8 hours agoAuthor: Satyam Singhai
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Keanu Reeves is one of the biggest action entertainers in Hollywood today. He worked in superhit films like Speed, Matrix. Most people know him for his film John Wick. However, John Wick, which has had four parts so far, was not originally titled John Wick.
The makers gave the film the title Scorn, but John Wick’s character became quite popular during the making of the film. After this, at the behest of Keanu Reeves, the name of the film was changed from Scorn to John Wick.
Today on the 60th birthday of Keanu Reeves, know some such interesting stories related to him.
Father was drug addict, used to fight with mother
Keanu Reeves was born on September 2, 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon. His father, Samuel Nolin Reeves Jr., a geologist, was originally from Hawaii. Her mother Patricia Taylor is from UK and is a fashion designer by profession.
Reeves had to face many difficulties since childhood. After his birth, the parents moved to Sydney, Australia. Reeves’s father was a drug addict, he used to beat his mother and her every day. Sometimes the fighting got so bad that Reeves and his mother would spend the night in the car. When Reeves was only three years old, his mother divorced his father and moved to New York. His father also returned to Hawaii.
Father jailed, mother remarried
In 1994, Keanu’s father was sentenced to ten years in prison. The last time Keanu met his father, he was only 13 years old. His father died in the year 2018 at the age of 75.
In New York, Reeves’ mother married stage show director Paul Aaron. After this Reeves’s family shifted to Toronto, Canada. Where he got Canadian citizenship. However, Taylor and Aaron’s marriage did not last even a year and they both separated. After this, Taylor remained in a few more relationships, later she married Robert Miller.
Keanu Reeves was suffering from dyslexia
Keanu Reeves suffered from dyslexia as a child. Due to which he took more time than ordinary children to learn things, so he was not much interested in studies. His mind was in sports. Keanu used to play ice hockey. He was a good goalkeeper, so he was called by the team members as The Wall.
While learning acting, he used to do menial jobs to meet household expenses.
After leaving hockey, Reeves started to feel in the theater. Reeves left home at age 17 to pursue acting. He took admission in the Toronto School of Performing Arts and simultaneously started working part-time jobs.
Keanu got his first big break in 1986 with the Canadian film ‘Youngblood’. In this film, he played the role of the goalkeeper of the ice hockey team. After this film, Reeves went to the US to seek opportunities in Hollywood with the help of his stepfather, Paul Aaron.
Rejected due to looks, then changed name to hide identity
Keanu’s journey in the US has not been easy. He gave many auditions but was rejected many times because of his non-American looks. Keanu Reeves changed his name to Casey Reeves in order to hide his Canadian identity and find work.
After a long struggle, Keanu Reeves started getting side roles in Hollywood. Keanu Reeves got praise from 1986’s ‘Reverse Age’ and 1989’s ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ but still he could not establish himself as a hero.
Got recognition in Hollywood from the film Point Break
In 1991, Kathryn Bigelow’s film ‘Point Break’ turned Keanu Reeves’ struggle into stardom. In this film, Reeves played the role of an FBI agent. His stunts and action scenes are praised even today.
However, the makers of Point Break were not confident about Keanu Reeves for the lead role. The film’s co-writer James Cameron said this in an interview given to a magazine. Cameron explains that Katherine clashed with the producers and the entire team over the casting of Keanu Reeves. He not only finalized Reeves for the lead role, but also served as his training coach for the character.
Studio kept blacklisted for 14 years for refusing Speed 2
After watching Keanu Reeves’ performance in ‘Point Break’, the makers approached him for the film Speed. In the film, Reeves plays a police officer who saves a speeding bus from being blasted. Speed was very much liked by the audience.
Not only Keanu Reeves but also the makers of the film benefited from this film. The film was made for a mere $30 million and grossed around $350 million. Seeing the success, the film’s producer Fox Studio announced the sequel of the film. This time the plot of the film was based on a cruise. Its story was narrated to Keanu Reeves. Reeves did not like the story and refused to do the film.
In the year 1997, the sequel of Speed was released in the name of Speed 2. Jason Patrick was cast in the lead role in place of Reeves in the film. The film proved to be a flop.
Fox Studios blacklisted Keanu Reeves after he declined a Speed sequel. Reeves did not appear in any Fox Studio films for nearly 14 years. In 2008, Reeves returned to Fox Studios with the film The Day the Earth Stood Still.
The film Matrix is still included in the best science fiction films
The ban from Fox Studios had little effect on Reeves. Reeves continued his rise to stardom in the 1999 film The Matrix. Matrix got the love of the audience along with earning. It is still counted among the best science fiction movies. The film was directed by Lana and Lily Wachowski.
However, Reeves was not the first choice for the film. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who was the producer of the film, said in an interview that he wanted the film’s lead character to be offered to many more actors before Neo Reeves, but all of them refused for the film. After this Keanu Reeves was selected for the film. The decision proved to be correct; the film grossed around $450 million. After this two more parts of the film were made, they also proved to be hits.
Paralyzed due to shooting accident, underwent neck surgery
Reeves worked hard to shoot The Matrix. He lost 15 pounds (6.8 KG) to get into character shape. For this, Reeves also took martial arts training for 6 months.
During the shooting of this film, Reeves suffered a spinal injury. The injury was so severe that half of Reeves’ body was paralyzed. Later he also had to undergo neck surgery. This was the reason that Reeves did fewer action scenes in the first part than in the later two parts of The Matrix.
Keanu was shocked by the death of a friend due to drug addiction
Keanu Reeves’ personal life struggle did not end even after the success of his film career. He had to face many heartbreaks one after the other. He met River Phoenix on the set of the film Parenthood during the Struggle days of Hollywood. Soon both became good friends.
After this both worked in the film My on Private Idaho in 1991. The friendship of these two became so deep that River Phoenix almost refused to do the film, but Keanu Reeves drove from Canada to Florida to persuade him, after which River agreed to the role.
The two actors were last seen together in My Private Idaho. River played the role of a drug addict in the film. After which he got used to drugs and became a drug addict. River Phoenix died of a drug overdose in 1993.
Keanu Reeves was shooting for the film Speed when Phoenix died. Sandra Bullock, who worked with him in the film, told in an interview that on the set of Speed, Keanu Reeves could not hide his sadness and started crying remembering his friend.
Keanu was shocked when his first child was born dead
Keanu Reeves’ love life hasn’t been easy either. In 1998, Reeves began dating Jennifer Syme, who worked as a Hollywood production assistant. Both were quite serious about their relationship. In 1999, Jennifer gave birth to a stillborn child.
girlfriend died in car accident
Both were deeply shocked by this incident and both decided to separate from each other. However, the two remained good friends. Then in the year 2001, Jennifer died in a car accident. Reeves had met Jennifer just a day before the incident. This accident had such an effect on Reeves that he did not stay in relation with anyone for a long time.
Took a break from films when sister got blood cancer
Keanu Reeves had to face many difficulties even in personal life. In the year 1991, his sister Kim Reeves was diagnosed with leukemia ie blood cancer. Reeves then took a break from his growing film career.
He sold his house and moved in with his sister Kim. Used to take care of Kim all his time. Keanu Reeves put all his savings for his treatment. After battling for ten years, Kim was able to recover completely from cancer. She gives the credit of her new life only to Keanu Reeves.
Matrix film proceeds donated to leukemia research
Not only this, Keanu Reeves earned about $ 45 million from his film Matrix. He donated 70 percent of this earning for leukemia research. Apart from this, the Keanu Reeves Foundation helps people with cancer from time to time for other health services.
Apart from this, Keanu Reeves has shown his liveliness on many occasions. Reeves took a pay cut in order to cast Al Pacino in the 1997 film The Devil’s Advocate. He also did something similar during the film The Replacements, due to which the makers of the film Warner Brothers could cast Jane Hackman in the film.
Keanu Reeves’s net worth is more than 3000 crores.
Keanu Reeves has worked in about 80 films so far. In the year 2013, he worked as an actor director in the film Man of Tai Chi. Apart from this, he also produced Side by Side (2012), Exposed (2016) and Replicas (2018).
Reeves has a net worth of $380 million, which is more than Rs 3,000 crore in Indian currency. He got a fee of three thousand dollars for his debut film Youngblood. He got $ 1.2 million for Keanu’s first superhit film Speed. While an offer of $11 million was received for Speed 2, he turned it down. He received a total of $ 30 million for the film Matrix II and III part. At the same time, Keanu Reeves charged $ 15 million for the film John Wick Chapter 4, which came out earlier this year.