Most people know Keanu Reeves as Neo from The Matrix or Ted from Bill and Ted. For more than 20 years, Reeves has been on our screen in one way or another. So, it makes sense that the public would get to know him after all these years.
But how much do we know about the actor, really? Sure, there are a bunch of memes online that give us an idea, but what about his personal life? Well, strap in for an emotional ride!
He Loves Ballroom Dancing
We all have some quirky habits outside of work. Since Keanu Reeves is an actor, we bet he does a bunch of cool stuff on set. But what about when he’s not in front of the camera? Well, his interests are a bit different from ours!
In May 2019, Reeves appeared on The Graham Norton Show and confessed his love for ballroom dancing! Reeves explains how it ‘sounded like fun’ to take on a new challenge. He admits he found it ‘pretty special… amazing, thrilling’.
He Claims To Have Seen A Ghost
When he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel in 2014, Keanu Reeves told the audience a pretty interesting story. He thinks he once saw a ghost. When he was a young boy – around six or seven – he had moved to New York from Australia with his mother and siblings.
He remembers sitting in a room when all of a sudden, a floating jacket appeared in the doorway. He told Kimmel there was no head or body – just the jacket. Do you think Reeves saw a ghost? He’s sure he did…
Is He Immortal?
One of the ongoing jokes on the internet is how Keanu Reeves seemingly never ages. If you were to place a picture of him today next to one of him in the 1990s, it would be nearly impossible to tell the difference. Well, is he immortal?
Annoyingly, he is actually just a normal human. The rumors online started after fans on Reddit noticed how similar he looked to portraits of men from thousands of years ago. That, and the fact he must use an amazing moisturizer!
He Turned Down The Chance To Work With De Niro and Pacino
It sounds like every actor’s dream: share a scene with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino? Of course! Well, Keanu Reeves actively turned down the opportunity to work with both of the iconic actors in the 1995 movie Heat. The part went to Val Kilmer – but why?
Reeves chose to move to Winnipeg instead and play Prince Hamlet in the Manitoba Theater’s production of Hamlet. He performed to sold-out audiences every night and wowed critics with his performance.
He’s Lived In Multiple Places
We’ve already mentioned New York and Australia, but where else has the actor lived? Let’s start at the beginning: Keanu Reeves was born in 1964 in Beirut to an English mother and an American-Chinese father.
Sadly, his parents divorced when he was two years old and the family moved to Sydney, Australia. After a few years, they moved to New York before finally heading up to Toronto. Finally, he settled in Los Angeles. Today, he considers himself a Canadian citizen and holds a US Green Card.
He Never Finished High School
Here’s a lesson for the young readers out there: you don’t need a high school diploma to follow your dreams! It’s probably not a great lesson, but it worked for Keanu Reeves. He’s stated a few times on record that he wasn’t academic, which lead him to be the class clown and troublemaker.
At 17, he decided it wasn’t for him and he left school to become an actor. Thankfully, it all worked out for him in the end. If not, we think he would have gone back to finish his studies!
He’s Full Of False Teeth
Turns out his need for speed has gotten Reeves in a bit of trouble in the past. In 2008, he confessed in an interview that he never wears a helmet when he rides his motorcycle.
According to the interview, he said: “Once, a car pulled a U-turn in front of me, didn’t see me coming and I couldn’t get out of the way. That one’s responsible for my fake teeth,” We’re not sure how many left are real – what do you think?
He Shared The Screen With Drake
What are the chances that two of Canada’s biggest entertainment exports would share a screen? Well, quite high when you consider their shows. Anyway, Keanu Reeves once appeared in a small arc on Degrassi – think of it like Law and Order in Canada.
It’s basically the biggest show in Canada with all its stars appearing in at least one episode. One of its most notable stars is – of course – Drake. Even though they didn’t share a scene together, they can both put this on their resume.
He Pays To Give Out Autographs
Writer James Dator has an interesting anecdote about Keanu Reeves. Back when he was 16 years old, he received the actor’s autograph in a pretty unique way. It’s all about an ice cream…
When he first met Reeves, Dator didn’t manage to get his autograph. This was when he worked at a box office stand. Well, Reeves found out and then returned to buy an ice cream. After handing Dator the signed receipt, he quickly walked out. Dator noted that he saw him throw the ice cream away almost immediately.
He Might Be Married… To Winona Ryder
Normally, you know if you’re legally married to someone. Well, this can’t be said for Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder, star of Stranger Things. But how? Well, the story goes back 27 years…
When these two starred in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, they filmed a wedding scene together. According to the director, Francis Ford Coppola, the priest recited the whole ceremony in full – meaning that it was technically official! To this day, they still don’t know if their marriage is legally binding.
One Is The Loneliest Number…?
After being single for many years, there were rumors that he was a lonely guy. Well, he faced the questions head-on in a recent interview where he opened up about his feelings. Allegedly, he said: “I’m the lonely guy. I don’t have anyone in my life. But if it does occur, I would respect and love the other person; hopefully, it’ll happen for me.”
The following week, he claimed the interview never happened and it was made up. We may not know how he really feels, but there’s something nice about having a few secrets in Hollywood.
He’s A Massive Charity Giver
Starring in franchises like Bill and Ted and The Matrix has left more in Reeves’ bank than he knows what to do with. It turns out that behind the scenes, Keanu Reeves gives a lot of his fortune to those less in need.
In the 1990s, one of his sisters was diagnosed with a form of Leukemia, which inspired him to donate to countless children’s hospitals and charities. Although he doesn’t discuss how much he donates, it is understood to be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
He’s A Published Writer
He may not have finished high school, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t put a strong pen to paper. After becoming a popular meme in the form of the ‘sad Keanu’ picture, he decided to write a poem poking fun of himself.
The poem, called Ode To Happiness included lines such as “I wash my hair with regret shampoo” and “I draw a hot sorrow bath.” Well, that was enough for his friend, Janey Bergman, to pull some strings and get it published with illustrations. It sold around 4000 copies.
He Almost Wasn’t Keanu
Of course, the world today knows his name, but how many Keanus do you know in the world? When starting out in Los Angeles in the 1980s, Keanu was often told no one would remember or like his name, and that it might prevent him from reaching worldwide stardom.
‘Keanu’ in Hawaiian means “cool breeze over the mountains.” It’s a good thing that he kept using that name because we think it suits him down to the ground. Can you imagine him using any other name?
He Puts The Film First
For Keanu, his biggest priority is making good films that people enjoy. This means bringing some of the best talents together to collaborate on strong storytelling and acting. But how do they afford all of that?
Well, Reeves has been known to personally accept salary cuts as high as 90% to pay for other cast members. In 2000’s The Replacements, Reeves took 10% of his salary so that the studio could also afford Gene Hackman.
Ice Hockey Champ
What else is there to do in Canada? Before he committed to becoming an actor in Hollywood, Keanu Reeves dabbled in the idea of becoming a professional Ice Hockey player. In fact, he even earned himself the nickname ‘The Wall’ when he played due to his defensive skills.
Alas, all good things must come to an end and Reeves had to retire from the sport due to an injury. While he still occasionally enters the rink, he is nowhere near as good as he used to be. We’d rather see you in films, Keanu!
He Likes The Bus
Ok, so no one ACTUALLY likes the bus. But, eager fans have often spotted Keanu Reeves on public transportation systems like buses, trains, and subways. Apparently, he isn’t too bothered about the glitz and glam of private jets.
One day, he was flying commercial airlines in the US and the plane was floored due to technical difficulties. Instead of just booking a private plane, he rode the bus with all the other passengers. What a humble guy!
He Runs Multiple Businesses
Talk about living the American dream! As well as being the massive superstar we know and love, Reeves is also a successful business owner. In fact, he owns two entire businesses! First, he co-founded a production company called ‘Company Films’. He even starred in its 2010 film, Henry’s Crime.
His second business couldn’t be more different: a motorcycle company! Arch Motorcycle Company is a bike manufacturer in California. That’s three massive careers all in his pocket – very entrepreneurial.
He’s Always Looking Out For The Crew
When you’re the A-list celebrity, it’s easy to get treated like a star. But what about the crewmembers? There are countless people who all work together to make the film the success it is.
Well, it turns out Keanu Reeves makes sure they get the recognition and rewards they deserve. After earning a staggering $256 million from The Matrix and its sequels, he reportedly gave more than $75 million of it away to the crew.
He Does His Own Stunts
He may be 54 years of age, but he’s also immortal, remember? So, it makes sense that the John Wick actor would want to perform his own stunts. In fact, even in this latest outing, he says most of the stunts were performed by him – except for some of the more extreme ones.
John Wick’s director, Chad Stahelski, started as Reeves’ stunt double in The Matrix 20 years ago. How things can change! Today, he is also a stunt coordinator.
Fathers? He’s Had A Few
Sadly, we know he was raised without his biological father. However, he was blessed(?) to have more than enough stepfathers growing up. His mother married and divorced a few times during his childhood. While he may have had a few male role models growing up, it was hardly the stable upbringing that children need.
To this day, he doesn’t know if it had a positive or negative effect on his childhood and upbringing. Most likely, he learned more about himself and what it means to be true to your inner self.
He Spent Time Working In A Restaurant
Let’s face it: even if you’re one of Hollywood’s biggest actors, you have to start somewhere. For Keanu Reeves, that start was in a small Italian restaurant. Over time, he worked up from the waiter all the way to the manager!
Today, it remains one of his most formative experiences growing up. He credits his time there as being essential in learning about people and how they work. Maybe that’s why he’s so generous to crewmembers today?
His First Role Was Opposite Rob Lowe
Let’s cast our memories all the way back to 1986. It was the year that Keanu Reeves would act in his first serious role. He filmed Youngblood in Canada opposite teen heartthrob Rob Lowe at the time, and it had a huge impact on his career.
Once he appeared in this, it gave him the confidence to move to Hollywood and pursue a major career in acting. Before long, he was cast in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and the rest is history.
He Has Many Talents
Let’s put his skills in acting and motorcycle riding aside, Reeves is also a talented musician. In 1991, the actor was a member of a band called Dogstar – where he could be seen playing bass guitar.
He would appear on stages around the world and most notably opened for Bon Jovi in 1995. While the band broke up a few years later, it was a skill and a passion that would stick with the actor for years to come. Today, it is still a significant part of his life.
Talkin’ About Stalkin’
The problem with being such a big celebrity is that you will have to deal with crazy fans. Well, no one knows more about that than Reeves. In 2014, he came face to face with a stalker who had broken into his home!
He was awoken in the night by a woman who claimed she wanted to meet the Speed star. You can imagine how surprised he must have been! Thankfully, he remained calm as he called the police and sat to talk with the intruder!
Stalkin’ 2: Cruise Control
Well, all good stories deserve sequels! After only three days, Keanu Reeves came head to head with another crazy fan. A second woman managed to climb over the gate to his garden and into his home.
She even went one further – she took a shower in his bathroom! Then, she took off all her clothes and went swimming completely nude. Thankfully, he wasn’t home at the time and was a safe distance away. Time to change the locks, Keanu!
He Started Smoking Because Of His Craft
Talk about dedication! If you’ve seen a photo of Keanu Reeves recently, then you’ll see him probably smoking a cigarette on the street. Sadly, it’s a common habit for the actor from his experience on the set of Feeling Minnesota.
In the film, his character was required to smoke cigarettes. Therefore, Reeves started picking up the packs. Over time, he actually became addicted to the stuff and still smokes them today! Time to quit!
He Loves Shakespeare
Most actors have the reputation of being airheads without much depth. That can be particularly true if you dropped out of high school and earned a reputation for playing Ted in Bill & Ted! Still, Reeves is no dummy. In fact, he even loves to read Shakspeare!
When he was cast as Don John in 1993’s Much Ado About Nothing, it was far from the actor’s first experience with the playwright. Turns out he also performed in Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet.
His First Role Was A Coca-Cola Commercial
Yes, he’s a massive star today, but did you know that Reeves’ very first acting role was in a Coca-Cola commercial? It’s not uncommon for actors to start off on small TV adverts, and the Matrix star is no different.
In the ad, you can see him playing a cyclist who loses a race. But don’t worry! Just as his spirits are down, the coach hands him a nice cold bottle of coke and he drinks it down to cheer up. Who was his coach? “My dad,” Keanu’s character admits.
Some Of His Best Friends Are Homeless
For someone will millions of dollars in the bank, Keanu Reeves definitely doesn’t discriminate when it comes to friends. We don’t know this because of any press or interviews he’s done – it’s mainly from photos taken by the paparazzi.
In these photos, we see him sitting on the curb next to homeless people, giving them food and sharing a conversation. It just goes to show how down to Earth he is and how much he likes talking to real people.
He Describes Himself As Spiritual
It’s no secret that Hollywood hates anyone who is religious. However, what do they think about people who share some spiritual beliefs? Well, Keanu is definitely someone to hold some personal and spiritual thoughts about the world.
When asked if he were spiritual: “I don’t know the spiritual Richter-scale measurement! That’s a weird answer, isn’t it? I don’t know. Do I believe in God, faith, inner faith, the self, passion, and things? Yes, of course! I’m very spiritual … Supremely spiritual … Bountifully spiritual … Supremely bountiful.”
Reeves The Reader
Even though he didn’t finish high school, Keanu Reeves is still an avid reader in his spare time. He must have learned how much he liked it later in life, otherwise maybe he would have stuck around in English class!
Some of his favorite books include The Lord of the Rings, The Count of Monte Cristo, In Search of Lost Time, and The Idiot Notes from Underground. Looks like he’s making up for all that time spent out of the classroom!
Master Of The Martial Arts
At this point, you have to ask: “is there anything that Keanu Reeves can’t do?” It’s what we asked ourselves when we found out that he has a keen eye on the arts of fighting. While he may not be a pro, he definitely knows more than most.
For The Matrix, Reeves studied more than 200 types of martial arts to familiarize himself with his art. Looking at the final film, we have to admit that we think it worked!
His Best Friend Died
Reeves once had a best friend who went by the name of River Phoenix – maybe you’ve heard of him? The stars bonded during the production of My Own Private Idaho in 1993 and immediately became best friends.
Sadly, Phoenix died later that year of a heart-related problem. Speaking about his friend, Reeves said: “River was a remarkable artist and a rare human being. I miss him every day.” We can’t imagine having a best friend who died.
Always The Experimenter
Even though his best friend had died due to a drug-related heart problem, it didn’t stop Reeves from having his own experiences with drugs. Even from a young age, he confessed that he would often try new things:
“I’ve had wonderful experiences,” he said. “I mean really wonderful. In teaching. Personal epiphanies. About life. About a different perspective — help with different perspectives that you have. You know what I mean? Relationships to nature. Relationships with the self. With other people. With events.”
Lover Of Olympics
Keanu Reeves is not short of ways to spend his time – whether it’s reading or riding his motorbike. Still, there’s one more interest he keeps close to his heart: the Olympics.
He said, about the ceremony: “I don’t have a favorite TV show, but I do know that I love watching the Olympics. Whenever the Olympics are on, I just love watching them, the moments that you get these incredible athletes dedicating so much of their lives to the moments that happen in the Olympics, and it is great to be able to witness that.”
There’s A New Bill & Ted Movie
Bodacious! If you didn’t know already, Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are currently filming Bill & Ted Face The Music. Confirmed for a 2020 release, the film will catch up with everyone’s favorite time-traveling duo.
The script was written by the same writers as the previous outings, which means fans of the original can expect the same heart and humor as the first two films. While we might not know the synopsis just yet, it is definitely something to look out for!
He’s Felt Heartbreak
Why has Keanu Reeves remained single for all these years? Well, the truth is far sadder than you might know. In 1999, his then-girlfriend, Jennifer Syme, gave birth to their child eight months into her pregnancy which sadly caused a stillborn. After the premature death of their child, Reeves and Syme couldn’t handle the grief and broke up.
Only two years later, Jennifer Syme was driving down the street when she crashed her car – killing her instantly. In two years, Keanu suffered the loss of his loved one and child. It caused him a tremendous amount of grief that he is still processing today.
He’s Profound About Life
Although he hasn’t described himself as religious, Keanu Reeves has recently opened up about his feelings on spirituality. When appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Colbert asked Keanu what he thought happened after death.
The usually charming and happy-go-lucky Reeves paused for a few seconds and then replied: “I know that the ones who love us will miss us.” In just a few short words, he elicited a round of applause and a handshake from the host.