Keanu Reeves has fond memories of his time growing up in Toronto — for the most part, anyway.
The “John Wick: Chapter 4” actor opened up about his childhood in the 6ix and his career in a lengthy interview on the “Smartless” podcast, hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and fellow Canadian Will Arnett.
Reeves recalled how he spent a large portion of his early years in Toronto. “I was a Maple Leafs fan. I played a lot of ice hockey as a kid,” Reeves said, adding that he played goalie and even continued to play pickup hockey “basically every day” after moving to Los Angeles.
“The story of my past is obviously the story of my mother,” Reeves said.
Reeves’ mother was born in England but left her house when she was about 15 years old, according to the actor. After some searching, she eventually arrived in Beirut, Lebanon, where she met Keanu’s father, who was born and raised in Hawaii but later “got into some trouble, so ended up going to Lebanon, too.”
“It’s a long story,” Reeves said in the interview. “But long story short, me, my sister and my mom ended up moving into a house in Canada. And so that’s how I became Canadian when I was like seven.”
In Toronto, Reeves attended Jesse Ketchum Junior and Senior Public School before attending four different high schools, including De La Salle College and North Toronto Collegiate Institute.
He also attended a performing arts high school, but “I got kicked out of that,” he said, without delving into the details.
Reeves also remembered how professionals in Hollywood urged him to change his name when he first started acting.
“They were like, ‘Keanu — it’s too ethnic’,” he said. So, for a time, the actor took the initials of his first and middle names and became known as K.C. Reeves. “But then I had auditions, and they’d be like, ‘K.C.,’ and I wouldn’t even look up. So, I went back to my agent and was like, ‘I can’t change my name.’”
Listen the full podcast here: