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Keanuby Sheila Johnston.
First published in 1996.
Not doing particularly well in school Keanu had narrowed his career choices down to two options - he would become either an ice-hockey player or an actor. After a successful audition in 1980 at the High School For The Performing Arts, his mind was made up. Although six years older than River, it so happens that they both entered show business around the same time. In fact, by 1983, the work pattern of both actors was almost indistinguishable. Both began their careers by appearing in commercials that would soon lead to the odd guest-spot on the various TV shows of the time.
Very much alike they may have been, sharing the same ambitions, but there was one aspect of Keanu's career that would set them apart. In the spring of 1985, he was to be found at a Toronto acting school playing Mercutio in a senior student production of Romeo and Juliet. Keanu found acting before a live audience most exhilarating - something that a shy and reserved River could never bring himself to do. Keanu continued to have a strong interest in Shakespeare as can be seen in My Own Private Idaho and he has since returned to the theatre in a production of The Tempest after completing I Love You To Death and also in a Canadian production of Hamlet in 1995.
A biography about Keanu Reeves it may be but nevertheless River is mentioned and his life is referred to repeatedly throughout the book. It was with regret though to learn that the source of this material was in fact River Phoenix: The Biography. As a result, it was a little disheartening to see the sexual-abuse/pushed-into-show-business-by-greedy-parents et al claims once again in print.
The author puts time aside to examine all of Keanu's movies - the early hits and misses of his career such as the Bill and Ted movies, Dangerous Liaisons and Parenthood in which he starred alongside Leaf Phoenix and River's girlfriend at the time, Martha Plimpton. Discussed at some length is his cameo in I Love You To Death as is Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, later on in the book. Not surprisingly though, the author chooses to devote almost an entire chapter to My Own Private Idaho which is particularly well researched.
Keanu's movie career was well and truly taking off by now. His newfound income allowed him to indulge in his passion for motorbikes but that appears to have been his only indulgence to date. Like River, he places no value in wealth or material possessions. As for Keanu's other interest - rock music - it is mentioned only briefly in the book. Indeed, there's absolutely no reference to his band "Dogstar" until almost the last chapter. Instead, the author continues to concentrate on his film career by looking into the production of six more movies, including Bram Stoker's Dracula and Little Buddha before arriving at what is generally regarded as Keanu's biggest blockbuster to date, Speed.
But as Keanu was about to discover to his horror, it was not only a bus that was heading straight over the edge. Someone else was about to crash in the Hollywood fast lane too. Someone that wasn't going to be as lucky.