Fact Checking: Keanu Reeves


There's been a lot of false or misleading claims about Keanu out there. It would be impossible to cover all of them, but I'll try and get the main ones and add new ones on top as they arise.

Q: Is Keanu a Zionist who trained with the IDF and signed a petition supporting Israel in 2014?
A: I traced the claim to a dubious blog. The petition was no longer available online, but I dug it up through the Wayback Machine and Keanu's name is not on it.

Keanu did not train with the IDF. One of his stunt trainers in John Wick was a former Mossad agent before becoming a stuntman, but he was only one of many trainers that Keanu worked with. Keanu is not responsible for hiring crew on his films.

The main source of claims that Keanu is a Zionist stem from a photo of him and Benjamin Netanyahu at a Malibu gathering in March 2014. An Israeli film producer who had produced two of Keanu's films invited him along with about 70 other Hollywood stars. Some criticise Keanu for agreeing to attend a party where Netanyahu was the guest of honour, which is fair enough, but that's not the same as being a Zionist.

Keanu has always kept to himself, with no social media presence, and has never spoken publicly on any political matter throughout his career. His approach to causes he cares about has typically been to quietly donate because he does not like the attention.

We do know that he is currently working on a novel with China Mieville, who recently rejected a prestigious fellowship from an institution after it withdrew support from a professor for expressing solidarity with Palestine. Mieville is also a firm proponent of BDS. This makes it extremely unlikely that Mieville would have agreed to collaborate with Keanu if he were a Zionist. (and vice versa.)

Keanu’s godchild Ripley Soprano, with whom he has a close relationship, has meanwhile put their name on the list of Queer Artists for Palestine.

Q: Did Keanu call Donald Trump a role model for American youth?
No, and anyone who had actually clicked through to the source (vs just liking/sharing the article based on its headline) would have ended up on an entirely unrelated 1994 interview about Speed. That didn't stop the article from going viral and being reposted everywhere, which is a sad commentary on the state of social media.

Q: Did Keanu say that Bitcoin will destroy the global elite / the New World Order and give power back to the people?
No. That article was from yet another website known for fabricating news. While Keanu did talk briefly about Bitcoin in the narration for Alex Winter's The Deep Web documentary, he made no mention of the destruction of any elites.

Q: Did Keanu say that Hollywood elites drink the blood of babies to get high?
No, that article was entirely fabricated by a known fake news site which has also claimed that Katy Perry is a proud cannibal and that Jay-Z was caught shapeshifting into a lizard.

Q: Did Keanu 'shake the world with Another Powerful Message' lamenting how men dress their wives like prostitutes and ape beneath the primitive sounds?
No. The fact that the entire thing sounded like the lovechild of Google Translate and a sociopathic lawnmower should have tipped people off, but sadly it didn't. The quote originated from Arabic websites and weirdly got attributed to Keanu along the way.

Q: Does Keanu hate Arabs and want them annihilated?
No, that was one of a few fake quotes attributed to Hollywood celebrities that were cooked up by an Iranian news agency to stir up anti-Western sentiment. All sources link back to it as the root. They included a quote from Sir Anthony Hopkins claiming to be ashamed of being American, which people have pointed out is really weird because he's Welsh.

Q: Is this story about Keanu's life true?
Yes and no. It's full of weirdly exaggerated or inaccurate facts. Yes, that is Keanu on the subway. His mother was not a stripper, she was a showgirl. He did not watch his girlfriend die, because she was the only one in the car when it crashed. They weren't about to get married; they either were about to break up, or had already done so, depending on who you believe. Yes, before that she'd lost her baby when it was stillborn.

He has had a house in the Hollywood Hills for quite a long time now, though before that he lived in hotels – mostly the Chateau Marmont – for several years, not a flat. Yes, one of his best friends River Phoenix died from overdose, and yes, his father was arrested that year, though I'm not sure if it was 'again'. His younger sister Kim has leukemia but is currently in remission. Yes, Keanu has donated a lot of money to cancer research, but no, it wasn't "70% of his gains from the movie Matrix". It's such a weird figure, given that the donations were an ongoing process over years, rather than one lump sum right after the first film.

Yes, Keanu had a cupcake for one of his birthdays and ate it alone, but he didn't buy it; it was a gift from a friend. He did talk to fans who walked by, but it's highly unlikely that he offered them any of the cake, because it was a bloody cupcake. Those things are tiny. Yes, he usually doesn't have bodyguards, but he does at premieres and other events that require security. Whether or not he wears fancy clothes depends on how you define that. He has a liking for blazers, which can cost quite a lot, and helpful stalkers have discovered that he has at least one well-loved pair of PRPS jeans, which cost at least a hundred US dollars each. idk man I just bought a pair of jeans for SGD$19.90, so maybe my idea of fancy is skewed.

And no, when they asked him about Sad Keanu, he didn't say "you need to be happy to live, I don't." What he actually said was: "Oh, that's funny. So they like take paparazzi pictures and re-contextualize them? Funny."

Q: Is Keanu a vampire?
For what it's worth, there are lots of photos of Keanu in the sun, and he's sparkling in none of them. So, I think probably not.