Keanu Reeves is a talented actor who is best known for his versatile acting abilities. He's capable of portraying a serious character and a daring one at that as he's proven in the highly acclaimed "Matrix" and the sequels that followed. He's also a funny comic as we say in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," then again in "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey." He's a well-known actor, but there is so much more about him that not everyone is aware of, so we'd like to share some more interesting information about this beloved actor with 20 things you didn't know about Keanu Reeves.
1. He has a connection with Hawaii
Keanu Reeves has a very interesting first name. Yes, it's the actual name that he was given at birth. His father was born in Hawaii and he is part Native Hawaiian. Keanu's first name is actually Hawaiian in origin and he has a Native Hawaiian ancestry. The name Keanu in the Hawaiian language means "cool breeze over the mountains." So now you know where his name comes from and precisely what it means.
2. He was born in the Middle East
Keanu Reeves was born on September 2nd in 1964. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon. He is the son of Patricia Taylor who was born in England and she was formerly a showgirl. His father was American born in Hawaii, of Portuguese, Native Hawaiian, Chinese and British Ancestry. His father is a geologist named Samuel Nowlin Reeves. You cannot easily tell by looking at Keanu what his ancestral origins are and many of his fans have speculated throughout the years, but his first name was somewhat of a giveaway that there had to be some Hawaiian in there somewhere.
3. Keanu moved around a lot in his youth
The marriage between Keanu's parents didn't last long. He has a younger sister named Kim. After separating from Keanu's father, his mother moved Keanu, herself and his little sister to Australia. His mother was employed there as a costume designer. After living in Australia for a while, the family picked up and relocated to New York City, which was another big change for the kids. After this, they moved to Toronto in Canada, which wasn't quite as different from the American city they had lived in just prior.
4. There were several stepdads in his life
Keanu had a father, but he didn't live with him. Staying with his mother, Keanu encountered several stepfathers in his life. His mother had married several different men and when it didn't work out, she became divorced again, but remarried on a few different occasions. This meant that when it came to male role models in his life, Keanu had a diverse group of them who would come and go during his younger years, when he was still at home. It wasn't the most stable situation for a young man to be in, but we can tell by the way that he lives his life that he turned out to be an amazing and brilliantly well-rounded young man. His mom and at least some of his stepdads must have done a lot of things right even if they couldn't make their marriages work out.
5. Keanu had trouble in school
Keanu Reeves attended four different high schools within just a five year period. He was expelled from one of them. Keanu developed a habit of shooting off his mouth and when he shared his opinions so freely, the staff at the high schools didn't appreciate it. Given the fact that his home life was up and down, we imagine that he had a lot of emotional turmoil when things weren't going smoothly at home. Four schools in five years is a lot of change on top of all the other changes he had experienced in his life, so it could be that Keanu was so used to different environments that it's something he did at a deeper unconscious level.
6. Keanu wasn't the academic type
When you see Keanu Reeves in action in films such as "Speed," "Point Break," "The Matrix" and "John Wick," he comes across as the deeply intellectual type. His eyes even have a bright spark of high intellect, and we believe that they accurately portray a high intelligence level in the brilliant actor, but he didn't apply it to academics in high school. He simply wasn't interested in them, but he was passionate about ice hockey. He served as goalie for his team and he even earned a distinguished nickname as teammates called him "The Wall." His other passion was acting and he dropped out of high school so he could pursue his career in acting. While it's not recommended to drop out of school, look at him now. In Keanu's case, it appears that he made the right decision.
7. Keanu Reeves held down a restaurant job
When we look at the multi-millionaire actor who has made such a success out of his life, we must realize that everyone has to start somewhere. Keanu has never been a lazy person. He's always been up to something. When he was a teenager living in Toronto, he worked at a pasta restaurant. He was obviously a dedicated employee because he was employed in the position as manager. This tells us that even as a teenager he was recognized for his ability to handle responsibility for other in a work setting.
8. He was in a Coca-Cola commercial
When Keanu was just starting out and getting his acting career on track, he didn't start at the top. Few do, but this is just a part of the business and getting your foot in the door for bigger and better things to come later. His first gigs were making a few commercials and he even appeared in a few movies that were made for TV. It's just what you do, but his Coca-Cola commercial is the one that became his most famous and if you want to find it, we're sure that it's still out there somewhere on YouTube or some other video site. It's kind of cool and nostalgic things for Keanu's fans.
9. He was a correspondent
Most of Keanu Reeves fans are not aware of the fact that he worked as a correspondent. In fact, he did it when he was still very young and although he may have had his share of difficulties in high school, he was good enough to work in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's youth program. The name of the program was "Going Great."
10. His first serious part was with Rob Lowe
Keanu Reeves, when still just a young actor starting out was privileged to have the opportunity to appear with actor Rob Lowe in a supporting role in the hockey film "Youngblood" in 1986. The movie was filmed in Canada. After this, Reeves was inspired and having a good relationship with Paul Aaron, stage and television director, and also his ex-stepfather, he made the move to Hollywood and more actively pursued his acting career. He left Canada in a 1969 Volvo and when he arrived he landed a few small roles before being cast in the role of Ted Logan for "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" in 1989. This helped to launch his career and it was at this point that Keanu's fame began to rise.
11. Keanu Reeves is a talented musician
In 1991, Keanu became the member of a grunge band called Dogstar. He joined them as a bass guitarist and the group made multiple performances at large venues. They even opened for a Bon Jovi concert in Australia in 1995. Dogstar also played at the Glastonbury music festival. The band isn't together anymore, but music has been an important part of Keanu Reeves' life and it still is to this day.
12. He had a ghostly encounter as a child
Keanu told a chilling tale about a ghostly encounter that he had when he was living in New Jersey. He said that he saw a white suit but there was no legs and no body to the apparition. He revealed that it would come into the room and then disappear. It wasn't just a figment of his imagination either because his nanny was also privy to the event and she was as shaken as Keanu was. He said that he had problems getting back to sleep after the incident.
13. Keanu Reeves is a motorcycle rider and more
Another of Keanu's passions is riding and building motorcycles. He's an avid rider and he has been for years. In fact, he's such a fan that he even opened up his own shop. It's called the Arch Motorcycle Company and he manufactures bikes from the plant. He had a close call one night when he was riding in the dark without headlights on in Topanga Canyon. He wrecked his bike into the side of a mountain and it put him in the hospital for a full week. He sustained multiple injuries including a ruptured spleen and broken ribs. If it wasn't documented, you'd find it hard to believe this, but when they were loading him into the ambulance, one of the attending paramedics lost hold of the stretcher and dropped him before they got him loaded into the vehicle.
14. Keanu became the victim of a stalker in 2014
Keanu heard someone in his house on September 12th of 2014. It woke him out of a sound sleep and when he investigated, there was a woman in his library. She explained that she had come to his home so she could meet him. He carried on a conversation with her while calling 911. Police came and arrested the female stalker.
15. He was stalked for a second time just three days later
Unbelievably, Keanu was the victim of a second female stalker who had managed to get through an unlocked gate and maker her way into his home. The second incident was even more disturbing than the first. The woman took her clothing off, showered in Reeves' personal bathroom and then took a swim in his pool without any clothes on. Reeves wasn't home at the time but he was notified of the incident. Once again, police were summoned to his home and arrested the second stalker.
16. Keanu is a Canadian
Keanu Reeves has lived in a lot of different places throughout the world. Having been born in Beirut, Lebanon, and moved to so many different continents, with an American dad and a British mom, it was hard to distinguish what national origin he claimed. He is a naturalized citizen of Canada and this is the country that he identifies with. He has an American green card.
17. He was paid $10 million for "The Matrix"
"The Matrix" was released in 1999 and it was the film that paid Reeves the most he had ever earned as an actor at one time. This was just his payment for the original film in the series. He was given this amount upfront just for agreeing to star in the movie. When everything was tallied up and the total profits were known, he wound up with a total of $35 million. The generous guy who was paid in profit sharing for the rest of the films earned a whopping $110 million and he's so generous that he gave $80 million of his earnings away to the crew of the films. Everyone who knows Keanu Reeves will agree that he did it because he's a great guy.
18. He endured 2 tragedies in 1999
Keanu Reeves and his girlfriend Jennifer Syme were expecting a baby in 1999. When Syme gave birth, their daughter was stillborn. The baby was born during the eighth month of pregnancy and was simply born too early. This was just the first of two terrible events that would change his life forever. Just 18 months after the loss of their little girl, Syme was killed in an automobile accident.
19. He picked up the smoking habit
Keanu is one of those actors that had not developed the habit of smoking cigarettes, that is until he had to act like he was smoking for a role. While starring in "Feeling Minnesota," he was required to smoke cigarettes. Somewhere along the line, he got hooked on cigarettes and started smoking at the age of 30.
20. He's an avid reader
Keanu admitted that he really wasn't into academics when he was in school. Now as a mature man he is an avid reader. He has read in its entirety, Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. The work consists of seven volumes and he's read every word. He's a voracious reader.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker