Independent Bangladesh (Bangladesh), June 5, 2003
by Hasib Khan
Keanu Reeves is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. From lame brained teenager to sci-fi superman he has portrayed every type of character you can imagine. Despite being frequently blasted by the critics, he does not fail to captivate the audience and maintain his lucrative career by balancing his lesser efforts with intermittent box office hits.
He was born in Beirut, Lebanon as Keanu Charles Reeves in September of 1964. He became a world traveler by the age of two, thanks to his father's career as a geologist. His mother on the other hand works as a costume designer of film and stage. Keanu followed his mother together with his sister to live in New York after their parent's divorce; they later moved to Toronto. There his interest in ice-hockey and acting got more priority than his study. He was nick named "Wall" because of his strong presence as a goal keeper.
His interest in school and hockey waned further as he began pursuing acting more seriously. Dancing in a Coca Cola advertisement was his first bit on camera. Reeves began with small roles in various Canadian television programs while working as a manager in a pasta shop in Toronto. He debuted in a Canadian film called "One Step Away" in 1985. But the American audiences were best introduced to him in 1986 when he appeared in a drama called "Youngblood".
But it wasn't until the release of Tim Hunter's "The Rivers Edge" that Keanu got the breakthrough he was looking for. In 1988 he found himself drawing a favorable nod for his role in "Dangerous Liaisons". In "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" his performance as a moronic, guitar wielding wannabe rocker traveling through time was so popular that it resulted both in a sequel and a cartoon. This kind of acting was transforming him into something of an 80's icon.
So, it wasn't long before Reeves was looking to take his career to next level. Reeves battled the undead in Francis Ford Coppola's production, "Dracula" in 1992, and got favorable reviews for his role as a rich kid turned street hustler opposite River Phoenix in "My Own Private Idaho". He also did "Freaked" the same year. In 1993 he surprised the audiences with his unexpectedly complex performance as Siddhartha in Bernardo Bertolucci's "Little Buddha".
Just when the audiences began thinking whether they had underestimated Reeve's talent as an actor, he surprised them with 1994's mega hit "Speed". He balanced such big budgeted rushes with "Johnny Mnemonic" and "Chain Reaction" as well as romantic efforts in "A Walk in the Clouds" and "Feeling Minnesota" all in 1995-96. Reeves spooked audiences as an attorney suffering from a major case of soul corrosion in the 1997 horror thriller "The Devil's Advocate".
But it was 1999 when Reeves entered into the most successful stage of his career thus far. Reeve's career reached feverish heights because of Wachowski Brothers' wildly imaginative and strikingly visual sci-fi breakthrough "The Matrix". Here Reeves played the role of a computer hacker who discovers that he may be humankind's last hope in the forthcoming war against mainframe computers. With the cultural phenomenon of "The Matrix" soaring higher and higher, it was only a matter of time that the Wachowski Brothers announced that the film had originally been conceived as the beginning of a trilogy and two sequels were in the works.
It's only been weeks since the first of the sequels "Matrix Reloaded" had been released, playing havoc at the box office from the very first day' ensuring that the film would be among this year's biggest hits. As well as ensuring Keanu Reeves' status as a Hollywood top notch star, he also just happens to be a member of the band 'Dogstar'.