Alistairm's Blog

Star Profile – Keanu Reeves

Posted in Uncategorized by alistairm on September 21, 2009
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Keanu Reeves - Ted - Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Keanu Charles Reeves (born September 2, 1964) is a Canadian actor most commonly known for his starring roles in Bill & Ted’s Excellent AdventureThe Matrix and Speed. He began his acting career as a supporting role in Youngblood in which he worked with alongside major stars such as Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe. During his film career he has won 10 awards with 19 nominations and built up a unique persona and a film portfolio of contrasting genres, shaking off the Ted stigmata and being able to play roles such as a psychopathic killer in The Watcher. Despite much criticism for his deadpan acting, he has had commercial success paralleled with A-List stars.

Straying from the macho-hero stereotype, Reeves plays a more effeminate protagonist which can be tied in with the evolution of the film industry and the deviation from alluring Bond-like heroes. Despite his countless amount of roles, Much of  the response to his acting capabilities post 1989  is still blemished by his portrayal of the airheaded Ted.

Persona

Reeves is commonly portrayed as a main protagonist , this is apparent by his leading roles in films such as The Matrix and Speed however there are deviations to this such as his role as the central antagonist in The Watcher. despite being heavily critisised, Reeves has built up a unique and singular persona in which

Themes

Although Reeve’s acting forte is difficult to pinpoint, sci-fi films are prominent in his success, such as The Matrix Trilogy, The Day the Earth Stood Still and (arguably) Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, coinciding with his success in thriller films such as the supernatural Constantine and the intense Point Break along with one of his first commercial successes Speed. Reeves has enjoyed success on a vast array of genres and has worked with highly regarded directors such as Francis Coppola (Godfather films and Apocalypse Now to name a couple) and Ron Howard (Apollo 13 and The Da Vinci Code) along with co-starring with major actors such as Jack Nicholson and Cameron Diaz.

Major Hits/Commercial Success

Before Reeves was in the film industry, he did commercials (such as Coca Cola) and small scale theatre work. Prior to The Matrix, Reeves had fluctuating success. his major breakthrough role in The River’s Edgeprompted him as an actor with sufficient range to land him into high budget films.  His first popular success was with Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure however it wasn’t until 1994 with the release of Speed that he was noticed as a prominent actor in the industry. Reeve’s popularity declined mid 90’s due to lukewarm responses to his portfolio and personal matters which prevented him from making films. Reeve’s popularity escalated to that of an A-list star with the release of The Matrix which is, still today, one of the highest grossing films and enabled him to become a big draw at the box office. Following the success of The Matrix, Reeves played the lead in Constantine which was also a commercial success.

- 1. The Matrix Reloaded (2003) Neo $736M
     
- 2. The Matrix (1999) Neo $456M
     
- 3. The Matrix Revolutions (2003) Neo $424M
     
- 4. Speed (1994/I) Officer Jack Traven $283M
     
- 5. The Day the Earth Stood Still(2008) Klaatu $230M

Fandom

Despite receiving mixed reviews, Reeves is still regarded as a major cult icon of the 80’s as the air headed Ted. despite his arguably impassive acting ability, he has built up a massive fanbase with sites such as http://keanu-reeves.net/http://keanuconnection.com/ and http://www.keanuvision.com. Ultimately, Reeves is an actor whom is either zealously loved or critically eviscerated by the viewer.

keanureeves2

Keanu Reeves: The Matrix - Neo

 

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