Exciting Facts About Keanu Reeves that You Don’t Know!

9 minute read
Facts About Keanu Reeves

One of the most famous actors of all time and known for his extremely humble and down-to-earth personality, Keanu Reeves is very well-known for popular film franchises such as The Matrix, John Wick, Bill and Ted, and more. Keanu Reeves has been admired by many of his co-stars and directors for his kind-heartedness, work, and professional ethics as well as his generous and charitable nature. Explore this blog to read some interesting and exciting facts that will be hard to believe about Hollywood’s most beloved actor, Keanu Reeves. 

Keanu Reeves GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
Courtesy: Giphy

1. Keanu Reeves Never Became an American Citizen

Despite being born in Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, Keanu Reeves is a Canadian citizen. While his mother, Patricia Taylor is English and originally from Essex, his father Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr has a mixed heritage of Hawaiian, English, Chinese, Irish and Portuguese descent. As a child, he frequently moved between Australia and the USA, in New York City, (before finally settling in Toronto, Canada) for years, after his mother’s remarriage. As a result of this, Keanu Reeves got his Canadian citizenship by naturalization. However, he never attempted to become an American citizen because he was able to procure a green card through his American stepfather and consequently moved to Los Angeles. Hence, despite being a Hollywood icon, he never went through the process of obtaining his American citizenship. 

Courtesy: The Hashtag Show

2. Keanu Reeves Almost Changed His Name!

Keanu Reeves was named after his paternal uncle Henry Keanu Reeves. Keanu essentially means “the soft breeze raising” in Hawaiian. In the 1980s, when he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career, some of the casting agencies thought his name was too exotic and hard to pronounce, hence they were hesitant to give him auditions. To overcome this challenge, Keanu began to use alternate names such as K.C Reeves (Keanu Charles Reeves), Chuck Spadina, Norman Kreeves, or Page Templeton III. However, his agents were not too thrilled with the names and eventually suggested keeping and using his original name to succeed in Hollywood. 

“Sometimes enemies are our best teachers, people can learn from their mistakes, destruction sometimes means rebirth.”

Keanu Reeves

3. His Love for Motorcycles is Incomparable!

Keanu Reeves is a huge fan and collector of motorcycles. Initially, he learned to ride a motorcycle while shooting a film in Germany and eventually brought himself one. He is known for collecting various kinds of motorcycles. One of his all-time favorite bikes includes the 1973 Norton Commando. He also co-founded a custom motorcycle dealership named Arch Motorcycle Company which is based in Canada. 

Did you know? Keanu Reeves’ love for motorcycles has also resulted in numerous personal accidents wherein he has lost his teeth, broken his ankle, and even ruptured his spleen among other serious injuries.

4. Keanu Reeves- An Excellent Ice Hockey Player!

Another lesser-known fact about Keanu Reeves is also an excellent ice hockey player. Adding onto the surprise, he also has co-coached a hockey club while studying in Toronto. At the De La Salle College, a catholic school, he performed successfully as an ice hockey goalkeeper which earned him the nickname ‘The Wall’. During his school days, Keanu Reeves had aspirations to become a professional ice hockey player and even had the opportunity to try out for the Windsor Spitfires, a hockey team in Ontario Hockey League. However, at the age of 15, Keanu Reeves was set on becoming an actor since he believed his future lay in the performing arts

“The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.”

Keanu Reeves

5. Keanu Reeves was Part of a Band- Dogstar! 

The list of endless shocks is not over yet! A few people would only know that Keanu Reeves was also a bass guitarist in the grunge band ‘Dogstar’ which was active from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. While the band only found moderate success, most of its popularity can be attributed to the growing fame of Keanu Reeves. In 1995, Dogstar started for Bon Jovi in Australia and New Zealand. In 1996, they released 4 tracks, and after that their debut album ‘Our Little Visionary’ was released. Despite having excess individual workloads, the band managed to release their second album, Happy Ending in 1999. 

Keanu Reeves playing bASS in his band Dogstar.: Davie504
Courtesy: Reddit

6. He was in a Coca-Cola Commercial!

Who knew that Keanu was also a part of an old Coca-Cola commercial before his acting career just started? Before his rise to fame for films such as The Matrix and John Wick, Keanu Reeves initially starred in a Coca-Cola commercial as a professional cyclist. Recalling his initial acting days, Keanu remembered the commercial begging short over a period of 3 days wherein he was required to drink many cans of coca-cola as well as shaving his legs to look more believable as a professional cyclist. 

Courtesy: The Late Late Show with James Cordon

7. An Actors Known for Taking Pay-Cuts

Although having a net worth of $350 million, and being among the A-list celebrities in Hollywood, Keanu Reeves is also known for taking dramatic salaries and pay cuts to help out with films. While he has worked with popular actors like Gene Hackman, Al Pacino, and Jack Nicholson on films like The Devil’s Advocate, The Replacements, and Something’s Gotta Give, Keanu Reeves voluntarily deferred his compensation to free up the film’s budget to accommodate the other actors. Even while starring in The Matrix franchise, he was entitled to a large share of the film’s gross revenue, however, he refused to take the money on grounds that the money could be for extensive special effects sequences, which was the core attraction of the franchise. 

“Art is about trying to find the good in people and making the world a more compassionate place.”

Keanu Reeves

8. Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix were Best Buddies

Only some people would know about Reeves and Phoenix’s strong bond and friendship saga. Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix first became friends on the set of I Love You To Death. When Director Gus Van Sant first developed the script for ‘My Own Private Idaho’ he had difficulty casting the two main leads. While Reeve’s agents were pleased with the offer, Phoenix’s agents were displeased with the offer and hence they refused to hand over the script to River Phoenix. Luckily for the director, Reeves’s close friendship with River Phoenix saw him ride from Canada to a town outside Gainesville, Florida, wherein Reeves hand-delivered the script to Phoenix. They eventually went on to star in the film together and the film was a great success too. 

Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix were best friends! :D (all 1991. From My Own  Private Idaho): OldSchoolCool
Courtesy: Reddit

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9. Keanu Reeves Performs His Stunts on His Own

Unlike most Hollywood actors and megastars, Keanu Reeves is known for performing his stunts. Isn’t it amazing? He is also famously known for working through his injuries and persevering until the completion of filming. While filming The Matrix, Keanu even sustained a spinal injury while performing the wire-work sequences of the film. Two of the discs on his back began to fuse which almost resulted in him being partially paralyzed from his legs. He also completed an extended fight scene during the filming of John Wick despite having a fever. 

Courtesy: TIFF Originals

“Every struggle in your life has shaped you into the person you are today. Be thankful for the hard times, they can only make you stronger.”

Keanu Reeves

11. Recurring Appearance in a TV Show 

While many TV shows are known for welcoming guest stars and celebrities, Keanu Reeves also has a small recurring role in the TV show ‘Swedish Dicks’. It was a show about two private detectives from Sweden trying to earn a living in Los Angeles. His friend Peter Stormare stars as the main lead of the show. 

Did you know? Keanu Reeves was in a ‘Movie Jail’ for a period of 10 years by Fox Studios as he refused a movie role in favor of doing a stage production of ‘Hamlet’ in Canada

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Courtesy: Jimmy Kimmel Live

12. Supports Several Cancer Charities

Keanu Reeves has a younger sister who was afflicted with Leukemia. In response to her brave battle against cancer, Reeves founded a private cancer foundation to provide adequate funds and research assistance for children’s hospitals. In June 2020, he volunteered for Camp Rainbow Gold which is an Idaho Children’s, Cancer Charity. 

“I was also raised to treat people exactly how I would like to be treated by others. It’s called respect.”

Keanu Reeves

13. Keanu Reeves has Published his Book of Poetry

If you’re quite active on the internet, you might have come across the Sad Keanu Reeves Meme. Inspired by the meme, Keanu Reeves collaborated with artist Alexandra Grant to create ‘Ode to Happiness’, a limited-run book that featured poems written by Reeves which are accompanied by Grant’s illustrations for each line. The pictures are created to look like they come from a seriously morose children’s book which was exactly what Reeves’ intended to make. 

Poems by Keanu Reeves - TheArtGorgeous
Courtesy: TheArtGorgeous

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14. Always Prepared for His Roles 

The hardworking actor is always ready and prepared physically and mentally to take up any challenging roles that are put in front of him. Many people and his fans won’t know that for his roles in the films like Point Break, Speed, and The Matrix, Keanu Reeves has dedicated a large amount of time physically preparing for the roles and characters to give his best performance. For Point Break he even spent weeks learning to surf properly. For every challenging role that he takes, he plays it with utmost dedication and does full justice to the role. 

Did you know? While the director was convinced he would require a stunt double, Keanu Reeves surprised everyone when he performed the stunt himself in the movie Speed. 

15. The Matrix Franchise led to the Creation of the John Wick Franchise.

We all must have watched the two greatest movies of Keanu Reeves, The Matrix and John Wick. While Keanu was developing the script for John Wick, he reached out to Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, who were stunt doubles in the Matrix, and asked if they would be interested in developing the stunt sequences for John Wick. Little they would know that he was secretly hoping that they would direct the entire film. Eventually, it was their vision for the film that inspired Reeves to support not just as stunt coordinator but also as co-director for the film.

16. Keanu Reeves has been ‘John’ 8 Times!

One of the most interesting facts about Keanu Reeves is his favoritism when it comes to the name ‘John’. As a matter of fact, he played the character of John in 8 films including John Wick, Point Break, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Much Ado About Nothing, Johnny Mnemonic, Generation Um… and Constantine. His character streak of ‘John’ is quite similar to Shah Rukh Khan playing the character Rahul in Bollywood movies!

17. Alice Cooper was Supposedly His Babysitter! 

Well, that’s a big interesting fact to digest about Keanu Reeves. That’s why we have kept it as our show stopper! As a child, Reeves’s mother was a costume designer in Toronto. Hence, he would often get the opportunity to hang out with famous people from the industry. He believes that one of them was Alice Cooper who used to frequently hang out at his house and would entertain him by bringing over fake vomit and dog poo to terrorize the housekeeper. According to the actor, Cooper is a really nice man with a laid-back attitude. 

Courtesy: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

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Woah! These were some unbelievable and exciting facts about Keanu Reeves, who is also a famous internet sensation due to his introverted personality and kind attitude. To read more interesting and fun blogs like this, stay tuned to Leverage Edu!

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