Whatever happened to Keanu Reeves?
by Brad Ritzer
A year ago, he looked like a very sick man. But the gossips were wrong - Keanu was simply getting ready for his latest comeback
The pictures were simply shocking. The once-gorgeous Keanu was gaunt and his thick black hair had gone. Was he in the grip of some horrible disease?
No. The star was looking his worst to play computer expert Neo in The Matrix, the sci-fi/kung fu film that's been a massive hit in America.
For his comeback role Keanu not only lost 20lb, but shaved off his hair and eyebrows. With hair and weight now restored, he's back to his old sexy self. "I don't know how to deal with questions about my looks," he says. "It's embarrassing because I'm not vain."
Since his last big hit Speed, in 1994, Keanu has hidden himself away, with only spasmodic appearances in flop films like Walk In The Clouds and Chain Reaction.
The loner's sex life is equally intriguing as, despite having the reputation of a ladies' man, only a few women seem to have caught his eye. Most recently he's been linked with Carrie-Anne Moss - his Matrix co-star. "I want to find a soul mate," he says. " I'd love to find myself in harmony with a woman I could devote myself to."
At 34, his lingering insecurity is partly based on a wandering childhood. His mum Pat hails from Hornchurch, Essex, while dad Sam is an Hawaiian-Chinese. Although born in Beirut, Keanu spent his early years following his parents' break up in Australia before moving to New York, then Canada.
Evidently he relished filming The Matrix for eight months down under because of the beauty and solitude of the wide open spaces. Keanu can't be unaware that his own beauty and solitude will always make him a target for gossips. Because of the way he looks he has to fight to get credit for his work.
But whether he's a success or a failure, the boyish star refuses to be bothered. "Oh, my God, have I disappeared? Will a studio want to see me?" he says mockingly. "Every once in a while that comes around. It sucks and I go and have a beer."