Actor Keanu Reeves (54) is an enigmatic figure. His bank account is well-filled thanks to his cash register successes, and yet he opts for a modest life. And despite some tragedies in his private life, he has not yet given up hope of love. “I am sorry that my existence is not great or sublime,” the Hollywood star apologizes to the general public.
Keanu Reeves is one of the most recognizable faces in the world. He became wildly known with films such as ‘Point Break’, ‘Speed’ and ‘The Matrix’ and is still good for purebred blockbusters decades later. His most recent cinema film, “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum”, for example, was able to raise $81 million in his opening weekend.
And also in the romantic Netflix comedy ‘Always Be My Maybe’, the now 54-year-old actor shows that he has not forgotten how to act. But despite his successes – and the accompanying bank account – Reeves has always remained very common. He chooses the cheapest places in the theater and is regularly spotted in the metro. “I am sorry that my existence is not great or sublime,” he joked. “I’m just trying to do nothing that I don’t want to do.”
Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon. When he was barely three years old, his father left the parental home. His mother Patricia remarried several times and followed her new husbands to Sydney, New York, and Toronto. Little Keanu went with her. Patricia’s second husband Paul Aaron, a film and theater director, had the then 15-year-old boy taste the film world for the first time. Keanu was allowed to work as a production assistant with his stepfather’s films.
School didn’t go so well. In five years, Keanu ran out of four schools – because Patricia decided to move or because the teachers recommended him to study elsewhere. “I was a little too impetuous and couldn’t keep my mouth shut enough,” Keanu said. “I was generally not the most oily machine in the school. But I was lucky to know what I wanted to do. I had a creative ambition.”
And soon Keanu succeeded in making that dream come true. He already got his first film role in 1986, in the hockey film ‘Youngblood’. Since then he has not stopped acting, although he is very selective with regard to his roles. “There must really be a reason for me to make a movie,” he says. “There must be a good ‘why’ to tell the story.”
Although Keanu’s career went smoothly, things went less well in his private life. In 1989 he met River Phoenix on the set of “I Love You To Death.” The two immediately became best friends and also played together in ‘My Own Private Idaho’. But barely two years later, River died of an overdose. He and Keanu were barely 23 years old at the time. “We shared an artistic sensitivity,” Keanu said about his best friend. “He was my best friend of the time anyway. I miss him very much.”
Five years after River’s death, Keanu met Jennifer Syme, director David Lynch’s assistant. The two fell in love with each other, and a year later Jennifer was pregnant. But on December 24, 1999 – while Keanu was filming ‘The Matrix’, fate struck: their daughter Ava was born dead after eight months. The couple was so moved by Ava’s death that their relationship broke down. But the tragedy did not end there: 15 months later, Jennifer – barely 28 years old – died in a car accident. Keanu never talked much about the events, but said: “Grief changes shape, but it never ends.”
Keanu has not had a public relationship after Jennifer, although he was recently spotted hand in hand with artist Alexandra Grant (46). And he didn’t give up love either, because he once said: “It’s always great to meet women. If you can make a woman smile, you will see the most beautiful thing on God’s earth.”
The fortune of Keanu Reeves is now estimated at 520 million dollars. Yet the actor would not keep everything to himself. Rumor has it that he gave nearly 80 million dollars out of the 114 million dollars he gave to the make-up and special effects team for his role in the “Matrix” films. Whether the story is correct is not known, but what is certain is that Reeves ensures by contract that the crew that cooperates in his films is well cared for and paid for.
In addition, he regularly gives money to a number of charities for the benefit of cancer research that he himself has set up, and also PETA, the SickKids Foundation and Stand Up to Cancer are charities that can regularly expect a donation from him. Logical, Keanu Reeves thinks. “Money is really the last thing I think about. With what I have already earned, I can live on in the coming centuries.”