Reveal (UK), 2009
Why I Hid From the World(Transcripted by LoveTag)
Hollywood Star Keanu Reeves tells Reveal about hitting 40 and locking himself away as he battled a mid-life crisis.
by Garth Pearce
Keanu Reeves has talked for the first time of how he secretly locked himself away to come to terms with changes in his life.
Keanu, now 44, had reached his 40th birthday when he needed to work out where his life was going. But he did so far from the spotlight of Hollywood.
'I had a lot of fear,' he says. 'It was time for reflection. It was connected to what I was hoping for, and what had happened in the past.
'I had some dear friends pass away, I didn't have a family, so would I have one in the future? How could it happen? What could I do? How was I as a person?'
Keanu freely admits he hated reaching the big 4-0 and wonders if he had a mid-life crisis: 'I didn't grow-up with a father, so I was asking older mentors what it was like.
'I remember hanging out with Dustin Hoffman and I said: "Being 40 is a bitch."
'Dustin replied: "No, 40 is great. I had all these changes, I got divorced, didn't work in four years - everything turned out for the best." 'It was nice to have someone pat you on the back and say it will all be OK.'
Keanu's mother Patricia, who brought him up in Toronto, Canada, remarried three times so there was no older man to consistently guide him through his teenage years.
Keanu became famous in his early twenties and remains uncomfortable with it, even today.
'I wanted to take a break,' he reflects. 'I didn't leave the house. It was a combination of two things - I was trying to find the right project and I was going through a transitional time. My work is where my joy and interest are.
'I was trying to embark on the third phase of my life and career.
Keanu is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his breakthrough movie Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
But despite huge success from massive movie hits like Point Break, Speed and the Matrix movies, his life was shaken by two separate catastrophes.
His baby daughter, Eva (sic), with long-term girlfriend, Jennifer Syme, was stillborn just weeks before her expected delivery date of Christmas Day 1999.
Keanu and Jennifer, who was an assistant to Hollywood director David Lynch drifted apart during the next year. Then Jennifer tragically died in a car accident in Los Angeles on 2 April, 2001, aged 29.
Keanu has never talked about the double sorrow in his life, but reveals: "I've spent a lot of time thinking about what has happened in the past and how life could have been so different.'
So success has not always brought happiness?
'Right, he replies. 'That happens once in awhile and I think--what's going on? Why don't I feel happy? Work and life are two different things.
'Success does not always create happiness, but it can. Success is doing a film with a great cast and having a great time.'
Keanu has maintained a successful career over the past few years with hits including The Lake House and The Day The Earth Stood Still.
Now he's filmed what could be another major hit, The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee, with Robin Wright Penn.
It has also been reported that Keanu is getting his love life back on track, with 40 year old Parker Posey, star of Superman Returns.
But Keanu - who has made it a rule not to talk about his relationships - has never confirmed she's anything more than a friend.
'I remember doing a film A Walk In The Clouds in 1995 and I was with film legend Anthony Quinn.'
'It was six o'clock in the morning and Anthony was already on set, reading the script for the next film he was going to be in. He was 80 at the time.'
'I looked at him and said: "Does it ever change? Do you ever stop having to hustle for a part? Does it get easier?"'
'He just looked at me and said "No", so I thought if he's still figuring it out--what hope is there for me?'
Anthony Quinn died in 2001, aged 86. So Keanu knows that he, too, could look forward to another 40 years of work.
'I feel good about it,' he says. 'I have pleasures, like riding motorbikes or hanging out with friends.
'A lot of my friends have kids, so they come around in the daytime and the children are jumping in and out of the swimming pool, their parents are making margaritas, and I'm cooking a barbecue.
'I enjoy times like those.'