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.
In 1989, Reeves starred in the comedy-drama Parenthood directed by Ron Howard. Nick Hilditch of the BBC gave the film three out of five stars, calling it a "feelgood movie" with an "extensive and entertaining ensemble cast". In 1990, Reeves gave two acting performances. He portrayed an incompetent hitman in the black comedy I Love You to Death, and played Martin, a radio station employee in the comedy Tune in Tomorrow. He also appeared in Paula Abdul's music video for Rush Rush which featured a Rebel Without a Cause motif, with him in the James Dean role.More Info
The action thriller Speed (1994), in which Reeves was cast as a police officer, garnered critical and commercial success, and helped Reeves gain further recognition. He followed this with a series of films box office failures, including: Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Chain Reaction (1996), and The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997). However, his performance in the supernatural horror The Devil's Advocate (1997) was well received. Global stardom followed soon after with his lead role as computer hacker Neo in the science fiction thriller The Matrix (1999). The film was a commercial success and won four Academy Awards, although its sequels, Reloaded and Revolutions (both in 2003) were met with a mixed reception. In 2005, Reeves played exorcist John Constantine in Constantine and a dentist in the comedy-drama Thumbsucker. He also starred in the animated film A Scanner Darkly (2006), the romantic drama The Lake House (2006), the science fiction thriller The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), and the crime thriller Street Kings (2008).More Info
In 1991, Reeves developed an interest in a music career; he formed an alternative rock band called Dogstar, consisting of members Robert Mailhouse, Gregg Miller and Bret Domrose. Reeves played the bass guitar. In 1993, he had a role in Much Ado About Nothing, based on Shakespeare's play of the same name. The film received positive reviews, although Reeves was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor. The New Republic magazine thought his casting was "unfortunate" because of his amateur performance. That same year, he starred in two more drama films, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Little Buddha, both of which garnered a mixed-to-negative reception. The Independent gave Little Buddha a mixed review but opined Reeves was "credible" and fitting for the part.More Info
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
Reeves starred alongside Patrick Swayze, Lori Petty and Gary Busey in the action thriller Point Break (1991), directed by Kathryn Bigelow. He plays an undercover FBI agent tasked with investigating the identities of a group of bank robbers. To prepare for the film, Reeves and his co-stars took surfing lessons with professional surfer Dennis Jarvis in Hawaii. Reeves had never surfed before. Upon its release, Point Break was generally well-received, and a commercial success, earning $83.5 million at the box office. Reeves' performance was praised by The New York Times for "considerable discipline and range", adding, "He moves easily between the buttoned-down demeanor that suits a police procedural story and the loose-jointed manner of his comic roles". Writing for The Washington Post, Hal Hinson called Reeves the "perfect choice" and praised the surfing scenes, but opined "the filmmakers have their characters make the most ludicrously illogical choices imaginable". At the 1992 MTV Movie Awards, Reeves won the Most Desirable Male award.More Info
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