Keanu Reeves is no doubt a household name – as well as an internet meme! His well-rounded repertoire from indie and comedy to action movies has proven his diverse skills as an actor.
This soft spoken celebrity has preferred a life of privacy, however there’s still a lot of intriguing facts we’ve dug up!
Here are 35 interesting facts about Keanu Reeves!
Keanu Reeves is 56 years old. He was born on September 2, 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon. His mother was a showgirl and costume designer, while his father was a geologist.
Sadly, when Keanu was only 3 years old, his father walked out on his family. From then, he was raised by just his mother, Patricia.
During his childhood, he moved around a lot from Hawaii, Australia, New York, and finally Canada.
After settling in Toronto, Canada, his mother worked as a costume designer working in the rock and roll industry. Oddly enough, this resulted in Alice Cooper babysitting a young Keanu Reeves.
Keanu attended high school in Canada, but he was often expelled so he ended up attending four different high schools. Eventually, he dropped out when he was 17 to pursue acting.
Keanu was named after his uncle, Henry Keanu Reeves. Keanu means “cool breeze over the mountains” in Hawaiian.
While is mother is English, his father’s side is a bit more diverse. His dad is an American from Hawaii with Chinese-Hawaiian, English, Irish, and Portuguese descent.
Even so, Keanu is a Canadian citizen, and considers himself to be Canadian.
While in high school, he considered playing ice hockey for the Canadian Olympics team, but changed his mind and decided to be an actor when he was just 15.
When he turned 19, Keanu moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue acting full-time.
Keanu was able to land commercial gigs and short film parts. However, his first studio movie appearance was in “Youngblood” in 1986 where he played a goalie.
Keanu’s first leading role was in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” which ended up being unexpectedly successful.
The turning point in Reeves’ career came when he landed the leading role in “Speed” in 1994. After this blockbuster hit sky-rocketed his career, he’s been successful enough to be more selective about his work. Since then, he’s happily taken supporting roles, as well as and parts in experimental films.
Aside from acting, Keanu was also a bassist for the band Dogstar. They were together from 1991-2002. During their career, they played with Bon Jovi, Rancid, Weezer, and toured through the U.S. and Asia.
Keanu Reeves became best friends with River Phoenix while filming a movie. When Keanu saw the script for “My Own Private Idaho,” he thought River was a perfect fit for the role. He drove his motorcycle over 1,000 miles to hand deliver the script to River and convince him to take the role.
When asked to reprise his role in “Speed 2,” Keanu turned it down because he didn’t like the script. Instead, he chose to tour with his band and play Hamlet in a 798 seat theater production in Winnipeg.
Turning down the $11 million dollar role for “Speed 2” resulted in Reeves being blacklisted by 20th Century Fox for 10 years.
In 2005, Keanu Reeves finally received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
A big fan of motorcycles, Keanu co-founded “Arch Motorcycle Company” which makes and sells custom motorcycles.
Keanu Reeves has been known to take pay cuts for movies to help pay for alternative needs. He offered up $1 million of his paycheck in “The Devil’s Advocate” so Al Pacino could be cast. As well, he took a pay cut of his share of ticket profits for “The Matrix” so the producers could afford better special effects – this cut was $38 million.
Even with the money he’s given up, Keanu Reeves is one of the highest paid actor’s in the world. Between “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions,” he earned a total income of $156,000,000. Meanwhile, most highly paid actors earn around a $20-$30 million salary.
As a gift, Keanu gave the each individual of the 12-person stunt team of “The Matrix” a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
After his rise in popularity by becoming an internet meme, “Sad Keanu,” Reeves wrote a grown-up picture book as a joke called “An Ode to Happiness.”
There is a conspiracy which believes that Keanu Reeves is immortal. Fans have noted that Keanu looks extremely similar to Paul Mounet, who was a French actor born in 1847, and they claim Keanu never seems to age.
When Keanu was first gaining popularity as an actor, he lived in rental houses and hotels. He didn’t buy his first house until 2003 in Hollywood Hills.
In Scotland, there is a KeanuCon which is the world’s first Keanu Reeves film festival. They started in 2018 by screening 11 Keanu Reeves films and hosting Wyld Stallyns (Keanu’s fake band from “Bill and Ted”) live.
Keanu Reeves has been performing most of his own stunts since “Speed.” Originally, the director for “Speed” wanted a stuntman, so Keanu practiced in secret. When the time came to film, he performed the stunts himself and shocked the director.
Stunt directors for “John Wick” have expressed how impressed they were with Reeves’ dedication. Usually, actors only train for 8 weeks for a movie. However Keanu trained for 6 months in order to perfect everything. They’ve said he performs 98% of the stunts, and the other 2% is just what insurance won’t cover.
Oddly enough, Keanu Reeves has never been nominated for an Oscar.
Reeves has been through a lot of hardships in his life. In 1993, his best friend River Phoenix passed away from a drug overdose. Later on, he and his girlfriend were expecting a child which was tragically stillborn and the relationship ended due to the strain. A about a year later, his then ex-girlfriend was in a fatal car accident. Since then, Keanu has avoided serious relationships and having children.
Keanu has had a few run-ins with the law, albeit far fewer than most A-lister celebs. In 1993 he was arrested for driving under the influence where he confessed right away, and in 2006 he was pulled over for running a red light.
Keanu has mentioned that he doesn’t care about money – he says he could live off of what he’s already made for the next few centuries, which explains why he’s so generous.
Keanu has played characters named “John” in 8 different movies.
There’s a belief called the “Keanu Code” that claims you can learn about hidden forces that influence the world by studying Keanu Reeves movies.
Due to his love for motorcycles, he’s ended up in a few accidents resulting in broken ribs and ankle, a ruptured spleen, and a few lost teeth.