Why Keanu Reeves Never Bothered to Pursue American Citizenship

When an actor disappears into a role, it’s easy for audiences to get confused about their real-life history. For instance, many actors who often play Americans are actually from overseas. But due to their pitch-perfect accents, some fans might never realize it. It’s a bit trickier with Keanu Reeves. Here’s why the Canadian actor still hasn’t become an American citizen after all this time in the United States.

Keanu Reeves poses in winter clothes
Keanu Reeves poses in winter clothes | John Parra/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

Keanu Reeves became a global superstar in the 1990s

On Sept. 2, 1964, Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon but has since become a global superstar. In the mid-1980s, he moved from Toronto — where he spent much of his adolescence — to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actor. Reeves made his big-screen debut in 1986’s Youngblood. And just a few years later, he landed a breakthrough role in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. That film kicked off a beloved series of films.

In the 1990s, Reeves joined the A-list, with such hits as Point Break, Speed, The Devil’s Advocate, and The Matrix. That last one too spawned a franchise. And Reeves became one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood for the two sequels. More recently, he’s found success as the legendary title assassin in John Wick and its sequels as well as Toy Story 4, his biggest box office hit.

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The actor has never needed to become a U.S. citizen

In between his birthplace in Beirut and settling in Los Angeles, Reeves’ life followed a wild path. As a child, the actor lived in Sydney, Australia and New York City before staying in Toronto for years. That move occurred after Reeves’ mother got remarried. And ultimately, the actor got Canadian citizenship by naturalization. Yet, he still has never tried to become an American citizen.

The simple reason why is that Reeves just never needed to. As it turns out, young Reeves was able to obtain a green card with the help of his American stepfather. So even though he’s become a Hollywood icon, the actor has never actually gone through the process of achieving American citizenship. He has previously expressed his desire to do so but it doesn’t seem as if he has.

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Keanu Reeves’ fans still have plenty to look forward to

Reeves might not be an American citizen, but he’s managed to become an A-list star all over again. Thanks to the increasing success of the John Wick movies, the actor is more popular than ever. He’s become known as “the internet’s boyfriend” and has even begun circling back to some of his most popular roles.

In 2020, he reunited with Alex Winter for Bill and Ted Face the Music nearly 30 years after the previous film. And he’s next set to return as Neo in 2021’s mysterious — and untitled — The Matrix 4. Beyond that, Reeves has a slew of other projects in the works, including at least two more John Wick sequels.