Keanu Reeves, a life not as easy as you may think

Known as Neo, in the tetralogy of the Matrix, or as the famous serial killer in John Wick, Keanu, in Hawaiian Keaweaheulu, ‘A light breeze rising from the sea to the mountains’, was born in 1964 from a British mother and half-Chinese and half-Hawaiian father.

At the age of three, he was abandoned by his father, a drug addict and heroin pusher, so Keanu, his mother and his sister, Kim, moved from Australia to New York, and then to Toronto, where he attended at ‘De La Salle College’, becoming a promise in ice hockey, to the point of earning the nickname ‘the wall’.

Unfortunately his mother’s three marriages caused him continuous displacements and his dyslexia have given him problems to socialize with the companions. On his 17th birthday, the boy stopped going to high school and didn’t graduate.

His life focuses mainly on theater and acting classes, paying them with the salaries earned as a clerk, lumberjack and ice skate sharpener. The events that characterized his existence have often been marked by misfortunes.

In 1993, he lost River Phoenix, an actor like himself and one of his best friends, who died of an overdose at the age of 23. On Christmas Eve 1999, the child who his girlfriend, Jennifer Syme, bore him was born lifeless, and after this tragedy the couple separated.

18 months later, as if that were not enough, his ex-girlfriend died in a car accident with a mix of anesthetics and antidepressants. From then on Keanu had no more love affairs, only rumors that he has always denied.

In addition, his beloved sister Kim, who had continually stimulated him to pursue his acting dream, contracted leukemia. When Keanu learned of his sister’s illness, he stopped filming The Matrix in Australia, sold his house and moved back to support and help her. She’s always been there for him and he for her.

Keanu Reeves has always distinguished himself for his selflessness: he donated to charity a significant part of the compensation received for the Matrix saga and about 75 million dollars to the crew that accompanied him always in The Matrix and gave twelve Harley Davidsons to his stuntmen. He also created several foundations to raise funds for cancer research and the creation of pediatric hospitals, while keeping his donations secret. He was often seen in the company of homeless people. His experiences with driving have not always been excellent: in 1993 he was arrested for drunk driving, and in 1998 in the middle of the night, while racing with lights off, he crashed into a curve, breaking his ribs and injuring his spleen. He still has an abdominal scar.

In addition to The Matrix and John Wick, Keanu Reeves has starred in many other blockbuster films, including ‘Devil’s Advocate’ with Al Pacino and ‘the Reserves’ with Gene Hackman, where in both cases he had his cachet cut by 90% to allow the production to hire another star to act with him. In fact he has always said that money doesn’t matter so much to him. In conclusion, Keanu Reeves is an example to follow for all, because the suffering he experienced throughout his life did not prevent him from shining and taking revenge

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Andrea Rotiroti


IIIA Liceo Scientifico


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