Keanu's keen on just one girl
by Michael Duncan
Hollywood heartthrob Keanu Reeves can - and apparently does - pick and chose his lovers from a host of lustful admirers and starlets.
But despite having a string of babes one after another draped on his arm there is just one woman that he always returns to... former Word presenter Amanda de Cadenet.
The pair have been engaged twice - first in 1996 and then again in 2000. And though both romances broke up, they have always remained more than good friends.
Keanu, 37, has been linked with a host of beauties since he split with 28-year-old blonde beauty Amanda.
His conquests include British backpacker Rachael Jones, who he met on a recent holiday.
The latest is martial arts instructor Yan Lin, who he encountered on the set of the latest Matrix flick.
But it is Amanda who has always returned to his side. They have recently been snapped strolling through a park arm in arm and she flew all the way to Australia to be at her ex-fiancé's side when he was shooting the latest in the Matrix movie trilogy.
"Things may not have worked out for them romantically, but she has always pledged her love for Keanu," says a friend of Keanu's. "And they have always kept in contact with each other."
Amanda, who has an eight-year-old daughter Atlanta to former hubby Duran Duran star John Taylor, has proved a great soul-mate throughout all the traumas that Keanu has endured in the last few years.
She gave him moral support when his girlfriend Jennifer Syme lost their child in 1999. And she was there for him when Jennifer died in a horrific car crash just over a year later.
She has also helped him cope with the news that his younger sister Kim suffers from leukaemia. "Amanda has a lot of spiritual strength and she has used this to help Keanu through his difficult times," explains the friend. "She has proved that she can conquer her own demons. And now she uses the same principles to help her old flame."
The mum-of-one has herself been romantically linked to one member of punk superstars The Strokes and Mick Jagger.
"But she has always loved, Keanu. And her love for him is very special. Even if they don't get back together as a couple she will always have that warm affection for him," says the friend.
However Keanu gets embroiled in a very unloving attachment in flick The Gift, which is available to buy on video on May 13.
And he spends much of his time on-screen knocking lumps out of Hilary Swank, who portrays his abused spouse.
But Keanu prefers his role as a loving ally to the vicious wife-beater he portrays in Savannah-set The Gift.
"It was disturbing playing the role," explains Keanu. "Physical violence is not something that I practice all the time. So it was for me very difficult to get to grips with. I found it particularly hard to punch her in the stomach."
His task was made easier in the scenes with Hilary Swank. "They used devices so when I pulled her up by the hair there was this handle I could grab in her wig so I was able to play with the statement of violence."
Keanu also had to land a few blows on Australian actress Cate Blanchett, who is Hilary's co-star in the flick.
"When I had to walk up to Cate I had to punch her a stage punch," he explains. "But still hit a woman ostensibly in the womb. And that was really hard to play. But we got it shot. And that's one of the great things about Cate. She was just like: 'Let's go there, let's do this.' And to make that OK was great."
As well as The Gift, Reeves has also recently appeared in The Replacements and Sweet November. But it is probably his role in The Matrix films that has brought him the most acclaim. And he is set to play lead in the third of the three films, although filming has been postponed.
"It's a very exciting script," says Keanu. "There are loads of questions and loads of conflict. It's got some great scenes and dialogue.
"Even those who have had the Matrix experience before haven't had the one they're about to have."
The Matrix has pushed publicity-shy Keanu into the forefront of the media glare again, but the actor has always refused to discuss his private life with the press.
"I always find it surreal when strangers ask me personal questions," he explained. "I don't mind speaking about work. But all the Who are You? What are you? questions remind me of that Al Pacino movie where he says: 'You're out of line.'"
Although Keanu is now one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood he admits that he still gets starstruck when he works with other stars.
"I got the butterflies in my stomach when I went to the first rehearsal with AI Pacino," explains Keanu, who appeared alongside his hero in Devil's Advocate.
"I also had a similar feeling when I met Dennis Hopper in River's Edge. I went from Dangerous Liaisons working with John Malkovich and Glenn Close, to Dracula with Anthony Hopkins."
Now Reeves will appear alongside ex-Taxi star Danny De Vito in a re-make of the cult 70's classic Billy Jack. Made by De Vito's Jersey Films it's going to be one for Keanu's growing legion of fans to put on their calendar.
"Danny's another actor who I really adore," says Keanu. "And I'm looking forward to working with him."