Keanu Reeves

When did the title of "Hollywood's ultimate introvert" come out?

In a 2005 article for Time magazine, Lev Grossman called Reeves' "Hollywood's ultimate introvert". He has been described as a workaholic, charming and "excruciatingly shy". During the production of Constantine, director Francis Lawrence commented on his personality, calling him "hardworking" and "generous". His co-star Shia LaBeouf said, "I've worked with him for a year and a couple of months, but I don't really know him that much". Erwin Stoff of 3 Arts Entertainment has served as Reeves' agent and manager since he was 16, and produced many of his films. Stoff said Reeves "is a really private person" and keeps his distance from other people.


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  • Rebecca Miller's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee was Reeves' sole release of 2009, which premiered at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival. The romantic comedy and its ensemble received an amicable review from The Telegraph's David Gritten; "Miller's film is a triumph. Uniformly well acted, it boasts a psychologically knowing script, clearly written by a smart, assertive human". In 2010, he starred in another romantic comedy, Henry's Crime, about a man who is released from prison for a crime he did not commit, but then targets the same bank with his former cellmate. The film was not a box office hit. Reeves' only work in 2011 was an adult picture book titled Ode to Happiness, which he wrote, complemented by Alexandra Grant's illustrations. Reeves co-produced and appeared in a 2012 documentary, Side by Side. He interviewed filmmakers including James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, and Christopher Nolan; the feature investigated digital and photochemical film creation. Next, Reeves starred in Generation Um... (2012), an independent drama which was critically panned.

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  • Reeves appeared in the Richard Linklater-directed animated science fiction thriller A Scanner Darkly, which premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Reeves played Bob Arctor/Fred, an undercover agent in a futuristic dystopia under high-tech police surveillance. Based on the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick, the film was a box office failure. However, the film attracted generally favourable reviews; Paul Arendt of the BBC thought the film was "beautiful to watch", but Reeves was outshone by his co-star Robert Downey Jr. His next role was Alex Wyler in The Lake House (2006), a romantic drama adaptation of the South Korean film Il Mare (2000), which reunited him with Sandra Bullock. Despite its box office success, Mark Kermode of The Guardian was highly critical, writing "this syrup-drenched supernatural whimsy achieves stupidity at a genuinely international level ... The last time Bullock and Reeves were together on screen the result was Speed. This should have been entitled Stop". Towards the end of 2006, he co-narrated The Great Warming with Alanis Morrissette, a documentary about climate change mitigation.

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  • In 2001, Reeves continued to explore and accept roles in a diverse range of genres. The first was a romantic comedy, Sweet November, a 1968 remake of the same name. This was his second collaboration with Charlize Theron; the film was met with a generally negative reception. Desson Thompson of The Washington Post criticized it for its "syrupy cliches, greeting-card wisdom and over-the-top tragicomedy", but commended Reeves for his likability factor in every performance he gives. Hardball (2001) marked Reeves' attempt in another sports comedy. Directed by Brian Robbins, it is based on the book Hardball: A Season in the Projects by Daniel Coyle. Reeves plays Conor O'Neill, a troubled young man who agrees to coach a Little League team from the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago as a condition of obtaining a loan. Film critic Roger Ebert took note of the film's desire to tackle difficult subjects and baseball coaching, but felt it "drifts above the surface", and Reeves' performance was "glum and distant".

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  • After the success of The Matrix, Reeves avoided another blockbuster in favour of a lighthearted sports comedy, The Replacements (2000). He agreed to a pay cut to enable Gene Hackman co-star in the film. Against his wishes, Reeves starred in the thriller The Watcher (2000), playing a serial killer who stalks a retired FBI agent. He said that a friend forged his signature on a contract, which he could not prove; he appeared in the film to avoid legal action. Upon its release, the film was critically panned. That year, he had a supporting role in another thriller, Sam Raimi's The Gift, a story about a woman (played by Cate Blanchett) with extrasensory perception asked to help find a young woman who disappeared. The film grossed $44 million worldwide. Film critic Paul Clinton of CNN thought the film was fairly compelling, saying of Reeves' acting: "[Raimi] managed to get a performance out of Reeves that only occasionally sounds like he's reading his lines from the back of a cereal box."

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  • In 2013, Reeves starred in his own directorial debut, the martial arts film Man of Tai Chi. The film has multilingual dialogue and follows a young man drawn to an underground fight club, partially inspired by the life of Reeves' friend Tiger Chen. Principal photography took place in China and in Hong Kong. Reeves was also assisted by Yuen Woo-ping, the fight choreographer of The Matrix films. Man of Tai Chi premiered at the Beijing Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival, and received praise from director John Woo. A wider, warm response followed suit; Bilge Ebiri of Vulture thought the fight sequences were "beautifully assembled", and Reeves showed restraint with the film editing to present the fighters' motion sequences. The Los Angeles Times wrote, "The brutally efficient shooting style Reeves employs to film master choreographer Yuen Woo-ping's breathtaking fights ... is refreshingly grounded and old-school kinetic", while Dave McGinn of The Globe and Mail called the film "ambitious but generic". At the box office, Man of Tai Chi was a commercial disappointment, grossing only $5.5 million worldwide from a budget of $25 million. Also in 2013, Reeves played Kai in the 3D fantasy 47 Ronin, a Japanese fable about a group of rogue samurai. The film premiered in Japan but failed to gain traction with audiences. Initial reviews were not positive, causing Universal Pictures to reduce advertising spending for the film elsewhere. 47 Ronin was a box office flop and was mostly poorly received.

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