Keanu’s Back!

  Keanu Reeves' first movie of the year is the Hollywood adaptation of the Korean film "Lake House" where he will be reunited with his Speed co-star Sandra Bullock. Keanu is also one of our hottest hunks for June.


Read Keanu’s Filmography from Yahoo Movies

A tall, handsome laconic actor, Keanu Reeves rose to prominence in the 1980s and solidified his standing as a major star in the 1990s with roles in films like “Speed” (1994) and “The Matrix” (2000). Born in Beirut and raised in Australia, New York and Canada, the actor honed his craft on stage (in the homoerotic play “Wolfboy”) and television (e.g., “Hanging In”) in Toronto before making his debut in the ice hockey drama “Youngblood” in 1986. Reeves first garnered attention as the baby-faced stoner whose friend murdered his girlfriend in the based-on-fact “River’s Edge” (1987). While his resume included such teen-themed efforts of “Permanent Record” and “The Prince of Pennsylvania” (both 1988), Reeves attempted to stretch as a lovestruck music teacher in the period drama “Dangerous Liaisons” (also 1988), he was outclassed by veteran co-stars John Malkovich and Glenn Close. The following year, however, director Stephen Herek tapped him for his breakthrough role as Theodore Logan, the Southern California surfer dude who time travels with his pal, in the innocuous and amusing “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. Playing off co-star Alex Winter’s Bill, Reeves delivered a letter-perfect turn which unfortunately typecast the actor. He was so convincing as the dim-wit with the halting delivery that some came to believe he wasn’t acting. It perhaps didn’t help that he followed up with similar type parts in “Parenthood” (1989) and “I Love You to Death” (1990). When he tried to assume more serious roles, like the earnest undercover agent in “Point Blank” (1991), audiences and reviewers were loathe to accept him.

Director Gus Van Sant made perfect use of Reeves’ unique screen appeal when he cast the actor as the mayor’s son who trades in his posh lifestyle for a life as a street hustler in “My Own Private Idaho” (1991). Teamed onscreen with River Phoenix, Reeves delivered a beautifully modulated, rawly sensual performance. Casting agents and directors now viewed the young man as leading man material and Reeves was tapped to play Jonathan Harker in Francis Ford Coppola’s operatic adaptation of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992), a performance he has dismissed. Indeed amid the high concept production values and up against scenery chewers like Anthony Hopkins and Gary Oldman (as Dracula), Reeves comes off as a bit wooden. More successful was a surprising foray into Shakespeare as the dark Don Juan in Kenneth Branagh’s sun dappled “Much Ado About Nothing” (1993). While some may have felt Reeves and the Bard would make an unlikely pairing, the actor acquitted himself well.

After dieting and buffing up, Reeves undertook the part of Siddhartha in Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Little Buddha” (1994), a role that hardly taxed his acting chops. He cut a fine action hero in the bomb-on-a-bus thriller “Speed” (also 1994), which raised his box-office standing. Rather than capitalize on this newfound status as an action hero, though, Reeves confounded all (and reportedly turned down a role in “Heat”) by retreating to Winnipeg and undertaking one of the stage’s most demanding roles — “Hamlet”. Reaction was divided, although most notices were respectful. But film critics were less kind to his next few performances, feeling the actor was miscast as a WWII-era soldier in the romantic comedy “A Walk in the Clouds” (1995) and an engineer in the actioner “Chain Reaction” (1996). Reeves offered a strong and satisfying performance as an ambitious Southern lawyer seduced by wealth, fame and Satan (in the person of Al Pacino’s John Milton) in “The Devil’s Advocate” (1997), which could be summed up as “The Exorcist” meets John Grisham. Despite the hokum, the actor cut a believable figure as a successful trail lawyer. Following a two-year absence, Reeves returned to action mode as Neo, a gifted computer hacker who is recruited by mysterious figures and introduced to “The Matrix” (1999).

In 2000, he was cast as a former football quarterback recruited to play in the major leagues during the 1987 NFL strike in “The Replacements” and a serial killer tracked by a retired federal agent (James Spader) in “The Watcher”. Reeves continued to walk on the villainous side by playing the small but pivotal role of a wife abuser (opposite Hilary Swank) in “The Gift.” The following year he reteamed with Charlize Theron (who played his wife in “Devil’s Advocate”) for the limp remake of the romance “Sweet November” and barely registered as a reluctant Little League coach in “Hard Ball,” a lame attempt to mix “Mighty Ducks” style filmmaking with over-earnest messages . Following the phenomenal box-office success of the stylish 1999 sci-fi thriller, “The Matrix” Reeves was back in demand with the highly-anticiapted but far inferior sequels “The Matrix Reloaded” (2003) as well as “The Matrix Revolutions,” (2003) directed by the Wachowski Brothers. Reeves next ably took on a less central role in the much lighter romantic comedy “Something’s Gotta Give” (2003), playing Jack Nicholson’s charming cardiologist and eventual romantic rival when he becomes besotted with Nicholson’s inadventant love interest Diane Keaton. Although the comic book character John Constantine of Swamp Thing and Hellblazer fame was originally a spikey-haired blonde Englishman physically based on the 80s-era pop star Sting, the seemingly miscast Reeves was somehow able to bypass those trappings and make the character his own when he was cast as the occult investigator anti-hero for “Constantine” (2005), an effective, f/x-heavy horror-action hybrid that provided the actor with one of his best roles since the orignal “Matrix” film.

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