Will people please stop giving Keanu such a hard time? Okay, so he may not sound intelligent all of the time and his inability to deny rumors of homosexuality certainly puts him at odds against the media, but this is a man who has created some of the best and most memorable characters in film history. Either as the mop-topped moron Ted or the heroic hacker Neo, Keanu has become a pop culture icon whether you like it or not. Before playing air guitar and saving the world from machines, Keanu Reeves was raised by his Chinese-Hawaiian father and British mother in Australia when his parents suddenly split. Keanu followed his mother to Canada and after attending a series of high schools (including the Toronto School for the Performing Arts), he eventually dropped out. Keanu loved performing on stage, but even though he had studied with Second City for a year, it was still hard to find work as a young actor. Keanu paid the bills with a few commercials and a little bit of stage work, but it wasn’t until his short role in the hockey film “Youngblood” that he actually believed that he could make it in the film industry.
Keanu packed his bags and headed for Hollywood where he immediately found work in a number of made-for-TV movies and a few low-budget films. He quickly landed a gig in the Oscar-winning “Dangerous Liaisons” before signing on to perhaps his best known work, “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” More supporting roles followed and Keanu was making his way up the Hollywood ladder, albeit with plenty of negative criticism and slanderous rumors following him wherever he went. In 1994, complete with a new look, Keanu was cast in the action blockbuster “Speed” and quickly proved to critics that he had what it took to become a genuine movie star. He followed up the box-office hit with a series of crappy sci-fi films and a handful of small dramas before entering the Wachowski’s “The Matrix” in 1999 as the lead hero, Neo.
Since then, the success of the film has garnered the actor more critical respect, as well as some additional media attention for his three-man rock band, Dogstar. It had also become more known of the past projects that the actor did in fact turn down in place of smaller, more artistic films. Among them include Oliver Stone’s “Platoon,” which Keanu turned down for its violence; the Val Kilmer role in “Heat;” and the action-comedy “Showtime,” which would have originally starred Reeves and Chris Rock in place of Robert DeNiro and Eddie Murphy.
Keanu On The Web
An online database of Keanu's film and TV career.
TV Guide: Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves Videos, Interviews and More on TV Guide's Online Video Guide
A decent biography page with a nice collection of premiere photos.
An awesome fan site that includes a lot of the usual features like multimedia, picture galleries and contact info, but also features rumors to his sexual orientation and a short list of roles he either turned down or lost out.
An incredible in-depth fan site that explores all aspects of the actor's career.
AskMen.com - Keanu Reeves
Another actor's page complete with a bio, pictures and links.
Keanu Reeves and Dogstar
A small fan page that offers a nice collection of articles and a short intro to Dogstar.
The number-one site for all entertainment news relating to Keanu.
Keanu on the Screen
While Keanu's choppy acting makes him look completely lost hopeless in a majority of his films, Keanu sure knows how to pick his scripts. Among the numerous mainstream films that he's appeared in over the past fifteen years, there are probably only two films that really stink: "Johnny Mnemonic" and "Chain Reaction." Everything else in the Keanu catalog is fair game, like the excellent cult classics "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" and "Point Break." Some of his better credits also include his work in "Bram Stoker's Dracula," "Little Buddha," "The Devil's Advocate," "The Replacements," "Hardball" and "Something's Gotta Give." Keanu's career would never have lifted off, though, without the success of "Speed," and it would have never been revived without his work in the "Matrix" trilogy.
Keanu may not be the greatest actor to walk the red carpet, but he certainly knows what he's good at, and he's not about to quit while he's hot. Keanu can be next seen in the big-budget remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still." He's also just wrapped "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" and is rumored to appear in the crime drama "Stompanato," as well as the lead role in a big screen adaptation of the popular anime, "Cowboy Bebop."
On his career:
"I used to have nightmares that they would put 'He played Ted' on my tombstone."
On turning down "Speed 2":
"I just felt that if I went into that picture, I just... wouldn't have come up out of the water."
"I'm a meathead. I can't help it, man. You've got smart people and you've got dumb people."