There is a legend that Keanu Reeves was born a few centuries ago, at some point decided not to grow old, but out of respect for mortals, he began to change a little. Slowly, calmly, and from a certain moment even sad. Keanu has long become a brand man – there are a lot of them in Hollywood, but not everyone is seeking national love.
A Canadian citizen, born in Beirut, spent his early years in Australia, but lives in the United States. This year he will be 55 years old – this is not the same boy who received his first more or less prominent role in the teenage sports drama “Young Blood” of 1986. A bit ridiculous from the heights of the past years, but fashionable for those times, Reeves has just begun his journey along winding paths to Hollywood glory.
Keanu’s childhood was not simple – his parents divorced when the boy was three years old, his mother then married three more times. Relations with the biological father did not work out, although he attempted to restore them in the future. When the boy was 13 years old, the attempts stopped. It is possible that family troubles affected the character of the guy, who was sometimes called “emotionally unstable.” It is worth adding here the frequent change of schools, not too diligent behavior, academic performance at the secondary level and dyslexia …
Starting an acting career Reeves decided in 17 years. It is unlikely that he was in the frame by accident, as he had previously participated in theatrical productions, appeared in commercials, appeared in short films and worked on television.
Yes, and in the “Young Blood” he tried on a familiar role: in school he played hockey and was even considered one of the most valuable players, so it was not too difficult for him to play the role of the goalkeeper of the cinema team.
An important milestone was the participation of Keanu in the crime drama from the independent director “On the River Bank”. It so happened that there were almost no big names in the cast – completely beginning young people. And she showed herself right.
They say that when Reeves entered the audition room, the casting manager exclaimed: “This is the guy we need!” Unwelled shoes, some kind of clumsy “boy who becomes an adult.” Although Keanu turned 22 in 1986, he was no longer a teenager. Critics took the picture with a bang, and much later the tape was called “the darkest teenage film of all time.”
The next step up was the films “Dangerous Liaisons” and “The Incredible Adventures of Bill and Ted.” In the first, however, “stars” John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer and Glenn Close, but to be in the company of such people was also worth a lot.
But the sci-fi comedy “Incredible Adventures” was written as if under Reeves. With a budget of $ 6.5 million, she collected a cashier of $ 40.5 million, so the producers and directors began to look more closely at the acting talents of young Kean. And this is despite the negative reviews from major publications: as usual, it got exactly the “scientific” part. It’s funny, but years later they looked at the comedy differently – it became one of the most significant in the actor’s career.
Apparently, Reeves has a certain highlight, thanks to which, with a limited “acting range” (“he is some kind of oak”), but with an unusual style he could win the interest of the public and, not least, those who make a big movie. Only here it is very difficult to find it, but at the beginning of a career it adds obstacles.
Nevertheless, absolutely no films in the career of Keanu. Of course, there were ups and downs, but the black bars did not last long, and the actor successfully avoided second-class movie handicrafts.
Another breakthrough, this time already an “adult”, happened in 1991 – it was then that the drama “On the crest of a wave” came out , which later became a cult. Reeves showed that he is not limited to a certain genre, he is quite capable of something serious. And he proved it in the film “My Personal Idaho State” by Gus Van Sant.
After the release “On the crest of a wave”, the MTV channel, which was still considered to be musical, called Keanu “the most desirable man.” And he had to compete not with anyone, but with Kevin Costner, Christian Slater, Patrick Swayze and Jean-Claude Van Damme. By the way, in 1995 Brad Pitt got on the list, and after two victories in a row, they decided to close the nomination (probably, there was no sense).
You can relax on the wave of fame (and the crest of the wave) and relax a bit – many of the Hollywood stars did this, but then it was difficult for them to return to the line. Reeves only entered into the taste, the peak of his glory has not yet come. In 1992, the film “Dracula” by Francis Ford Coppola.
The ninetieth years of the last century became a golden decade for Keanu. In 1994, the only picture with his participation was “Speed”. By today’s standards, its budget was insignificant – $ 30 million (today it is about $ 52 million, adjusted for inflation). But at that time, Hollywood managed to make good tapes without a couple of hundred million dollars just for production. The company Reeves made Sandra Bullock already held.
According to some reports, Keanu was still experiencing the death of his best friend, the actor Rivera Phoenix (Joaquin Phoenix’s brother), from a drug overdose. Like it or not, history is silent. In addition, in 1991, his sister was diagnosed with leukemia. Reeves, who doted on Kim, supported her with all his might. He apparently found an outlet for his cares in music – in the Dogstar rock band, of which he was one of the founders and participants.
Keanu has changed his attitude towards the projects to which he is invited. The actor began to agree on supporting roles if he considered the script to be good and the role itself to be nonsensical. And refused to offer, if the story seemed to him stupid, insignificant.
This is probably why he didn’t buy a $ 11 million fee for participating in Speed 2, which failed miserably at the box office. He would get his money, but the viewer and Über-producers would then look askance at him.
Reeves tried himself in different genres – romantic comedies, dramas and, of course, in fiction. “Johnny Mnemonic” appeared in 1995, but did not receive the expected attention – the film did not become successful, there was such a first attempt at writing in a new direction. But he was nominated for the Golden Raspberry anti-award as the worst actor. It doesn’t happen to anyone … However, in the 90s several more Keanu roles got on the short list of “Malinki” – his unique image required a certain approach.
“Chain reaction”, fortunately, ended the outlined recession: in 1997 “Devil’s Advocate” was released. They say Reeves refused part of the fee so that the creators of the film could invite in the project director Taylor Hackford Al Pacino. Keanu became the highlight of the thriller, the critics have replaced anger with mercy, drawing attention to the “overmature” actor. Nevertheless, they continued to treat him condescendingly, refusing unconditional recognition.
Perhaps at that moment there was a system failure that brought Keanu to the Wachowski brothers, who won the attention of the audience thanks to the melodrama “Communication”. The epoch of the “Matrix” has arrived. Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura considered Sandra Bullock as a possible performer of the role of Neo, but it was quite at the level of “maybe.” But Will Smith was closer to becoming a hero of the cult trilogy.
Why not Reeves? The fact is that Wachowski had not had time to establish himself (although in the end they became “directors of one film”), so Di Bonaventure, who was required to make big names in the new project, would have to take the rap. Therefore, ostensibly among the contenders for the main role was Brad Pitt, but he was squeezed out by filming in the film “Seven years in Tibet”. I got to the list of negotiators and DiCaprio, but it didn’t work out …
Keanu, the past casting and the nose turned up by the sequels and prequels, agreed immediately to the two parts of the “Matrix”. Strange, detached, unusual Reeves got used to the role of Neo. For many years ahead, this image has become the calling card of the actor.
But he made efforts not to be held hostage by the character of the future – at the same time he starred in other films, the most memorable of which was “Sweet November”.
The black stripe in life was not related to the professional activities of the actor. From 1998 to 2000, he met with Jennifer Syme, but after the tragic circumstances, their relationship ended abruptly: at the end of 1999, Jennifer was eight months pregnant, but the child was born dead. A few weeks later, already in 2000, the couple decided to leave.
However, the story did not end there – after half a year, Syme was killed in a car accident. This shattered Reeves, who tried to cope with work issues (in particular, with the filming in the continuation of the “Matrix”) and personal affairs. For the same reason, the Dogstar musical group apparently ceased to exist.
Much of the money received as a fee for the “Matrix” (which is not less than $ 10 million), Keanu addressed clinics specializing in the treatment of leukemia. From this disease, as already noted, his sister Kim suffered, which, however, ten years after the diagnosis, successfully defeated the illness.
Some films with the participation of Reeves are not noticed by a wide audience, others become significant, though not necessarily known. An interesting picture was “Konstantin”, in which the actor appeared in the form of a demon hunter. Do not leave the feeling that the demons – his own, tormenting the soul of Keanu for some mistakes of the past. But for many, the tape has become a “propaganda roller calling for quit smoking.” Well, we will not argue.
Another view of life, love and relationships is described in the Lake House melodrama. Reeves’s partner here was Sandra Bullock. Sometimes they say, they say, the film did not meet the expectations of either the audience or the critics. But this is a matter of taste …
Then came the “Kings of the Streets” and a bit weird and controversial “The Day When the Earth Has Stopped”, the less conspicuous “The Private Life of Pippa Lee” , a little funny “Crime Trick from Henry” .
And in 2013, Keanu decided to try his hand as a director – only once. This is how the “Tai Chi Master” appeared . It was a tribute in honor of the stuntman, martial artist and Reeves’ friend Tiger Chen. The film was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and the Beijing International Film Festival, earning the praise of renowned action movie master John Woo.
“Swing” did not stop, because after the rental came out the tape “47 Ronin”, as if continuing the “Asian” theme. “It brought the wrong steppe”, – you think like this, looking at the free film adaptation of the legend of samurai. The Japanese got angry at all, having arranged a boycott for the premiere. Complete failure, out of which not everyone can.
After 2014, for the actor, the era of “John Wick” began – so far two films of the series have been released, the third one is on the way. The sad, self-contained character of the hired killer is somewhat like the real Keanu, because he is often called just “sad”, but at the same time kind and sympathetic. And somehow he even became a source of memes that arose thanks to the 4chan forum – the Internet was filled with pictures on the topic of “Sad Keanu”.
Probably the sad actor will remain.
Reeves, maybe more is needed. He does not “stars”, goes to the subway, communicates with the people, so the photos with his enthusiastic fans appear every now and then. He is not picky in clothes, does not strive for luxury (although he once said: “I earned so much money that it would be enough for a couple of hundred years ”) and generally behaves like an ordinary person. Very strange.