Keanu Reeves Got His Start In Commercials
Keanu has been a fixture on the big screen for decades now, but before Speed, before Bill & Ted, and even before Youngblood, he was just another young actor trying to make it big. Keanu dropped out of high school to pursue his dream of being an actor after an injury ended his hockey playing career. And, like many young actors, Keanu got his start in commercials, starring in this early 80's ad for Coca Cola.
Keanu Gets Generous With The Crew Of 'The Matrix'
After the success of the first 'Matrix' movie, which Keanu reportedly made some $35 million, including his salary and back end deal, the actor made a decidedly generous turn when negotiating for the two sequels.Because Keanu felt that the special effects team and costume designers on The Matrix movies were a hugely integral part of the film's success, he also felt that they deserved a piece of the profits. Keanu handed over a large portion of his back end profit sharing deal, reportedly giving away more than $75 million to crew.While the exact amount that was divided among the crew has long been a source of debate, it has been agreed that a sizable portion of his profit sharing was handed over. He also gifted the stunt team with Harley Davidson motorcycles.
It's Not About The Money For Keanu
Keanu Reeves is known in the entertainment industry to be one of the most generous and charitable celebrities there are, and it's not just his actions towards his Matrix crew that got him that reputation. In order to let the studio secure Al Pacino as his co-star in The Devil's Advocate, Keanu agreed to a multi-million dollar paycut to help supplement his salary. Three years later Keanu did the same when he took a 90% pay cut on the set of The Replacements so that the producers could bring Gene Hackman on board.
He's A Voracious Reader
One might not think of Keanu Reeves as a lover of literature, but you'd be terribly wrong. In an interview with Details Magazine, conducted at a book store no less, Reeves revealed that not only has he read all of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, but a litany of other works as well. In his recent Reddit AMA he listed off some of his favourite books;'As a kid, we can start with the Count of Monte Christo. We could start with the Lord of the Rings. Then we could get into finding as a teenager getting into Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, Notes from Underground, The Brothers Karamazov, we could get into Jim Thompson, we could go into some William Gibson, then we could do In Search of Lost Time by Proust. And then just getting into the works of Philip K. Dick and recently I was reading Don Delillo, Cosmopolis, I like Updike's the Rabbit Series.'Sounds like Keanu is definitely very serious about his love of books!
He Once Played Hamlet In Manitoba
While some actors may jump at the chance at getting to star in a movie opposite Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves actually turned down that opportunity. Keanu was initially offered the role that eventually went to Val Kilmer in the movie 'Heat', instead opting to play Hamlet at a 789 seat theatre in Manitoba. Reeves played to sold out crowds every night, and while he took the role mostly as an acting exercise for himself, his portrayal brought in throngs of adoring fans with the ticket office receiving calls from as far as Finland and Japan.
He Started Smoking At The Age Of 30
Many actors have to smoke cigarettes on the big screen for a role, and Keanu admitted that it wasn't until he was 30 that he actually developed the bad habit in real life, thanks to his starring role in Feeling Minnesota. Asked about it during an interview with Details Magazine, he said; "I got hooked making a film.Feeling Minnesota. I didn't start smoking until I was 30. Now I'm just in prison."
Keanu Reeves Plays Bass
Keanu Reeves isn't just a talented actor, hockey player and philanthropist, but he's also a musician too. The actor plays bass in the alternative rock band Dogstar who was mostly active between the mid 1990's and early 2000's. He also played in the band Becky.In 1995 Dogstar opened for Bon Jovi in Australia and in 1999 the band even played at the famed Glastonbury music festival.
He's A Big Fan Of The Olympics
While he might not be much of a TV watcher, there is one event that Keanu confesses to being glued to his television for, and that's the Olympics.Of the once every 4 years sporting event, Keanu said; 'You know, I don't have a favorite TV show, but I do know that I love watching The Olympics. Whenever the Olympics are on, I just love watching them, the moments that you get these incredible athletes dedicating so much of their lives to the moments that happen in the Olympics, and it is great to be able to witness that.'
He Chose Acting Over Hockey
Like many Canadian kids, before he became an actor, Keanu was a pretty successful hockey player. He earned the nickname 'The Wall' as a goalie for his high school hockey team and even had dreams of playing pro. During his Reddit AMA, when asked about his dreams of being a professional hockey player he said, 'Yes, I played a lot of hockey in Toronto Canada. I always thought it would be cool to play for the Canadian Olympic team. When I was 15, I decided to become an actor. And so I started taking acting classes and doing community theater, and then I played John Proctor in a highschool play called The Crucible, and from that moment I decided - they always ask you when you're coming out of school or university what you want to be, and I knew then that I wanted to become an actor.'At least we'll always have Youngblood!
He's Not Really Sad
While the 'Sad Keanu' meme has gone viral around the world, Keanu would like you to know that he is, in fact, a very happy person. When asked during his Reddit AMA about the 'Sad Keanu' meme he replied;My first experience with that was Sad Keanu, and I thought it was funny!I think that a picture can tell a thousand words, and none of them can be right. Or true. I'm absolutely a very happy person.