18 Facts About Keanu Reeves That Prove He's Just As Excellent As We Thought

Kasia Mikolajczak
Keanu Reeves on a motorcycle.
Getty Images | Andrew Hone

Most of us have our favorite actors. Am I right? I, too, have a few. One of such actors is Keanu Reeves.

For as long as I can remember, I've been a fan of his. There's something about his genuine persona that draws people in, alright. So I thought it would be fun to list some facts you may or may not know about Keanu. A few of these surprised me. I'm not going to lie. Let's check it out.

What does 'Keanu' mean?

Keanu Reeves on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert
youtube | The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

I'm not sure if you're aware that Keanu got his name after his uncle, Henry Keanu Reeves. Keanu means “cool breeze over the mountains” in Hawaiian. Aww, that's so sweet, and I think this name suits him so well.

What is Keanu's heritage?

surf boards that spell aloha
Unsplash | little plant

So, Keanu's mother is of English descent, but his father’s side is a bit more diverse. His dad is actually an American from Hawaii of Chinese-Hawaiian, English, Irish, and Portuguese descent. Oh, wow, that's so fascinating, right?

Where did Keanu grow up?

canadian flag against city backdrop
Unsplash | sebastiaan stam

Keanu moved a lot as a child. He was born on September 2, 1964, in Beirut, Lebanon. Since then, he lived in Hawaii, Australia, New York, and finally settled in Canada, where his mother worked as a costume designer in the rock and roll industry. Wow!

Was Keanu raised by a single mother?

Keanu Reeves in an interview.
youtube | Homeless Dude

Yes, indeed he was. When Keanu was only three-years-old, his father abandoned the family, and Keanu was solely raised by his mother, Patricia, who he credits as the person who shaped who he is as a man.

What Famous Person Babysat Keanu As A Child?

Gif of Alice Cooper at a concert.
Giphy | Recording Academy / GRAMMYs

Since Keanu's mother worked in the rock 'n roll industry, she sure met a lot of people. And the funny thing is that Alice Cooper babysat Keanu as a kid. Oh my goodness! Can you imagine that, haha?

Is Keanu Canadian?

man holding a Canadian flag at a sports event
Giphy | MLB

Keanu grew up in Toronto, Canada, and even attended high school there. In fact, he got expelled four times and finally dropped out at the age of 17 to pursue acting. He does consider himself a Canadian, though, eh?

When did Keanu decide to become an actor?

Keanu Reeves in Little Buddha (1993)

Here's a fun fact — Keanu played iced hockey growing up in Canada. And, he even considered playing ice hockey for the Canadian Olympics team until he changed his mind at the age of 15. That's when he decided to pursue acting instead.

Does Keanu live in America?

streets of California
Unsplash | Paul Hanaoka

Yes, he does. At the age of 19, Keanu decided to pursue acting full time, and he moved to California to follow his dream. When he arrived there, he started getting jobs in commercials and short films.

What was Keanu's first big-screen role?

Keanu Reeves as a goalie sitting with his teammates in Youngblood

Have you ever seen the movie Youngblood which also stars Rob Lowe? I remember watching this a long time ago. This was Keanu's first big-screen role where he played a goalie. If you haven't seen it, I recommend you check it out.

What was Keanu's first leading role?

scene from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure with writing that says "Excellent!"

It should come as no surprise to you that Keanu's first leading role was in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure starring alongside his pal Alex Winter. The film became a nice success which definitely propelled Keanu's acting career.

Which role brought Keanu to stardom?

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock driving the bus in Speed

Even though Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure was a popular flick, it didn't bring Keanu stardom until he starred in Speed. That's when Keanu Reeves became a household name. I still remember when I saw this movie for the first time.

Does Keanu have a band?

Keanu Reeves playing bass with his band.
Getty Images | George De Sota

Keanu did have a rock 'n roll band called Dogstar. The members played together from 1991 to 2002. During their time together, the band played alongside such other outfits as Bon Jovi, Rancid, and Weezer. They even toured through the U.S. and Asia.

Why did Keanu turn down 'Speed 2'?

Keanu Reeves showing two thumbs up
Giphy | Lionsgate

The studio asked Keanu to reprise his role alongside Sanda Bullock for Speed 2, but he didn't like the script. Instead, he went on tour with his band and played Hamlet in a 798-seat theater production in Winnipeg. Is that right?

Does Keanu have a star on the Walk of Fame?

stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Pexels | Pexels

Yes, he does. He finally received the honor of his very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005. Did you know that famous people need to be nominated to receive one? Oh yeah, I found that out a while ago.

Does Keanu ride a bike?

Keanu Reeves on a motorcycle.
Getty Images | Andrew Hone

Keanu is a huge fan of motorcycles. So much so that he co-founded his own company called “Arch Motorcycle Company." They make and sell custom bikes. So if you want to own one, I suggest you look them up.

Does Keanu take pay cuts?

Keanu Reees and Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate

Yes, that's a fact. For The Devil's Advocate, Keanu offered up $1-million of his paycheck so Al Pacino could be part of the cast. Oh my goodness, that movie wouldn't be the same without both of them, huh?

Is Keanu one of the highest-paid actors in the world?

Keanu Reeves on The Ellen Show
youtube | Homeless Dude

You betcha. Even with the pay cuts he has taken to get better special effects for The Matrix, he still earned a total income of $156,000,000 for all three movies. Holy moly!

Does Keanu perform his own stunts?

Keanu Reeves and oponents in an action scene from John Wick 3
Giphy | John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Absolutely. In fact, to perfect his action-star role of John Wick, Keanu trained for six months. On the contrary, most actors only train for about eight weeks to do similar movies. But Keanu is a constant perfectionist, that's all.

Which Keanu fact surprised you the most?

Keanu Reeves in the rain giving a thumbs up.
Giphy | Giphy

I find it very fascinating to read all this interesting stuff about my favorite actors, and Keanu is definitely a good example of that. People seem to be so obsessed with him that there are even memes about the "sad Keanu," ha, ha.