How Keanu Reeves defied all expectations

Showbiz careers are not logical because of too many variables: audience's fickle tastes, industry perceptions, and luck. But even given the elusive nature of career success, Keanu Reeves is unique.

How Keanu Reeves defied all expectations

One, he is stronger than ever, having had a 35-year career. This may have been surprising to his 1980s supporters.

While most actors would love to have only one film franchise, Reeves, who turns 57 on Sept. 2, celebrates three. He has "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure" in 1989, which established him as a comedian actor. Then there was "John Wick" (2014) and "The Matrix” (1999), which placed him in the pantheon for action heroes.

Reeves is of Hawaiian, Chinese and English heritage. He started his professional career in 1984 with small roles in various TV shows. Then he made his big-screen debut in 1986 in Youngblood (1986). This movie showcased his hockey skills.

He started working with A-list directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci ("Little Buddha") and Kathryn Bigelow (“Point Break”), Francis Coppola (“Bram Stoker's Dracula”), and Stephen Frears („Dangerous Liaisons”). He had portrayed Ted in "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure" (1989) so naturally that many people believed his believable portrayal of a stoner airhead.

Although Ted is a beloved character, Variety still recognizes Reeves' charm. However, the film was not released in its entirety until 1989. "This film's Bill and Ted are the most witless, charming young characters since Sean Penn's portrayal of a California high-schooler who is a snob in 'Fast Times at Ridgemont'," Variety's critic wrote. "Keanu Reeves' beguilingly blank expression and loose-limbed, happy go-lucky vocabulary and Alex Winter's golden curls, gleefully positive vibes and 'bodacious" vocabulary propel this adventure to its zenith.

Reeves was discovered to be an action star just a few more years later. Variety reviewed "Speed" in 1994. It confirmed what "Point Break," had shown first: Reeves can play take-charge characters and lead a movie. He was described as "appealingly strong" in the review of Speed.

Variety conducted a roundup on Hollywood's biggest stars from 1995. He began his profile with the words, "It is time to take Keanu Reynolds seriously."

He was portrayed as the spacy characters he was, according to the article. People preferred to believe that he was just playing himself when he was truly good at 'My Own Private Idaho.

Reeves remained private throughout the whole thing. People like to imagine stars. They create images of Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Reeves is not a very detailed person. In 2019, GQ called him the "most mysterious leading man in Hollywood".

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