Keanu Charles Reeves
(/kiˈɑːnuː/ kee-AH-noo; born September 2, 1964) is a Canadian[a] actor, director, producer, and musician. He gained fame for his starring role performances in several blockbuster films, including comedies from the Bill and Ted franchise (1989–1991); action thrillers Point Break (1991), Speed (1994), and the John Wick franchise; psychological thriller The Devil’s Advocate (1997); supernatural thriller Constantine (2005); and science fiction/action series The Matrix (1999–2003). He has also appeared in dramatic films such as Dangerous Liaisons (1988), My Own Private Idaho (1991), and Little Buddha (1993), as well as the romantic horror Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992).
Reeves has earned critical acclaim for his acting. One New York Times critic praised Reeves’ versatility, saying that he “displays considerable discipline and range… he moves easily between the buttoned-down demeanor that suits a police procedural story and the loose-jointed manner of his comic roles”. However, Reeves has spent much of his later career being typecast. A recurring character arc in many roles he has portrayed is one of saving the world, as can be seen in the characters of Ted Logan, Buddha, Neo, Johnny Mnemonic, John Constantine, and Klaatu. His acting has garnered several awards, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
During his film career, Reeves has engaged in several forms of artistic expression. Active as a musician for over a decade, he played bass guitar for the bands Dogstar and Becky. Acting onstage, he performed as Prince Hamlet for the Manitoba Theatre Centre‘s production of Hamlet. He wrote the text for a picture book, Ode to Happiness, illustrated by Alexandra Grant. He has also produced a documentary, Side by Side, and directed the martial arts film Man of Tai Chi.
Reeves set up a cancer charity, choosing not to attach his name to the organization; he has also supported PETA, the SickKids Foundation and Stand Up to Cancer. His sister Kim has battled leukemia for more than a decade.
Reeves is quoted as saying, “Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries.” It has been reported that Reeves gave approximately $80 million of his $114 million earnings from The Matrix sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, to the special effects and makeup staff. The story has been denied by special effects staff themselves as an urban legend. The story likely had its roots in a back-end deal Reeves made with the producers of The Matrix Reloaded, relinquishing his contractual right to a percentage of the earnings from the ticket sales. Reeves reportedly did so to allow producers the flexibility for an extensive special effects budget. The value of Reeves’ forgone share of the ticket profits has been estimated as $38 million, which was added to the overall movie budget, rather than going directly to special effects.
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