On September 2, 1964, actor, director, producer and musician Keanu Charles Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Throughout his career, Keanu performed in numerous smash hits, such as POINT BREAK (1991), SPEED (1994), THE MATRIX (1999), and HARD BALL (2001). In honor of his birthday, DMG Entertainment takes a trip down memory lane to highlight some of the best of Keanu.
Keanu has an incredibly diverse background. Born in Beirut, he has Hawaiian, British, Portuguese, and Chinese ancestry. In fact, his first name means “cool breeze over the mountains” in Hawaiian.
The Class Clown
Keanu was not the biggest fan of school. As a teenager, he transferred to four high schools within five years. After deciding to pursue a career in acting, he dropped out of high school all together, taking his first step towards international fame and mirroring several of his best known roles.
A Man of Many Hats
Keanu is a man of many talents. He’s is a motorcycle enthusiast, ballroom dancer, author, bassist and avid surfer. Keanu picked up a few of his hobbies on set. He’s been surfing ever since learning how for his iconic role as FBI agent Johnny Utah in POINT BREAK (1991), which DMG is reimagining with this year’s remake.
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Keanu has, literally, wrestled rock legend Alice Cooper. Although much younger than The Godfather of Shock Rock, Keanu received no mercy. According to Keanu’s childhood friend Evan Williams, Cooper tied the two men into a “human knot”.
Keanu and the Chili Peppers
Keanu has close ties with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Back in 1991, he co-starred with both Chili Peppers’ lead singer Anthony Kiedis – who played “Warchild” in the original POINT BREAK and Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea in MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO. While filming IDAHO, Keanu and Flea often played music together in director Gus Van Sant’s house.
Keanu has dated many A-list celebrities; some of his previous flings include Winona Ryder, Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron, Parker Posey and Diane Keaton.
Everything Balances Out
Keanu auditioned for a role in PLATOON (1986), however he was beat out by Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp and Willem Dafoe. Only a few years later, Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp and Willem Dafoe were under consideration to play Johnny Utah in the original POINT BREAK, all of them losing out to The One.
Money Doesn’t Matter
Money is the last thing on Keanu’s mind. He not only maintains a modest lifestyle, but also shares his wealth. During THE MATRIX (1999) sequels, Keanu gave $80 million of his $114 million paycheck to the special effects and makeup crew. He also gave each of his 12 member stuntman team a Harley Davidson motorcycle as a token of gratitude.
The Best or Nothing
Keanu loves working with Hollywood’s best. He took a multi-million dollar pay cut so he could work with Al Pacino in THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE (1997). Later on, mimicking his character in the film, Keanu would take a 90% pay cut to work alongside Gene Hackman in THE REPLACEMENTS (2000).
Keanu, who never attended college, has played an Ohio State University quarterback in two films, POINT BREAK (1991) and THE REPLACEMENTS (2000).
The Director’s Chair
In 2013, Keanu made his directorial debut in the film MAN OF TAI CHI (2013). Based on the life of his long-time stuntman and close friend, Tiger Chen, MAN OF TAI CHI premiered at the Beijing International Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival.
Keanu’s fans take their obsession to an extreme. The One’s had two stalkers break into his Hollywood Hills home within the same week. On September 12, 2014, he discovered a female stalker in his library. Luckily, she was escorted away by police without further incident. Then three days later, a cleaning company found yet another female stalker skinny dipping in his pool. The cleaning company contacted Keanu, who quickly alerted the authorities.
Long Live Keanu!
There is speculation that Keanu could be immortal. He has survived a surprising amount of life-threatening injuries, including motorcycle crashes and on-set accidents. Keanu has also had a few historic doppelgängers, such as the 1847 French actor Paul Mounet and an unidentified man in a Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel painting from the 14th century. Although this conspiracy theory seems silly, you can’t deny that Keanu looks rather young at 51…and hasn’t aged much in 20 years.
Happy Birthday Keanu! Stay tuned to DMG Entertainment for the latest updates on the upcoming remake of POINT BREAK.