Keanu Reeves last edited by VideoGamerKC on 06/19/19 06:22PM View full history

Early life

Born in Beirut as the son of an English costume maker and an American geologist of Chinese-Hawaiian descent, Keanu Charles Reeves had an awkward and unstable childhood. Moving from place to place, often from country to country, before eventually settling down in Toronto. His relationship with his parents has also been very rocky; after his dad left while he was only 13, Reeves had plenty of step fathers including a director, a band promoter and a hair salon owner. He has three sisters, though only one is a full sister, the others are half sisters: One to his mother and one to his biological father. While in Toronto, he attended five different schools in four years including an art school, from which he was expelled. However, during this period, he realised that academics weren't his strong suit and instead opted for ice hockey, at which he excelled, earning the nickname of 'The Wall'. As with everything else, this was short lived as he decided to pursue a career in acting.

Early career

Taking small roles in both stage and screen, Reeves' first real role was in the hockey film, Youngblood, alongside Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe. The film was a relative success and spurred Reeves into wanting to make a real impact on the film industry. With Erwin Stoff, the co-producer of The Matrix and I Am Legend, as an agent, Reeves drove all the way to LA in his Volvo where he appeared in several TV series in bit parts, usually under the alias of K.C. Reeves as Keanu was deemed 'too exotic'. His next starring role came with the controversial drama, River's Edge. This propelled him into roles in several other teen movies including Permanent Record, The Prince of Pennsylvania and, most notably, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. While enjoying the success he had garnered in the industry, Revees became afraid that he would remain typecast and realised he had to take more varying roles.

Mainstream

Keanu Reeves at the Street Kings premiere
Keanu Reeves at the Street Kings premiere

The chance to break away from the teen movie genre came in 1991 with the action film Point Break. Attempting to avoid being typecast again, this period of Reeves' career is filled with many erratic choices including Bram Stoker's Dracula, My Own Private Idaho and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues as well as big budget films such as Speed, Johnny Mnemonic and The Devil's Advocate. Around this time, he passed on the sequel to Speed, which was deemed as a costly mistake. However, deciding to take the role of Neo in The Matrix instead has so far proved to be his greatest success, with the film earning $460 million worldwide during its release and having a massive influence on action films in the forthcoming years. In the following years, Reeves appeared in the sequels to The Matrix which, while not as critically successful, were still huge hits with the entire franchise taking over $1 billion. While now a definite member of the A-List, starring in big budget adaptations such as Constantine and A Scanner Darkly, Keanu still took time to appear in lower budget films such as 2005's Thumbsucker and The Lake House the following year. He appeared as Tom Ludlow in Street Kings and as Klaatu in the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. In 2009, Reeves appeared in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee as Chris, the main character's lover.

Reeves' career took a hit in 2013 when he starred as Kai in the film 47 Ronin, which was a critical and commercial failure. He also made his directorial debut with Man of Tai Chi, which was better-received but also failed at the box office. However, his fortunes began to turn around in 2014 when he starred as the title character of the action thriller John Wick, which was a critical and commercial success, with critics calling it one of Reeves' best performances. The success of that film would begin a franchise that has received two sequels that both received comparable critical praise and increasing commercial success, John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019), with John Wick: Chapter 4 announced for a 2021 release. 2019, in particular, has been seen as an astounding year for Reeves; besides the third John Wick film, he also played a fictitious version of himself in the Netfilx romantic comedy film Always Be My Maybe and Canadian stuntman toy Duke Caboom in the Disney/Pixar animated film Toy Story 4.

Music

Reeves has famously been a part of a grunge band named Dogstar which was active between 1991 and 2002. After a chance encounter with Robert Mailhouse, the drummer of the band, in a supermarket in 1991, the two struck up a friendship and started jamming together. The band was completed in 1994 when they recruited Bret Domrose for vocals. Going from strength to strength, they opened for Bon Jovi in 1995 and performed alongside David Bowie before finally recording their debut album, Our Little Visionary which was only ever released in Japan. Over the following years, the band became more distant due to other commitments but a follow up album, Happy Ending, was released in 1999 which coincided with a performance at the world famous Glastonbury Festival. Following a performance in Japan in October 2002, the band have gone on an indefinite hiatus but Reeves has contributed to another band called Becky but again, due to other commitments, is no longer a full member.

Video games

While there have been several games based on Reeves' films, he has not featured in many: In Enter The Matrix, the events take place around Neo's story rather than directly involving him, in The Matrix Online, Neo is dead and so does not feature in any capacity but in both Path of Neo and Constantine, while his appearance is trademarked, he is voiced by impersonators.

On June 9, 2019, he took the stage at the Xbox Media Briefing for E3 2019 after appearing as the character Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077 to personally announce the release date of that game. Notably, his appearance at the conference excited the live audience to the point that an audience member called him "breathtaking", to which Reeves delightedly responded in jest by calling the audience member and every one else in the audience "breathtaking".

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