What People Who Worked With Keanu Reeves Have Said About Him



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Keanu Reeves has slowly but surely established himself as one of the most popular stars in Hollywood. Although he has appeared in a wide variety of genres - from comedy to action, from horror to science fiction - he has maintained a reputation as a fundamentally decent guy. In large part, his positive public image stems from the many interviews in which he is disarmingly honest and earnest. 

However, much of it also comes from various behind-the-scenes looks at Reeves's life and work, many of which reveal heartwarming details. Those who have worked with him throughout his career have been particularly illuminating about just what kind of person he is.

Latest additions: Lance Reddick Was All Keanu Wanted For His Birthday

  • Ali Wong Appreciated How Reeves Was Constantly Making Sure He Didn't Overshadow Her
    Photo: Always Be My Maybe / Netflix

    One of Reeves's endearing qualities is his ability to be in on the joke. Given how famous he is, and how some celebrities have a tendency to be quite full of themselves, this trait sets him apart. In Always Be My Maybe, for example, he plays a somewhat caricatured version of himself. 

    While he obviously made the most out of his few scenes, he also took great pains to ensure he didn’t upstage Ali Wong, rightly pointing out she was the actual star. “He didn’t want to make him too cartoony because then that hurts my character. He’s very considerate in that way. Super thoughtful," Wong remarked in an interview. She later elaborated:

    Even on the red carpet [at the premiere], he kept on moving to the fringe when we took group shots. It’s Keanu, and everyone’s so excited about him, and everyone else looks like garbage when they’re next to him, so I think he just wanted to be considerate and tried to keep the focus on us. 

    502 votes
  • Lance Reddick Was All Keanu Wanted For His Birthday
    Photo: John Wick: Chapter 4 / Lionsgate
    418 VOTES

    Lance Reddick Was All Keanu Wanted For His Birthday

    In the John Wick series, veteran character actor Lance Reddick portrays the hotel manager Charon, who aids the eponymous hero during his various stays at the Continental Hotel. As a surprise hit-turned mega-franchise, John Wick brought Keanu and Reddick together on set many times, however, the rigors of complicated shooting schedules limited the time they spent together.

    Despite this, in an interview with Vulture, Reddick recalled a surprising drop-in from Keanu that endeared him for life:

    During John Wick: Chapter Four, my first day of filming happened to be Keanu’s birthday. But he wasn’t in the scene. He came to the set anyway at nine o’clock at night with his girlfriend who I had never met… And she told me that she asked Keanu what he wanted to do for his birthday and he said, “I want to go see Lance.” He’d never done this before, but he wrote me a note thanking me for what I brought to the character in these movies. And he wanted to give the note to me. I’ll never forget it. I’m going to cry now.

    418 votes
  • Jonathan Groff Described Reeves As Many Contradictions, All At Once
    Photo: The Matrix Resurrections / Warner Bros. Pictures
    323 VOTES

    Jonathan Groff Described Reeves As Many Contradictions, All At Once

    Like Reeves, Jonathan Groff is known to many for his down-to-earth and earnest demeanor. And, like Reeves, he has played a wide variety of roles, appearing with Reeves in The Matrix Resurrections as Smith (the character previously portrayed by Hugo Weaving). 

    In a 2021 interview, Groff spoke eloquently about how fascinating it is to encounter Reeves: 

    He's so many contradictions at the same time, because he's very real. There's no bells and whistles. He doesn't come with a team of people that you have to go through to have a conversation with Keanu. He's very normal. And then at the same time, he's Keanu Reeves. And on this particular set, he's Thomas Anderson. He's Neo. He's inhabiting this intense, iconic person in the world of film. And it's like, he is those exact things at the exact same time. He's such a living, breathing beautiful contradiction. 

    323 votes
  • Sandra Bullock Said He's Such A Good Listener, It Drives People Crazy
    Photo: Speed / 20th Century Fox

    Throughout the 1990s, Reeves slowly transitioned from comedy into action, and perhaps no film illustrates this process better than 1994's propulsive and compelling Speed. Adding to its appeal is the chemistry between its leads, for Reeves was joined by Sandra Bullock, herself one of the biggest stars of the decade. 

    The two share a strong bond, though Bullock has also been straightforward about how Reeves's listening skills can be a doubled-edged sword. As she revealed in an Esquire interview:

    He’s a listener. And it drives. People. Crazy… When I first met him, I would spend as much time as I could filling a silence, just to feel comfortable. And the more I jibber-jabbered on, the quieter he would get. And I thought, I don’t understand what’s happening! He’s looking at me with eyes of confusion. He’s quiet. Did I say something to offend him? And then a day or two later, he would arrive with a note or a little package, saying, “I thought about what you said.” And he would have his response.

    507 votes
  • Jeremy Fry Said Reeves Is Willing To Do His Own Stunts, But Doesn't Mind Standing Aside
    Photo: John Wick / Lionsgate
    366 VOTES

    Jeremy Fry Said Reeves Is Willing To Do His Own Stunts, But Doesn't Mind Standing Aside

    Given how many action films Reeves has been in, it’s not surprising to learn of his physical agility. In fact, he's one of a small number of stars willing to do their own stunts; however, when appropriate, he's also willing to stand back and let others do the work for which they're best suited. This impressed Jeremy Fry, the actor’s stunt double in the John Wick films.

    There was a shot where we wanted Keanu to slide up the camera and we wanted to... have the camera come right up to him. And we worked with him for a while on that one, and it's a tricky one [but] he nailed it... 

    It's always interesting to me when actors want to do their own stunts... when you have people who you can use and you won't know that it's not them. But Keanu, he completely gets that. He has never said, "I want to do it." He trusts [directors] to make the best decision that they can and he knows that they will use him whenever they feel it's appropriate and safe.

    366 votes
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    333 VOTES

    When 'Keanu' Was Set To Be Made, Reeves Wanted A Meeting Before Approving It, To Ensure He Wasn't Being Mocked

    Although known for his humility, Reeves is a very bankable star, so it makes sense he'd be concerned about his public image, so he was initially reluctant to join the film Keanu - an action comedy starring Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key as a duo trying to retrieve their stolen kitten. It was the star’s sister who persuaded him to get involved, after she saw a trailer. 

    Even then, however, Reeves wanted to meet with director Peter Atencio before he agreed to appear, to make sure he wasn’t being mocked. As Atencio related: 

    I told him about the movie and talked him through the story. His personality has just transcended life, in a lot of ways. You wouldn’t have ever guessed that the guy from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure would turn out to be this thoughtful, kind man. 

    Ultimately, Reeves provided the voice for the kitten who bears his name.

    333 votes