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Keanu Reeves — His Multicultural Background and Inspiration

The Matrix - Keanu Reeves
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Background

Keanu Reeves is one of the most talented and beloved actors in Hollywood who has done many movies throughout his career, some of which became global hits, and has a multicultural background.

Photo by Marybel Le Pape - CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67619636
Photo by Marybel Le Pape – CC BY-SA 4.0

Reeves was born on September 2, 1964, in Beirut, Lebanon. He later moved between Syndey and New York until he was 7 years old and settled in Toronto, Canada. He had a troubled path when it came to school, and according to Patricia Bauer, he attended four different schools until he decided to pursue his career in acting.

Reeves and his multicultural upbringing

Before he became a well-known superstar, Reeves came from a very multicultural family. He embraces his Chinese-Hawaiian and European descent. His mother, Patricia Bond, is English from Essex.

As for his father, Samuel Reeves is of Hawaiian, Portuguese and Chinese descent born in Honolulu, Hawaii according to Libby Torres from Insider.

Not only does he come from a multicultural family, Reeves is also very outgoing in different areas than just acting. He used to be in an alternative rock band called Dogstar nd played the bass guitar. He also collects motorcycles as a side hobby. He dabbles in a lot of other activities which seems why people see him as a nice person with a great personality.

The Matrix (1999) - IMDb
‘The Matrix’ (Photo credit: Warner Bros.)

One of Reeves’ first acting gigs was in a production of “Damn Yankees,” according to Libby Torres. This gave him the inspiration to push even further into his acting career which led to his big break in the movie “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”

At that point, Reeves started to become a raging superstar, especially when “The Matrix” came out in 1999, making $465.3 million at the box office.

While Reeves is a sensational and excellent actor, his likability and relatable characteristics help expand his career, especially through pop culture and memes.

One of the memes that I remember was the “Sad Keanu,” which was a picture of him sitting on a bench alone looking disheveled. This image went viral, a lot of my friends were sharing the photo with me and people started to empathize with him. A lot of people felt relatable with this image which showed that connection.

Having this much influence in the meme culture does play a big role in who he is as a person. “The Matrix” has helped him along the way, especially the diverse casting in the movie such as Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Jada Pinkett Smith, Hugo Weaving and so many others. With different backgrounds coming together to create such a masterpiece, that is why Keanu Reeves is a culturally fluid celebrity.

Showing support

Embracing his culture not only creates less anxiety for the people who view him but also helps people rally together to support one another.

Photo by Anna Hanks from Austin, Texas, USA – Keanu Reeves and Tiger Chen, red carpet for ‘Man of Tai Chi,’ CC BY 2.0

According to Jewish-Chinese actress Anna Suzuki:

As a biracial Asian who often doesn’t read ‘Asian enough,’ Keanu coming out as an Asian-identifying multiracial person has been the most cathartic experience of my life.

You could say that Reeves is a hero for the Asian-American community: Bringing Asian culture to the forefront of social media and other media outlets; embracing his Asian heritage to his community and giving more inspiration to Asian youth; making it possible to achieve the American dream.

According to writer Jeff Yang, Reeves embodies “our newfound eagerness to expand our community’s boundaries, to be inclusive of more diverse and complicated definitions of Asian identity.”

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