Keanu: childhood, youth and the moments of glory. Book #1

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Childhood and youth

«I don’t really know what my raw essence is. I guess one thing is I’m not really good with authority. When people in school kept trying to tell me where I could go and what I could do, it infuriated me. I know that when I don’t feel free and can’t go where I want, I react. I just go against it»

Keanu Reeves

«Keanu Reeves — one weird dude?!» by Jeff Hayward; Smash Hits (Aus.), April 1, 1992

Let us take as an indisputable fact that Keanu Charles Reeves was born (at least in this reincarnation of his own) in the city of Beirut, which is located in Lebanon. (Lebanon is a state in the Middle East, located in a mountainous area on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Syria in the east and north, and Israel in the south. The country’s symbol, the Lebanese cedar — is depicted both on the flag and on the state emblem… Do not worry, I also had to devote some time searching on the map — where is it?)

Actually, Keanu almost didn’t live in Beirut at all — his parents simply met there — Patricia Taylor and Samuel Reeves.

Keanu himself, especially in early interviews, spoke: («Guess my parents had been doing their thing in the Middle East»)

According to some sources, Keanu’s father worked here as a geologist, and his mother danced in a nightclub (or vice versa). According to another version, Keanu’s mother studied at a local university (there is one, and not just one), and his father burned his life and indulged in all sorts of substances that expand consciousness (or vice versa). Anyway, they were very creative people. If you believe the recollections of eyewitnesses, Keanu’s father, having received an inheritance after the death of his stepfather, got one of the first Jaguar XKE cars.

In violet color. His mother, an Englishwoman, had already at the time a strong personality (there was a reason that she was more often called the male name Patrick than the female — Patricia), and at that time she preferred cowboy boots, blue jeans and mink coats. True, such creativity was not very welcomed by the locals, and even a few times the couple were thrown stones at. However, Beirut was never a particularly safe place to live, but it was a very convenient transit point for all kinds of playboys and hippies moving to the East in search of enlightenment. Although this however does not matter.

The important thing is that the sixties were really some special time. Perhaps the Earth passed through some special energy stream. Just take a look — how many talented songs, poems, other works of art — and people were born in these years! Here are just the stars of Hollywood and its environs: Crispin Glover (1964); Johnny Depp (1963); River Phoenix (1970); Tom Cruise (1962); Brad Pitt (1963); Robert Downey Jr. (1965); Sean Penn (1960); Rob Lowe (1964); Hugh Jackman (1968); Alex Winter (1965)…

Oh, and Keanu Reeves of course.

He was born in September, when, according to one of the modern classics, «the time of the wind and ripe grapes» sets in. Therefore, he was named respectively — his name is the Hawaiian word used to describe the first cool breezes that descend from the mountains. (It s Hawaiian. It was my great, great uncle’s name. It means ’cool breeze over the mountains’ … I’ve got a cousin who has the same name.) From his biological father, who was the first of his mother’s four husbands, Keanu received in addition to his first name a surname — and an exotic appearance.

By the way — according to the horoscope he is Virgo. Believing in horoscopes is a separate issue. But still:

They are known as the «perfectionists» of the zodiac. They have strong mental energy and ability to communicate. They tend to have a gentle female personality; soft and caring.


Does it match? — Perhaps yes.

Keanu was only six months old when the family moved to Australia, where his sister Kim was born, then they went to New York, to Manhattan — Upper West Side. They also did not live there for long, and when Keanu was five years old (or six, or maybe even seven), his mother finally broke up with his father and settled with two children in Toronto, Canada, deciding that this is a good place to to raise children. And indeed, Toronto was then a quiet, almost provincial city, where children could safely play on the street at least until midnight. In addition, her relatives lived here in Canada. The family was not poor — Keanu granny’s second husband, Canadian Colman Abrahams, became rich by producing encyclopedias for children development and investing in real estate. But the main concern for the well-being of the children was on the mother’s shoulders.

Patricia made her living by designing costumes for rock stars, such as Emmila Harris and Dolly Parton. Because of the mother’s profession, Halloween has always been an exceptional holiday because children have always had the coolest costumes: I’d always get a cool costume. One year, I was Dracula, another year, I was Batman and my sister was Robin. Once, my mother made me a Cousin It costume from The Addams Family. I wore a giant wig. It rained and I got wet. I looked just like a big bowl of pasta!.

Alice Cooper was also among Patricia’s clients, and when the singer recorded the album «Welcome to My Nightmare» in Toronto, he stayed in the house where the family lived, and even babysat Keanu. Well, more like, the musicians rehearsed, and the future star of the rock band Dogstar listened reverently, hanging around somewhere nearby. There was something for both to remember.. «Alice Cooper stayed at our house. I remember he brought fake vomit and fake dog poo to terrorise the housekeeper.» Life turned out differently, at some times there were a nanny for children and an au pair in the house, and at other times I had to buy discounted food. It was a bourgeois existence with pretensions to more, but with less, if you know what I mean.»

So Keanu did not have any serene and happy childhood, which can be remembered sentimentally.

He, politically correct, «grew up in a troubled family.» «I’m one of those kids without a dad. Sure. It’s the classic story». However, Keanu was still lucky — his mother turned out to be a strong and lively woman, although she did not lose hope of somehow arranging her own personal life. So Keanu had three stepfathers. One of them will play a very significant role in his life — but more to follow.

In the meantime, I will utter out loud a politically incorrect, but, alas, axiom:


Naturally the reasons behind the impossibility of further coexistence can be plentiful and some are understandable, domestic violence for example. But it’s all the same extremes, and so — yes, a lot depends on how civilized the divorce is… but the scars remain the same. Of various sizes, depths, healing rates… but everything is no longer going as intended — and sometimes it breaks down life very seriously. Parting with his father was very difficult for Keanu and it predetermined his fate for years and decades to come… but that will come later.

In the meantime, he is only a child, experiencing a breakup with one of the most important people in his life. Those who knew him from life in Canada talk about a serious, shy and angry teenager with a huge inferiority complex, who is practically unable to establish normal relations with his peers. Everything was so serious that it came down to a visit to a therapist! How much this helped in this situation — well, at least it didn’t do much harm. The psychotherapist, by the way, taught Kean to play chess quite decently. This hobby will last throughout the life of the famous actor. But did Keanu really win the games, or did the therapist simply succumb? This question haunted him for a long time..

Virgos are usually calm outside, but their minds never rest. They have thousands of thoughts, reflections on this or that. This restless mind always forces them to analyze every aspect of a situation or person, and they rarely make false judgments. They do not leave details unnoticed. Such an analytical and methodological approach is their strength, helping them succeed in life.


Anyway, after some time and a certain number of sessions, everyone decided that Keanu was better. Well, let it be so.

In fact, he led the life of an ordinary teenager. Together with others he made karts and skateboards, on which the boys drove around the blocks, competing for the honorary title «The Fastest». On his home-made skateboard, Keanu mastered all kinds of tricks on wheels. Like everyone else. Naughty, however, not particularly naughty. They didn’t even do graffiti. The worst that teenagers in Toronto then allowed themselves was to throw chestnuts at teachers.

Like everyone else, Keanu was fond of rock music… more of punk style. (If you are interested in which bands Keanu listened to, here they are: Agent Orange, Pixies, Discharge, Husker Du, Sham 69 … to be honest, when I tried to listen, it took me about three minutes… but it was what it was). Like everyone else he tried to perform something on the bass himself, bringing the volume of the amplifier to such a level that it seemed that walls were about to crack…. Well, everything similar to others.

Oh yes he also had to go to school. With school Keanu had faced major problems. Patricia was able to bring «a lot of love, but little discipline» to her children, so it was an extraordinary event for Keanu to just come to school on time. After five years of study, he changed four educational institutions: (I got kicked out of one and I stopped going to one, and I switched from another, and another one I quit.) Because it was insanely difficult for him to fit into the team. A shy guy, together with being a leftie and dyslexic, is the most suitable candidate for studying in a regular municipal school. «I was a loner in high school,» he says. «I wasn’t like a lot of my peers.» Did his classmates bully him? Quite possibly — if a person, without going into details, says that in school years he played the role of a jester (I was kinda shy in school, but I also had the class-clown element about me.) — this makes you wonder you know.

One of the schools was Jesse Ketchum Public School (61 Davenport). A year after Keanu left this school, it earned the first Elmer the Safety Elephant prize in 1978—79 without incident. I wonder if these two events are related?

One of his teachers, Donald Mason, said: «There would be times when Keanu would be around the school late in the evening, long after most kids had gone home. He would be shooting baskets on his own».

Then came the North Toronto Collegiate Institute (North Toronto CI, NTCI. Or North Toronto) (70 Roehampton), in which Keanu was forced to do many things. Although the school’s motto — «Labor Omnia Vincit» — which means something like «Patience and labor will rub everything», he may have taken it into service.

No, Keanu was neither a rebel, nor a lazy person, nor stupid. He simply did not quite understand what he was doing here. Although, his childhood dreams of the future suggested education: he wanted to be a racer, inventor, nuclear physicist and orchestra conductor. Roughly in this order. Interestingly, the actor’s profession was not on that list.

Being an Earth sign, Virgo relies on a physical body, real and reliable. She can come up with the best pragmatic solution for any problem, because her thoughts are based on reality, not imagination. Virgo does not live in a fantasy world, she firmly holds on the ground in her intelligent reality.


What remained was to look for an alternative to school. «Sometimes I regret not finishing high school, but I was just trying to live my life.»

Keanu seriously went in for sports — basketball — and of course hockey, a Canadian boy who is not interested in this sport is nonsense. «I was raised in Toronto from the time I was six years old. I learned very quickly that if you don’t know how to play hockey in Canada your peers can make life miserable for you. It’s a lesson I’m grateful for».

In hockey, he unexpectedly succeeded, and even thought about a professional career. Most of all he liked to stand as a goalie — this required the ability to concentrate, wait, and then immediately and correctly respond, like a predator sitting in an ambush. (Many years later, one of his bodyguards, who worked with Keanu in St. Petersburg, Victoria Korchagina, would note these qualities in him, saying that his stillness is that of a predator). It was almost impossible to score the puck if Keanu was standing at the goal — he was not afraid to stop the puck with his whole body, which is unsafe. In the team for his goalkeeper abilities, he received the nickname «Wall», and while studying at De La Salle College (131 Farnham), (De La Salle College «Oaklands» (De La Salle College, Toronto, or De La Salle), is actually a private, independent joint educational Catholic school in the Roman Catholic tradition, which was founded in 1679 in Reims, France by Jean — Batiste de la Salle (also the patron saint of the college). How on earth did Keanu end up there? And was even called the «Player of the Year», while receiving an F in French.

But while Keanu sailed through life, as they say, without a rudder and sails, not really imagining where the curve would lead him. While he was growing up, he had his first teenage pimples, girls became interested in him… somewhere in the eighth grade he first tried drugs — not seriously — but he liked the effect they produced. He eventually turned on his lifetime path, as it usually happens, almost randomly, but things did not go smoothly right away.

Not at all.

I come from a broken home. — in early interviews with Keanu, this phrase flickers quite frequently. In fact, everything is simple and clear for the child — if you were left, then you are bad. Growing up, you understand that everything is not so simple and the relationship of two adults does not depend on you, but… children’s belief goes into the subconscious and sometimes appears in strange forms. Some (most often women) break down into a disastrous tailspin of «earning» love — relationships turn into hard work for them. If everything is easy and simple and they are loved because they love — then this is not true love! Therefore, an emotionally inaccessible partner is most often chosen for a relationship — very often with the same emotional trauma from childhood. And here the fear of betrayal comes into play — and they will betray imminently- because they betrayed once — and I’m bad — so I deserve it! Is it funny? — Keep laughing

My dad, I have no idea what he’s doing. I don’t talk to him. I’m one of those kids without a dad. Sure. It’s the classic story.“ Has it affected him? „Yeah, man, I’m sure. I mean it’s something that I’ve only started to really think about in the past five years I guess, I mean… what does it mean? I’m a lot like my father. I have a lot of his physical things… the way I laugh… I saw him last I guess when I was fifteen, about ten minutes. Yeah, man, of course it’s heavy. Does he ever see himself improving his relationship with his father? «No, man. It doesn’t matter. As long as I understand in my head there’s no love there or there’s no even curiosity. I feel I understand why it’s happened, how it’s happened, blah, blah, blah.»

Keanu was lucky — he found where to send destructive energy. Namely, to realize it through acting.

«Acting is the only thing that keeps me still. If I’m not acting, I bounce off wall. My teachers thought it was sugar, but they were wrong».

Keanu’s introduction to a professional theater, despite the fact that he grew up in a bohemian environment, began with the advent of Paul Aaron in his life. Paul was an actor and theater director, as well as one of Keanu’s stepfathers, and seems to be the only one who showed any interest in the guy. (Later, he will help Sheila Johnson write a biography for Keanu — the book will be released in 1997). «I used to want to become a race car driver, but when I got to be production assistant at one of my stepfather’s films, I knew that that was where my future was.»

Paul also often took Keanu with him on various television movie screenings. As a teenager, Reeves spent a lot of time in the repertoire cinema of the University of Toronto, where he watched everything, from comedies such as Ross Meyer’s «Super-Masters,» to films that made a really strong impression on him, «Clockwork Orange» by Stanley Kubrick and «Solaris» by Andrei Tarkovsky.

«My stepfather, Paul Aaron, was a director — he did Broadway, off-Broadway and film — and the people in his world seemed incredibly exotic to me. One time when I was in elementary school, people from a nearby high school came to teach a drama class, and I remember looking at them and thinking who are these people? They seemed like Gypsies and had a completely different vibe.»

Illustration: it shows the imaginary room where the picture on the wall really exists. It was painted by Larissa Tyan. The artist from Kazakhstan. The art technic she used was ancient japanese art technic called «sume — e». And young bamboo symbolizes young Mr. Reeves who also had been suppressed by many unfriendly circumstances from the very young age but stayed strong under the pressure as the young bamboo did not give up under the blows of the wind of the destiny…

It all started when Keanu was trying to study at a non-government experimental high school in North York — this is the northern part of the city of Toronto. (It is interesting that this category includes not only schools with diverse and non-traditional forms of education, but also schools whose goal is to keep children from the bad influence of the street [the so-called storefront school]). There, he also preferred to play squash for the most part than to pore over books until one of his girlfriends, Sharon Switzer, (who later became a sculptor in Toronto), invited him to join her in the classes of the theater school at the Leah Posluns Theater. (Leah Posluns Theater School (4588 Bathurst).

Later, answering the question, where did she get this idea, Sharon will say: «I had a hunch he might be interested in acting. But I had no idea how he’d do. What I remember best about him was his magnetic personality. He had tremendous energy, combined with a sort of laid-back manner. Very popular with the girls».

This school was created in the image of the legendary Graduate School of Performing Arts in New York, on the Upper West Side. (It was in this area of New York that the Keanu family used to live).

Keanu was 15 years old when he came to audition and was very enthusiastic, although he did not look tidy, for the auditions he showed up in an outfit that was clearly picked up in the garbage, because even homeless people disdained ripped jeans, an old dirty jacket and worn sneakers. «That kid came in and just blew us away»: this is how Rose Dubin, the principal of the school, will describe his first impression. — «Normally we would not allow students into the school after classes had started, but sometimes a young actor makes you sit up and take notice — and we said ’yes.» Tremendous stage presence, commitment, confidence and talent. You just knew he was going to be a star». Maybe it was, but then … 26 students will start studying with him… of whom 13 will remain in a year. Keanu will also be expelled from this school with a murderous characterization: «Not enough concentration. Too flighty. Always questioning authority». As you like, but the atmosphere of Komsomol meetings of the USSR of the stagnation era blew me away … (It was actually 1980. … No, humanity is all the same. Especially in stupidity. Okay.) But, I believe that this characteristic was accurate — according to the Keanu’s mother’s stories, the first word he said was «No» and the second «Why» (My mom told me that after «No,» the second thing I spoke was «How come? «So I guess it’s in my nature. It drove her crazy.)

However, in that single year Keanu accomplished a lot. For example — played Mercutio in «Romeo and Juliet» — and he was successful in this role — «He was a live wire, he couldn’t sit still, yet he was not nervous. There was too much life coursing through his body. His was the most fully realized Mercutio that I — and all who saw that production — have ever seen" - Director Lewis Baumander will say so about him (although, perhaps, he would be better in the role of Tybalt — «More than prince of cats, I can tell you»). Also — from this moment on, Keanu will forever and irrevocably fall in love with the poetry of the great Bard. His acquaintance with Lewis Baumander will have far-reaching consequences… in general, all the diverging paths that determine his life and career come from here in Toronto. It is a pity that there was no soothsayer who could predict the future for them, as by the lines on a palm… but okay. One way or another, for Keanu «It was a fun year, but I got kicked out and I failed. I was rude and stuff — talking too much. Well, that taught me a lesson when they kicked me out!»

This sign is the working bee of the zodiac. They diligently carry out their tasks. Talent, hard work and discipline make them successful in their careers. With their careful approach, clarity and concentration, they never lose heart, and they will continue to work on their goals. Work is very important for Virgins, and they are the best employees in the world.


The matter, however, was done — the poison had already penetrated the blood. Keanu’s stepdad — Paul Aaron — gave him a recommendation at the summer camp at the Hedgerow Theater, in Pennsylvania. Keanu received a free room and boarding, and in exchange for working as a janitor attended as many acting classes as he could. Summer camp workers later recalled him as «this happy, pimply faced teen who went everywhere on his skateboard».

Returning to Toronto, Keanu decided that he would become a professional actor and immediately announced this to his mother. She didn’t mind, «Actually, I asked, but if my mother had said no, I think I would have become an actor anyway. But she said, «Do it.»

but set a condition — if the son does not study — he must work.

Keanu began to work. He sharpened skates at the rink in the mall. He worked in a landscape design bureau, which meant that he climbed trees, wrapped in a safety rope and sawed off dry branches. He worked as a peddler of newspapers. In the end, he got a job as a salesman at the Pastissima restaurant, where he made one hundred pounds of pasta a day, although he was not particularly exemplary. However, he tried. Perhaps he perceived it as an acting game. His friend Alan Powell, now an entrepreneur living in Caledon, north of Toronto, often watched Keanu do this: «You’d think he was some kind of connoisseur, the way he’d go on about all these pasta dishes, and what kind of wine they should serve. He was one of those guys who could talk to anyone about anything. He had confidence, charisma». Perhaps, for charisma, he received a raise — ironically — on the day his eighteenth birthday, when he finally decided to become a professional actor.

All his free (and sometimes working) time, Keanu devoted to the theater and attempts to somehow get into the cinema.

For him, it was, among other things, also an opportunity to somehow coexist with himself. He said so plain tongue: It’s about investigating life. I can explore who I am and how I feel. Hopefully, I’ll get to continue acting till I die.

He played mostly someone like himself. (One of the first series on local television, where he got the role, was called «Hangin «In» (Tenacity, went on TV from 1981 — 1987) was just about the everyday life of the center for free social and medical assistance for working with difficult teenagers and informal youth.)

It is also surprising that, having dropped out of school, he seriously engaged in self-education — that is, reading books, and turned into a truly drunken reader. «I’m like one of those people who dropped out of high school and has a complex. So I’m …what’s the word? Autodidactic. Yes, I’m reading five books that I don’t completely understand and I can’t speak about, but I’ve read them.» And he really read everything (from Dostoevsky, because generally speaking it is somehow embarrassing not to read it) to physicist Stephen Hawking («one heavy dude»).

He attended evening theater courses at the theater of improvisations The Second City. (51 Mercer St.) «I kinda had a potpourri. «I went to night classes at a place called the Homemade Theatre. You’d walk up these rickety stairs, you’d go into this room and you’d lie on the ground. Then you’d breathe and start to place the sun on your tongue or the sun on your arm. Then you’d sit in a chair and you’d have a teacup. You’d feel the cup and you’d take a sip out of the hot liquid and you’d feel it… Fucking seventeen doing shit like that!» and acted everywhere he got invited. Most often — for free or almost free. The first role (if you could call it that) that brought him some money was the role in Coca-Cola’s television commercials. He also advertised cornflakes, oh yes!

He dreamed of starting to earn enough by acting to give up numerous part time jobs and do only what he loved. It turned out, however, not very, and it is not known how it would all end (perhaps before it had time to start), but here the Canadian government came to the rescue of Keanu.

No, no one discerned a future star in him and did not allocate a grant. It’s just that the government somewhere in the late seventies began to provide tax benefits to Hollywood filmmakers, provided that they would be filming in Canada and using local staff in the filming. For media magnates, this did not become a problem — in the end, stars like Donald Sutherland and Christopher Plummer were citizens of Canada, and Toronto looked no worse than New York or Chicago.

So the Canadian film business was quite lively, and Keanu got his first real role on television. (The TV show «Hangin’ In»). It consisted of just one phrase ««Hey, lady! Where’s the shower?».

Then he went to an audition to participate in another television movie — something like a police drama from the life of the Miami police called «Night Scramble» and again got the role! In the credits, he was listed as «Cutthroat Number One,» but only because he was taller than his friend who played Cutthroat Number Two. So the beginning was promising.

In 1984, John Mackenzie filmed his «Act of Retribution» in Toronto.

This television film talks about genuine events that happened in the United States seventeen years ago. It tells about the struggle of union activist Jock Jablonski with the chairman of the UMWA union. (United Union of Miners) by Tony Boyle. The classic plot is that a noble hero fights against a corrupt trade unionist, for which he pays his own life. The plot is a blast at the mine, 80 miners remained under the rubble, and the union leader assures that all the safety requirements of the mine owners were complied with, and what happened was just an accident, a fateful combination of circumstances. Jock Jablonski strongly disagrees with this, moreover, he becomes Boyle’s rival in the election of the chairman of the union. Boyle doesn’t just juggle the election results — he physically eliminates Jablonski with the hands of his henchmen. The murder made a lot of noise — a federal investigation began. A year before filming began, Tony Boyle died in prison, where he was serving a life sentence… and the story was just a story that could be told and analyzed. It is curious that the performer of the role of Jablonski — Charles Bronson, began his labor biography in the mine.

To fill the quota, Mackenzie hired some of the young Canadian actors to play episodic roles as street boys in New York. Nineteen-year-old Keanu received one of these roles — and here he had a name — Buddy Martin. This was no longer a shame to write on the track record — (played in the same film with Charles Bronson himself! — which Keanu himself was very proud of: — I was the second guy (on film) ever to kill Charles Bronson!») and an important step on ways to make acting your primary profession.

Virgo have high standards and are very self-sufficient, therefore they prefer to remain single rather than be in a relationship that does not satisfy. Virgo has no problem being alone for a long time. They relate better to their achievements, knowing that they were successful on their own.


The television film «The Brotherhood of Justice» («The Brotherhood of Justice», sometimes «The Brotherhood of Justice», which will be shown in 1986) was shot in Toronto. Here, Keanu already received one of the main roles — one of the «brothers» — Derek. (The second main role, Victor, will be played by Kiefer Sutherland, the son of Toronto-born actor Donald Sutherland. Young Billy Zane, the future Cal Hockley in Titanic, and the beautiful Lori Laughlin, will later play along with Keanu in the movie «The Night Before — Last night»). This was again one of the films about difficult teens, which Keanu would later play for a long time. The film is about how the school administration is trying to maintain discipline by the students themselves. Not all, of course. Only the elite, members of the Brotherhood of Justice organization, are entrusted with protecting the rule of law. It would seem that everything has been thought out — the pride of the school, the informal leader, the son of rich and respected parents, Derek will lead the organization, and its friends and members of the administration will be his friends. But alas — the situation is quickly getting out of control and the fight against law enforcement leads to even greater rampant crime … «Brotherhood» is an even more powerful hotbed of rampant violence. Derek wants to stop this, but alas, he catches himself too late. The film turned out very good, although Keanu was far from enthusiastic about himself in this role. «I was just bad in it. I didn’t mean to be. I just was.»

Virgo, as you know, are perfectionists, they never agree to anything less than perfection. It can be either strength or weakness. On the positive side, this perfectionist attitude forces the Devs to set high standards for themselves, and they are good at improving things, building order out of chaos. They value sophistication and their attention to detail is amazing.


Another Keanu film of the time is Young Again. Hollywood director Steven Stern spotted him at one of the auditions — and told Disney’s executive director in charge of television films that he wanted to recommend this guy to them. Stern convinced Disney leaders Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg to look at Keanu. «OK,» said Katsenberg to Stern, «but if we don’t like him in a few days, we will replace him.» They liked him, but… this film you will not find in any of the most complete list of Keanu’s films. However, the director introduced the budding actor to Gottlieb Hill from ICM. (Subsequently, he will assist Keanu in obtaining the green card).

1986 was marked by the release of the first «real» film to Keanu on the cinema screens — «Flying» (Flight). In the center of the plot, the truth is not at all the hero of Keanu, Tommy, but a girl named Robin, played by Olivia d’Abo. Honestly, it makes sense to watch this film if you are a big fan of gymnastics, although the plot is certainly there too. Well, just look at Keanu, because in this role he is handsome — and nothing more.

Therefore, we turn better to the next film Keanu, which in his career meant much more.

* * *

So — «Youngblood»…

Keanu himself will later say: «It’s an awful movie», but, after all, it was the first full-scale Hollywood project in which he took part. Unfortunately, when translated into Russian, the pun used in the title — Youngblood — literally — «Young Blood» meaning is lost, which is consistent with the idea of the film, but this is also the name of the protagonist. The film is about a guy named Dean Youngblood and his dream to play hockey in a good team.

It is only natural that director Peter Markle chose Canada to shoot the sports drama about hockey. Here are just the leading actors he brought with him from Hollywood — it was Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze. Keanu Reeves got an episodic role as the goalkeeper of the hockey team and was not at all for some outstanding acting abilities — at the casting he had to just — just play hockey well! Truly — you do not know where you will find, where you will lose… He played hockey well. And the role was given to him. But what he didn’t have was a French-Canadian accent with which (it’s not very clear why) his hero had to speak. Keanu solved the issue simply: «I got into my car and drove to a small town near Montreal and hung out there for a couple of weeks.» With similar meticulousness to his roles he will carry on.

Most Virgo are extremely organized, and they are excellent planners. They don’t like things in a mess; they just bloom in a neat setting. Organizing a picnic or evening meeting in high school? Leave it to Virgo, and everything will be considered in her.


The film was conceived as a «finest hour» for Rob Lowe, and yes — he became like that for him. Although he did not know how to play hockey at all — from the word at all. In all the episodes on the ice he is replaced by an understudy. (In contrast, by the way, from Patrick Swayze). But Rob did everything he could — he looked beautiful, pretended to work up a sweat and wandered through the locker room very spectacularly half-naked. I do not want to offend anyone — well, the film is like that.

The plot is quite predictable — a newcomer to the team, the team loses, but after an accident with the team captain, the newcomer has a great chance to beat the sworn enemies, oh yes, but also to conquer the girl of your dreams. Everything is beautiful, everyone is dancing. Yeah.

I mean, they play hockey, of course.

But this is a movie. In life, nothing similar happened. To the newcomer — what Keanu was like in this situation — there was no chance. You will have to watch this masterpiece very carefully so as not to miss its appearance on the screen, and God forbid you to blink! (Do not be lazy — look up to the credits — his name is there on the eleventh place, it seems, on the list. In this film, he was just one of many non-professional actors — the guys from junior hockey teams starred in the role of hockey players).

In an interview, when it came directly to Rob Lowe, Keanu Reeves spoke cautiously, only noted that the handsome tried to test his charm on two Reeves’ girlfriends. «But eventually they saw through him». Yes, it is true — because jealousy is not for two nameless girlfriends — but to the fact that this is his role — Keanu, in all respects it is simple, but the star here is Rob, and with what, tell me, why?

…they, by the way, are the same age — Keanu Reeves and Rob Lowe — only one was born in September, and the other in March. But, if for Keanu in those years, a fairly decent acting career did not promise exactly anything — Rob was already confidently moving towards success. (Keanu never graduated from any of the four schools where he studied, and Rob lived in Los Angeles and attended Santa Monica High School. His friends Emilio Esteves, Charlie Sheen, brothers Sean and Chris Penna also studied there, Robert Downey Jr… Familiar names, right?)

In 1988, Rob went to Georgia to participate in the election campaign of Michael Dukakis, the US Democratic candidate. (George W. Bush the Elder came forward from the Republicans, who, in the end, won the election). Life smiled at Rob in all thirty-two teeth — he dreamed about the main role in the film by Martin Scorsese, twisted novels with Melissa Gilbert, Nastassja Kinski and Princess Stefania, was seriously interested in politics — but…

…it is always there — it is the notorious «but».

…after a party hosted by CNN founder Ted Turner, Rob returned to the hotel with two young girls he met in a nightclub. The result was an intimate video, which very quickly flew from Atlanta throughout the country. Gas was poured on fire by the fact that one of Rob’s girlfriends turned out to be a minor that night (she was only 16). The other, however, has already turned 22, but this has not corrected the matter. Rob denied — he could not have imagined that the girl was a minor — since he met her at a nightclub! But the case took a serious turn — the girl’s mother filed a civil suit in court, accusing Rob Lowe of using his celebrity status to encourage her daughter to take part in the filming of the pornographic tape. The case was taken into consideration by the Atlanta district attorney and journalists began to discuss whether this scandal meant the death of Low’s career as a film actor and agreed that most likely not… and Rob’s phone was silent. He was phoned only by former filming partner Jodie Foster and producer Don Simpson. And that’s all.

As a result, Rob was sentenced to twenty hours of correctional labor and payment of monetary compensation. No criminal charges were brought against him… but, of course, he was no longer considered a candidate for serious roles — for those that he dreamed of…

No, in the end everything was formed. Rob survived and continued his film career, having undergone treatment for alcohol and drug addiction in 1990, in which his then girlfriend Cheryl Birkoff helped him a lot. Now everything looks completely idyllic — Rob and Cheryl are married, they have two adult sons… and Rob also wrote an autobiographical book — Stories I Only Tell My Friends. … does he regret anything?

Who knows …?

But all this will come later — and the one who foresees everything is miserable. In the meantime, Rob is on the rise — and Keanu is not even at the first step of his career — but still, this film gave him a lot — experience in the «real» Hollywood film and the opportunity to buy new bass strings, because for this film he I have already received quite a decent fee — as much as three thousand dollars.

A clear understanding that he no longer shines in Toronto came down to his mind. «I wanted to be in the Shaw or Stratford Shakespeare festivals, but they turned me down twice,» he recalls. «I didn’t fit. I was too young and unruly by their standards. So I packed up my Volvo and headed for Hollywood in search of steak-and-potatoes roles


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