb success, spawning a ton of tie-in merchandise including licensed grain, which Reeves has actually defined as, “surreal… suractual grain.” The film was also adjusted right into an animated series referred to as Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures, and Reeves actually voiced his character Ted.

Reeves wasn’t the only member of the film’s actors to reprise their duty for the cartoon. Alex Winter and also George Carlin additionally voiced their respective personalities Bill and Rufus. However before, the magic didn’t last, and also they were all reput for the show’s second and last seaboy.

He’s Written Books of Poetry

If you’ve invested any type of time on the internet, you more than likely remember the Sad Keanu meme. The meme acquired so substantial it made its means earlier to Reeves himself, and also he responded in the finest means feasible – by creating a book of ridiculously sad poeattempt.

Ode to Delight has such (intentionally) melodramatic lines as “I attract a warm sorrow bath” and “I wash my hair with regret shampoo,” each accompanied by stylized blotted ink illustrations by artist Alexandra Grant. The images look like something you’d discover in a seriously moincreased children’s book, and it all comes together as being exceptionally funny, which was Reeves’ intent.

His Agent Worried His Name Was Too Complicated

When he first began working in film, Reeves’ management worried that his name was also exotic and would be tough for audiences to pronounce. So he tried out other stage names, consisting of “K.C. Reeves,” “Norguy Kreeves,” “Chuck Spadina,” and also, bizardepend, “Page Templeton III.”

According to Reeves, he inevitably stopped utilizing these truly poor pseudonyms because he would give his real name when he actually verified approximately auditions anyway. That sassist, you have the right to still view him attributed as “K.C. Reeves” in some of his earlier roles, including an episode of The Magical World of Disney.

He Thinks Turning Down Speed 2 Got Him Blacklisted

You would think that turning down Speed 2: Cruise Control didn’t weigh heavily on Reeves’ mind considering how monumentally poor that film turned out to be. However, the actor believes that rejecting the component angered producers at 20th Century Fox so a lot that they refoffered to occupational through him for many kind of years afterward.

Reeves referred to his Fox blacklisting as being put in “movie jail.” It doesn’t seem to have been that far from the truth – the actor didn’t star in another Fox production until The Day The Earth Stood Still, which was released practically 15 years after Speed.

He Was Tricked Into Doing One of His Worst Movies

When you have a career as long and also storied as Keanu Reeves, you’re going to make a few stinkers. One of Reeves’ stinkiest is the 2000 thriller The Watcher. In the film, Reeves plays a serial killer that taunts the detective tasked with bringing him down. But Reeves didn’t actually desire to be in the film.

According to Reeves, he had actually verbally agreed to carry out The Watcher several years prior to it gone into production, however as soon as it ultimately came time to film it, his role had actually changed so much that he was no much longer interested in it. However, he alleges that his assistant forged his signature on a contract versus his wishes. Reeves figured the forgery would be difficult to prove, and he didn’t desire to obtain sued for breach of contract in the meantime, so he just did the movie anymeans.

He’s At this time Starring in a TV Sjust how You’ve Never before Heard of

It’s not unusual nowadays for significant movie stars to take components in television shows, bereason TV is enduring a vast renaissance thanks to studios choose Netflix and HBO. But we’re willing to bet you didn’t understand that Keanu Reeves currently has actually a duty in a comedy detective show.

Reeves co-stars in a collection dubbed Swedish Dicks alongside Peter Stormare, who plays an inept exclusive detective in Los Angeles. Reeves plays the ghost of Stormare’s dead stuntman friend, who sometimes shows up to offer him advice. It presently airs on the Pop network-related in the UNITED STATE

He Frequently Takes Pay Cuts to Improve His Films

Keanu Reeves can command an A-list salary, yet he’s been recognized to take dramatic pay cuts in order to assist the film. He agreed to slash his very own payexamine while filming the 2000 comedy The Replacements in order to occupational through Gene Hackman. He did the exact same for the 1997 thriller The Devil’s Advocate to enable the producers to cast Al Pacino as the demonic John Milton.

Reeves was contractually entitled to a large portion of the movie’s gross while filming The Matrix Revolutions, but he turned that money down so that it might be added to the budacquire for the considerable distinct results sequences. It’s clear he’s not worried about cutting into his very own revenue to help make a better movie.

He May Have Accidentally Married Winona Ryder

Keanu Reeves was component of the astronomical ensemble actors in director Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In the film, he plays Jonathan Harker, a lawyer who travels to Count Dracula’s castle to aid him clear up some genuine estate problems. Dracula (Gary Oldman) becomes obsessed through Harker’s wife Mina, played by Winona Ryder. Technically (and also that word is admittedly doing many occupational here), Reeves and also Ryder can actually have actually gotten married throughout the manufacturing.

Coppola supplied a actual priest to perform actual marriage rites between Jonathan and also Mina for a scene in the film. While the “marriage” would certainly in no means be legally binding, it is funny to think that the 2 actors were technically married while filming a vampire movie.

His Mvarious other Was a Costume Designer

Reeves’ mother Patricia Taylor was a perprevious and costume designer working in Beirut when she met his father. In enhancement to making outfits for the stars, she would also construct fancy Halloween costumes for young Keanu, consisting of Dracula and Batman. Ironically, Reeves would flourish as much as star in a blockbuster Dracula adaptation, and was in consideration to star as the villainous Scarecrow in an unmade Batguy film.

Reeves remembers that his mom would frequently have clients involved their residence, consisting of theatrical shock rocker Alice Cooper. In an interview through Us magazine, Reeves shelp that Cooper “would carry fake vomit and also dog poo to terrorize the housekeeper.”

A Candid Photograph Of Reeves Became an Web Sensation

If you’re well-versed in internet lore, you most likely acknowledge the words “Sad Keanu.” A candid photo of Reeves sitting alone on a park bench, eating a sandwich and also looking pensive, recorded fire as a meme in the 2000s. The meme obtained so famous that fans inevitably organized a Cheer Up Keanu Day in 2010, and Keanu himself is even more than mindful of it.

Reeves has sassist of the meme “It’s good clean fun,” however that he wiburned he hadn’t gained his image taken that specific day while he was just eating his lunch and also shed in assumed. He’s likewise said, “People started to carry out funny points via that Sad Keanu,” and assured fans in a 2017 interwatch, “I am not Sad Keanu anymore.”

The Matrix Instraight Led to John Wick

The Matrix is undoubtedly one of the a lot of necessary movies of Reeves’ career. It was an international box office hit and a cultural phenomenon, cementing the already A-list Reeves as a mega star. The Matrix would certainly additionally wind up shaping a career rebirth for Reeves in an unsupposed method.

Reeves’ stunt doubles on The Matrix, Chad Stahelski and also David Leitch, are the co-directors and stunt coordinators of the John Wick franchise. As Reeves was helping develop the script of John Wick via screenwriter Derek Kolstad, he got to out to Stahelski and also Leitch to see if they would be interested in functioning on the stunts, however privately hoped they would agree to direct. Reeves’ unbridled enthusiasm persuaded the duo to join the film.

"Grendel": TV Series Adaptation of Dark Horse Comic Greenlit at Netflix The series will certainly star Abubakr Ali in the title function.

Tom Reimann is a writer and also comedian and also somejust how an Associate Editor at occupychristmas.org. He has actually created for Cracked.com, Mad Magazine, BunnyEars.com, and Some More News, and also is the co-founder of the Gamefully Unemployed podactors netoccupational.

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