FAQ: Keanu Reeves
This is a compilation of questions about Keanu that I frequently encounter.
Q: Does Keanu have an official Twitter/Facebook/Instagram account?
A: No. Keanu has stated many times that he is not on social media. But there are many Keanu impersonators online trying to scam fans into sending money or nudes, and at other times posting plagiarised or made up inspirational quotes with links to buy their stuff or to clickbait articles that let them rake in ad revenue. They specifically target non-native English speakers who don't get suspicious about "Keanu"'s terrible grammar. Some of them have hundreds of thousands of followers. It's a bit depressing. Keanu's two amazing Reddit AMAs were about the only times he officially interacted with fans online, and a Dogstar question and answer thing in 2000.
Q: Is Keanu married?
A: No, and he has never been. He had a daughter with his girlfriend Jennifer Syme, but the baby – Ava Archer Syme Reeves – was stillborn. Shortly after, Syme died in a car accident, thought to be from drug use in conjunction with anti-depressant medication.
Q: What's Keanu's race/ethnicity?
A: His mother is a white British woman. His father is of primarily Chinese-Hawaiian descent going all the way back to the first Chinese settlers in Hawaii. The Reeves name comes from Keanu's great-grandfather, Charles Armistead Reeves, an Irish-American from Tennessee who moved to Hawaii and was promptly disowned by his family for marrying a "savage".
Going purely by biology, Keanu is roughly 2/3 white, 1/3 Asian and 100% immortal. However, it's the sort of thing that gets very ambiguous because race has no clear biological definition. Like many families in Hawaii, Keanu's paternal side has been very racially mixed for the past few generations.
In the 1990s, Keanu referred to himself as a "bourgeois white boy". In the late 2000s he started describing himself as "Chinese, Hawaiian and English", and currently identifies as a person of colour but does not consider himself a spokesperson.
Q: What's Keanu's nationality?
A: He has dual British-Canadian citizenship. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon, then spent his childhood in Hawaii, Sydney and New York before settling in Toronto. Most of the time he describes himself as Canadian.
Q: Not American then?
A: Nope. He currently lives in Los Angeles, though.
Q: Is Keanu gay?
A: Probably not. When asked this in 1990, his response was "No... but ya never know." In 1995, when asked why he didn't give a more definitive 'no' to shut down the speculation for good, he awesomely replied: "Well, I mean, there's nothing wrong with being gay, so to deny it is to make a judgment. And why make a big deal of it? If someone doesn't want to hire me because they think I'm gay, well, then I have to deal with it, I guess. Or if people were picketing a theater. But otherwise, it's just gossip, isn't it?" Cut from the article, according to its writer Michael Shnayerson, was the additional quote: "The fact is, I've never had a male sexual experience in my life." (via webmaster Merlin at KeanuWeb)
Q: Is Keanu married to Alan Cumming?
A: No. This rumour originated as an April Fool's joke that a few media outlets took seriously and reproduced, because journalists are shoddy. Alan Cumming has been married to his husband Grant Shaffer since 2007.
Q: Was Keanu married to David Geffen?
A: No, that was a hoax. Of course, there are the usual conspiracy theorists who think that the hoax itself was a hoax to cover up the truth, but officially, no. If tabloid reports are to be believed, Keanu was getting married simultaneously in Los Angeles, Hawaii, the Hamptons and France, all while he was off playing Hamlet in Canada. Some people believe that Keanu is omnipresent, but most of us here don't.
Q: Is Keanu a Buddhist?
A: No, though multiple sources seem to think he is – partly due to him playing the Buddha in 1993's Little Buddha, as well as being one of the narrators for the 2004 Buddhist documentary Discovering Buddhism. Keanu says that while he has great respect for the religion and has studied it intensively, "I haven't taken refuge in the dharma".
Q: Is Keanu an atheist?
A: Probably not, though again multiple sources seem to think so after he was wrongly placed on one 'Famous Atheists' list that criminally excluded Douglas Adams, an actual famous atheist. That list then got reposted and quoted on other sites, again because journalists are shoddy. Keanu has expressed a belief in God or some higher power: "Sure I believe in God and the Devil but they don't have to have pitchforks and a long white beard." At other times he said he was unsure.
Q: What's Keanu's religion then?
A: He says he's not going to talk about it, because "I think it’s personal and private." He was raised without any religion and has not publicly aligned himself with any. He says he has seen ghosts in the past, and harbours a belief in astrology. His general stance on such matters seems to be that he's spiritual but not religious.
Q: Did Keanu say [insert quote]?
A: Probably not:
Q: Does Keanu hate Arabs and want them annihilated?
A: 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. Meanwhile, Keanu has always publicly presented himself as politically neutral.
Q: Did Keanu say that Hollywood elites drink the blood of babies to get high?
A: 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. Then again, we should always keep an open mind and recognise that those things might very well be true, so this may or may not convince you.
Q: Did Keanu 'shake the world with Another Powerful Message' lamenting how men dress their wives like prostitutes and ape beneath the primitive sounds?
A: 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: Did Keanu call Donald Trump a role model for American youth?
A: 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?
A: 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. Meanwhile, speaking as someone who works in a financial advisory firm, the only thing Bitcoin is likely to destroy is your back account. Just don't. It's a gamble, not an investment.
Q: Is this story about Keanu's life true?
A: 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 (unless of course you subscribe to the theory of an omnipresent Keanu), 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. Keanu has always generally avoided serious relationships and offspring-production, and it wasn't only after that happened. He has however expressed a wish for that to eventually change: "I'm trying not to be alone so much. And, man, it's a struggle. I want to get married. I want to have kids. That's at the top of the mountain. I've got to climb the mountain first. I'll do it. Just give me some time."
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?
A: 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.
Q: Does Keanu have a house?
A: Yes, in West Hollywood. He also apparently has an apartment in New York City. He did however go for much of his life without a permanent residence, buying his first house only in 2003, when he was 39 years old. He used to live out of hotel rooms and movie set trailers. Apart from books and his couch – which he kept in his sister's place – all his worldly belongings once fit into a single suitcase.
Q: Which agency represents Keanu?
A: Keanu is currently signed with William Morris Endeavor (WME). He was previously with Creative Artists Agency.
Q: Does Keanu read fanmail?
A: In the ancient past, he used to both read and respond to fanmail. He no longer does.
"A family friend builds movie sets, doesn’t design, is one of the poor dudes that just builds. Anyways he worked on the set for the Matrix and Keanu heard about family trouble he was having and gave him a $20,000 Christmas bonus to help him out. He also was one of the only people on the set that genuinely wanted to know peoples names, would say hello and mean it, and would talk to people as they were his peers and not below him just because they were practically making nothing to build a set. I’ve never heard anyone say Keanu is douche, seems like the nicest person in Hollywood from a second hand experience."
People who have known Keanu generally have nothing but lavish praise for what a great guy he is, and how he goes out of his way to be generous and help both friends and strangers in need. Most of the few negative things I've heard about Keanu have to do with him being aloof and not talking much, or where he was clearly having a bad day. These are far outnumbered by the positive stories.
That said, he's not flawless. He's just had many centuries of practice. Various things he's said and done in the past would likely be cause for media outrage today, but throughout his life Keanu has shown himself to be humble and always willing to listen and grow as a person. Who he is today means so much more precisely because it took that effort and commitment on his part to become a better person; he wasn't born perfect, gliding through the multiverse on a rainbow of kindness and generosity. He had to build that rainbow. And that gives us all hope.
Q: Isn't Keanu breathtaking?
A: We're all breathtaking!