Keanu Reeves has been in the spotlight for over four decades, keeping people entertained through his acting roles, hearty philanthropy, and drama-free persona. However, often coming with these years of experience navigating the public eye is a lack of privacy.
While it might seem like he has it all, Reeves has suffered tremendous heartbreak throughout his life — most of which has been heavily publicized due to his groundbreaking roles in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Matrix, and John Wick.
At a young age, Reeves was abandoned by his father, geologist Samuel Reeves. He was raised in a single-parent household by his mother, Patricia Taylor, who often traveled with her children due to her career as a costume designer and performer. In 2019, The Sun detailed the Canadian actor’s childhood experience. They quoted the actor saying, “The story with me and my dad’s pretty heavy. It’s full of pain and woe and f***ing loss and all that s**t.”
Keanu Reeves has suffered through a lot of loss
Reeves’ suffered heavy loss through his rise to fame. At 23 years old, his close friend, Hollywood actor River Phoenix, died of a drug overdose. Phoenix was most popular for starring in Stand By Me, My Private Idaho, and Running On Empty.
Telegraph documented their close friendship sharing that the two met on the set of I Love You to Death and Reeves was responsible for convincing the other actor to accept his role in his following project, My Own Private Idaho. The outlet wrote that Keanu knew Phoenix was perfect for the role.
Following Phoenix’s tragic death in 1993, Reeves faced another tragedy. In 1999, he and his late girlfriend Jennifer Syme suffered from the stillborn loss of his daughter. Just over a year later, Syme was killed in a car accident after drunk-driving home from a bash hosted by Marilyn Mason.
Addressing his experience with grief in a 2019 interview with The Guardian, Reeves stated that grief and loss “don’t ever go away.” He shared that grief is “one of the foundations” of his character John Wick. “I love his grief,” expressed the actor.
“Well, for the character and in life, it’s about the love of the person you’re grieving for, and any time you can keep company with that fire, it is warm. I absolutely relate to that, and I don’t think you ever work through it. Grief and loss, those are things that don’t ever go away. They stay with you,” said Reeves.
Keanu Reeves gifted peers a San Diego getaway
Despite the tragedies in his life, Reeves is still known as one of the kindest people in Hollywood. In recent news, it was revealed that he treated many of his colleagues and peers to a getaway in San Diego in recognition of the premiere of his latest movie, The Matrix Resurrections.
The Hollywood Reporter shared that Reeves invited his representation, peers, and other colleagues to the movie’s world premiere. The outlet specified, “As a token of his appreciation, Reeves took care of private jet travel and hotel accommodations, premiere tickets, and even organized a special post-premiere brunch for invitees, among other gifts.”
This act of generosity was commented on by Reeves’ stuntman in the early Matrix movies and John Wick director Chad Stahelski. The stuntman shared, “He’s [Reeves] incredibly generous. In the audience tonight will be so many people that helped him, from his martial art trainers to jiu-jitsu trainers to hair and makeup to his stunt crew. He makes sure that his friends and family are here. He’s epic.”
The Matrix Resurrections is currently playing in movie theaters.