Reeves was soon drawn to science fiction roles, appearing in Chain Reaction (1996) with co-stars Morgan Freeman, Rachel Weisz, Fred Ward, Kevin Dunn and Brian Cox. He plays a researcher of a green energy project, who has to go on the run when he is framed for murder. Chain Reaction was not a critical success and received mostly negative reviews; film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rating of 16% and described it as "a man-on-the-run thriller that mostly sticks to generic formula". Reeves' film choices after Chain Reaction were also critical disappointments. He starred in the independent crime comedy Feeling Minnesota (1996), with Vincent D'Onofrio and Cameron Diaz, which was described as "shoddily assembled, and fundamentally miscast" by Rotten Tomatoes. That same year, he turned down an offer to star in Speed 2: Cruise Control, despite being offered a salary of $12 million. According to Reeves, this decision caused 20th Century Fox to sever ties with him for a decade. Instead, Reeves toured with his band Dogstar, and appeared in the drama film The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997), based on a 1950 letter written by Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac. In a scathing review of Reeves' performance, Paul Tatara of CNN called him "void of talent ... here he is again, reciting his lines as if they're non-related words strung together as a memory exercise".
Keanu Charles Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on September 2, 1964, the son of Patricia (née Taylor), a costume designer and performer, and Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. His mother is English, originating from Essex. His father is from Hawaii, and is of Chinese, English, Irish, Native Hawaiian, and Portuguese descent. His father earned a GED while serving time in prison for selling heroin at Hilo International Airport. His mother was working in Beirut when she met his father, who abandoned his wife and family when Reeves was three years old. Reeves last met his father on the island of Kauai when he was 13.More Info
In 2013, he made his directorial debut with Man of Tai Chi. Although he was praised for his direction, the film was a box-office bomb. In 2014, Reeves played the titular assassin in the neo-noir action thriller John Wick, which was a commercial success and was generally well-received. A year later, he starred in Knock Knock and narrated two documentaries, Deep Web and Mifune: The Last Samurai. 2016 saw Reeves star in five films, including The Neon Demon, The Bad Batch, and The Whole Truth. He also starred in a web television series Swedish Dicks. He returned to the John Wick franchise in the commercially successful sequels, John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019). In 2019, Reeves voiced Duke Caboom in Toy Story 4 (2019). Reeves has spent most of his career typecast as the action hero; "saving the world" is a recurring character arc in many roles he has portrayed, such as the characters of Ted "Theodore" Logan, Gautama Buddha, Neo, Johnny Mnemonic, John Constantine, and Klaatu. Besides acting, he played bass guitar for the band Dogstar and pursued other endeavours such as writing and philanthropy.More Info
In 1992, he played Jonathan Harker in Francis Ford Coppola's Gothic horror Bram Stoker's Dracula, based on Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula. Starring alongside Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins, the film was critically and commercially successful. It grossed $215.8 million worldwide. For his role, Reeves was required to speak with an English accent, which drew some criticism; "Overly posh and entirely ridiculous, Reeves's performance is as painful as it is hilarious", wrote Limara Salt of Virgin Media. Recalling the experience in 2015, director Coppola said, "[Reeves] tried so hard ... He wanted to do it perfectly and in trying to do it perfectly it came off as stilted". Bram Stoker's Dracula was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning three in Best Costume Design, Best Sound Editing and Best Makeup. The film also received four nominations at the British Academy Film Awards.More Info
He starred in the action thriller Speed (1994) alongside Sandra Bullock and Dennis Hopper. He plays police officer Jack Traven, who must prevent a bus from exploding by keeping its speed above 50 mph. Speed was the directorial debut of Dutch director Jan de Bont. Several actors were considered for the lead role, but Reeves was chosen because Bont was impressed with his Point Break performance. To look the part, Reeves shaved all his hair off and spent two months in the gym to gain muscle mass. During production, Reeves' friend River Phoenix (and co-star in My Own Private Idaho) died, resulting in adjustments to the filming schedule to allow him to mourn. Speed was released on June 10 to a critically acclaimed response. Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune lauded Reeves, calling him "absolutely charismatic ... giving a performance juiced with joy as he jumps through elevator shafts ... and atop a subway train". David Ansen, writing for Newsweek, summarized Speed as, "Relentless without being overbearing, this is one likely blockbuster that doesn't feel too big for its britches. It's a friendly juggernaut". The film grossed $35 million from a $30 million budget and won two Academy Awards in 1995 – Best Sound Editing and Best Sound.More Info
In 1984, Reeves was a correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) youth television program Going Great. That same year, he made his acting debut in an episode of the television series, called Hangin' In. In 1985, he played Mercutio in a stage production of Romeo and Juliet at the Leah Posluns Theatre in North York, Ontario. He made further appearances on stage, including Brad Fraser's cult hit Wolfboy in Toronto. He also appeared in a Coca-Cola commercial, and in 1985, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) coming-of-age, short film One Step Away.More Info
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