Whenever I tell someone that I’ve been working for the past few years on a Keanu Reeves musical, I usually get a chuckle and smirk followed by the infamous question, “Why Keanu?”
This usually is followed up with statements like “he’s a terrible actor” or “what would this musical even be about?”. This usually comes from folks who only know a limited section of his filmography career and don’t know his background not only as a performer but also a person.
Granted, when I first started this project, about 4 years ago, I had those same reaction when the name Keanu Reeves was mentioned in a movie trailer or brought up in conversation. I thought he was just a typical Hollywood actor, who only made it because he was good looking and had a lucky break. When I began my research on Mr. Reeves and dig deep beyond Point Break and actually into his life, my eyes were open to Keanu just being a stand up guy. Not only does he take his profession seriously, he also works hard at it and respects everyone in the trade. No wonder he’s worked with so many great directors like Francis Ford Coppola and Gus Van Sant. And of course he would share the screen with Academy Award winning actors like Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, and Charlize Theron because they saw this level of professionalism and respect.
Sure, he’s good at his job but how does that merit him being a good person? How do we know that he’s not just putting on a show because he is an actor, after all.
The proof is in the pudding. Keanu not only took huge pay cuts in films like The Replacements and The Devils Advocate so they could get the actors they wanted (ie Gene Hackman and Pacino) but he also took $50 million dollars of his $70 million earning from The Matrix and paid the special effects and make up staff saying,
“Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries.”
Though, I may have started off this project to poke fun at Keanu and in some regards, I still am. The one thing that has changed is I have developed a true love and admiration for him and his career. Not only that, but I truly do think he’s a most excellent dude and has become a personal hero of mine, to work work hard and never give up on your dreams!
Thank you Keanu!