Saturday, April 12, 2008


Born: 2 September 1964
Where: Beirut, Lebanon
Awards: No Major Awards
Height: 6' 1"

Few film stars, and very few who earn $15 million per movie, have suffered as many critical batterings as Keanu Reeves. They've usually been fierce, too, contending that Reeves is so wooden, so expressionless that he must rank amongst the worst actors in Hollywood. It seems so unfair. After all, he first broke through playing a succession of alienated teenagers, culminating with the arch dumbo Ted "Theodore" Logan in Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure. You have to think that the opinions of Reeves' critics are based more on his characters than his performances. They think he's some blockheaded Valley Boy who struck gold - in fact, he's not even American.

Add to this the rest of his CV. Reeves has worked with many of cinema's finest directors - Bertolucci, Coppola, Kenneth Branagh, Gus Van Sant, Lawrence Kasdan, Ron Howard, Stephen Frears, not to mention action greats like Kathryn Bigelow, Andrew Davis and Jan De Bont. He's acted alongside Al Pacino, Cate Blanchett, Gene Hackman, Denzel Washington, Anthony Hopkins, William Hurt, John Malkovich, Glenn Close, Dianne Wiest. If he was as bad as some say, how could he ever have built up a list like this? And if your answer to that question is "Well, he's good-looking, isn't he?" you clearly haven't been watching his progress. The guy works hard, he's taken risks right from the start, and he's delivered some startling performances along the way. Read on, and judge for yourself.

He was born Keanu Charles Reeves on the 2nd of September, 1964, in Beirut. His father Samuel Nowlin Reeves, a part-Chinese part-Hawaiian geologist had married English showgirl Patricia Taylor there, the couple having met after he'd seen her performing at a nightclub. His name, Keanu, is Hawaiian for "cool breeze over the mountains". Well, literally-speaking it means "the coolness", but the fancy extension is forgivable. We all need a little more poetry in our lives, don't we?

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