If there’s one thing that the internet can agree on, it’s that Keanu Reeves is an all-around great guy. From his roles in some of our favorite action thrillers, to his more dramatic roles in films like Dracula, he’s a multi-talented actor, sure – but that’s not why the internet loves him so much. He’s also known for being one of the nicest (and least problematic) celebrities on the planet.
Reeves has lived a life marred by tragedy and has only ever come out of it with generosity and kindness for the world around him. Which makes the fact his past has been so tragic all the more heartbreaking…
He currently resides in the Hollywood hills after gaining fame in an impressive range of massively successful movies.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) told the story of two slackers travelling through time. It was so successful that it was followed by a sequel: Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey in 1991.
In 1992, he starred in Gothic horror-romance, Bram Stoker’s Dracula – although his performance in this rather overblown movie has been pretty much universally panned.
He starred in buddy-cop thriller, Point Break, in 1991, alongside Gary Busey and Patrick Swayze. It was a commercial smash and went on to garner a cult following.
He continued this trend in 1994’s Speed.
The suspenseful thriller told the tale of a rigged bus that would explode if it slowed down. Reeves starred alongside Sandra Bullock and Dennis Hopper, but has since shaded the film by refusing to star in the sequel. His reason? “The movies I wanted to make were movies I wanted to see.” Ouch.
His role as Neo in The Matrix franchise is what really made Keanu Reeves into a household name. The movies are still thought of as touchstones within the science fiction genre.
He’s also a talented musician and spent many years playing bass for alternative rock band, Dogstar, in the ’90s.
He’s made a name for himself particularly because of his versatility, playing leading men, brooding heroes, and goofy losers with equal panache.
He’s faced a life that one wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy.
And it’s almost too much for fans to bear!
Instead, he’s become an incredible philanthropist. He’s well known for supporting a wide range of charitable causes, from PETA to Stand Up To Cancer.
It was recently revealed that Reeves gave all his profits from the sequel from The Matrix to the crew. And he didn’t even want credit for it, saying, “I’d rather people didn’t know that. It was a private transaction. It was something I could afford to do, a worthwhile thing to do.”
But details of his tragic life have still managed to surface.
Reeves grew up in a pretty tumultuous household.
“The story with me and my dad’s pretty heavy. It’s full of pain and woe and f****ing loss and all that s**t,” he said.
“There is a bit of the gypsy in me, and living that way seemed to make sense. I couldn’t settle down.”
The death of his good friend, River Phoenix.
“We brought good out in each other. He was a real original thinker. He was not the status quo. In anything,” Reeves has said of his late friend.
His girlfriend Jennifer Syme miscarried their daughter, Ava.
And in 2001, tragedy struck again when Syme was killed in a car accident.
“People have a misconception that you can deal with it and say, ‘It’s gone, and I’m better.’ They’re wrong.”
“I miss being a part of their lives and them being a part of mine. I wonder what the present would be like if they were here — what we might have done together. I miss all the great things that will never be.”
There have been long periods in Keanu’s life where he’s struggled to find work.
“It sucks, but it’s just the way it is.”
Like … being blacklisted by Fox, for example?
After the huge success of Speed, Fox wanted to make a sequel.
But Reeves turned them down for a stage production of Hamlet.
“I didn’t work with [Fox] again until The Day the Earth Stood Still,” he said.
“It was about a cruise ship and I was thinking, ‘A bus, a cruise ship … Speed, bus, but then a cruise ship is even slower than a bus and I was like, ‘I love you guys but I just can’t do it.'”
He simply doesn’t seem built for the life of fame.
“I’m not interested in showing anybody what’s behind the curtain,” he’s explained.
Reeves has also explained that now he’s really feeling his age.
“That’s at the top of the mountain. I’ve got to climb the mountain first. I’ll do it. Just give me some time.”
Scroll on to learn about how he found love later in life…