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Things We Learned About Keanu Reeves (Thanks To Fans)

Updated September 23, 2021 9.1k votes 1k voters 36.5k views15 items

List RulesVote up the coolest Keanu facts that make you say, "Whoa!"

The internet has given the world tons of wonderful things and an equally heavy share of random trivia, yet something people might not have expected to learn was the fact that Keanu Reeves is an extraordinarily nice guy. 

Of course, he's not just that - he's a highly accomplished actor, having starred in movies like Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Matrix, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Point Break, and many more. If you know his movies, you only know a small part of what makes Keanu Reeves the man he is, and his fans have shared a lot about him over the years.

This list highlights some of the more interesting details of Keanu Reeves's life and personality. Be sure to upvote anything that you truly liked learning to see which fact about Keanu Reeves rises to the top!

  • 5

    He Learned Numerous Martial Arts For 'The Matrix' And 'John Wick'

    Learning martial arts in The Matrix was as easy as plugging a spike into the back of your head and uploading some files. It requires quite a bit more time and discipline to learn something like jiu-jitsu, judo, or karate in the real world. 

    Reeves took the role seriously, and he didn't rely on a stunt double or camera trickery to pull off the moves seen in the film. He spent months learning karate, but that wasn't enough to be able to play Neo. In addition to karate, he learned additional moves to show his developing technique from one movie to the next.

    When it came time to play John Wick, Reeves went back to the dojo to learn more martial arts movies. He studied both judo and jujitsu to play the mercenary-for-hire. The purpose of learning multiple disciplines came from the desire to see Wick change his style to match his opponent, and each enemy was different. 

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  • 6

    He Wrote A Book After Becoming The Subject Of A Meme

    The so-called "Sad Keanu" meme appeared online after a paparazzi shot of the actor looking sullen while eating a sandwich on a bench in May 2010. Reeves wasn't oblivious to the meme that went viral, and he reacted in a creative way.

    Reeves teamed up with artist Ron Garney to recreate the meme for his book, BRZRKR. Reeves wrote the comic, which revolves around an immortal warrior (who looks a lot like Reeves) who is on the quest for vengeance. The image recreating the meme was Reeves's idea, and according to writer Donny Cates, the actor thought it would be funny.

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  • 7

    He Prefers Roles That Challenge Him As Opposed To Easy Paychecks

    Keanu Reeves was offered to play the role of Chris Shiherlis in Heat, but he declined the part, which ended up going to Val Kilmer. Reeves has gone above and beyond to star alongside some of Hollywood's greatest, but he passed on a movie that featured Jon Voight, Al Pacino, and Robert De Niro for the last thing anyone might expect.

    Instead of taking on the role in Heat, he opted to play Hamlet at a small theater in Manitoba, Canada, which only had a seating capacity of 789. The show was performed to sold-out crowds at the Manitoba Theatre Centre.

    The play's director, Lewis Baumander, previously worked with Reeves in a production of Romeo and Juliet, so he reached out to him about the project. When he did, he told the actor, "We could do it in London and do a Richard Chamberlain 'I have arrived' kind of number. We could do it in New York. [...] Or we could go out to Winnipeg, where nobody would know about it and just work out.” Reeves chose the latter, and the MTC featured one of its best Shakespearean productions in years.

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  • 8

    He Once Rode His Motorcycle From Canada To Florida To Deliver A Script

    When My Own Private Idaho was being developed, director Gus Van Sant had the difficult task of casting his two male leads. He decided that he wanted to have Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix star in the movie, so he sent the script to their respective agents. Reeves's agents liked the project and passed it along to their client, who took the role of Scott, but Phoenix's agents weren't as willing to embrace the movie, which kept it from reaching the actor.

    Van Sant decided that the best way to handle the problem was to have Reeves hand deliver the screenplay to Phoenix directly. He hopped onto his 1974 Norton Commando motorcycle over the Christmas holiday and rode from his family home in Canada all the way south to a town outside Gainesville, FL. The two actors had worked together previously, so his showing up with a script wasn't entirely out of the ordinary - even if it wasn't the normal way scripts are handed to prospective actors.

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