A guest post by commenter Mira:
Keanu Reeves (1964- ) is a Canadian film actor, best known for the science fiction trilogy “Matrix” (1999, 2003, 2003), action thriller “Speed” (1994) and the comedy “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989). He was one of the most famous actors of the 1990s. On this blog he was voted the fourth most gorgeous man in the world.
He was born in Beirut, Lebanon to an English showgirl and an American geologist, who was part Chinese and part Hawaiian. The name is of Hawaiian origin and it is a possible derivation of name Keaweaheulu. The meaning of the name is somewhat unclear. It is usually translated as “cool breeze over the mountains”, although it is said that is only true for the longer form of the name. The correct way to pronounce “Keanu” is kay-AH-noo, not kee-AH-noo or kee-noo.
Although born in Beirut, he soon moved to the USA and then Canada. He grew up in Toronto and considers himself Canadian, despite the fact he also has US citizenship and is entitled to British citizenship too.
Keanu dropped out of high school when he was 17 in order to pursue acting. He entered a school of the community’s theatre at 19, and had his international screen debut in 1986. His first big hit was the teenage comedy “Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, and his true claim to fame came in the 1990s, with “Speed”, “My Own Private Idaho” (1991), “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992) and “Little Buddha” (1993).
His biggest success, however, came in 1999 with the “Matrix” trilogy, directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski. “Matrix” was one of the most praised movies at the end of the century and, despite mixed reviews of the sequels, made its way into movie history. The trilogy also made Keanu the highest-paid actor in the world. He is a somewhat limited actor but makes up for it on looks.
He is also an avid musician: he played bass guitar in the grunge band Dogstar during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Despite being mixed race, Keanu was almost exclusively cast in roles that did not specify a particular ethnicity and most of his characters were white. He was even cast in movies set in 18th and 19th century Europe. Also, most of his on-screen love interests were white women. So while he never denies his Chinese and Hawaiian ancestry it is clear movie producers cast him in white roles without a problem. He was never restricted to playing ethnic characters or minority stereotypes.
In 1999 Keanu suffered a tragedy: his girlfriend, Jennifer Syme, gave birth to a stillborn baby. Two years later, Syme died in a car accident. Keanu was devastated, and production of new “Matrix” movies stopped until he recovered. In the mid 2000s, he dated Diane Keaton, who is 18 years his senior.
What Keanu says about women:
It’s always wonderful to get to know women, with the mystery and the joy and the depth. If you can make a woman laugh, you’re seeing the most beautiful thing on God’s Earth.