Lebanon born actor, Keanu Reeves, has been an underrated star in Hollywood since the mid-1980s. Fans argue that the all-around nice guy just doesn’t have what it takes to express himself well in movies. His characters seem to typically come off as very “one-note.” That being said, Reeves has a fantastic following and plenty of acting credits under his belt. For a guy who people say “can’t act,” he’s managed to carve out quite a career for himself.
Maybe his unforgettable name has something to do with his success. After all, Keanu Reeves just rolls off the tongue. It’s hard to imagine the youthful actor with any other name other than his own. It has a great vibe, and when you hear it, Reeves image immediately comes to mind.
Things could have turned out very differently though. The Matrix star almost ended up with an entirely different moniker, one that fans probably wouldn’t have loved nearly as much.
Keane Reeves agents pushed for a name change
When Reeves first got started in acting, he was just 20 years old. Brimming with confidence, he hopped in his very first car and drove to meet his agents for the first time. Despite the wonderful welcome, Reeves was in for quite a surprise. His agents requested he change his name before he even got a chance to settle down.
It’s pretty weird considering Keanu Reeves is Reeves’ real name, sans the middle name, Charles. It isn’t just it being his birth name that makes it an obvious choice. Keanu Reeves is also a unique name, a perfect attribute for a Hollywood star. It’s strange that his agency would push for something different. We can’t speak to why they wanted the switch; perhaps they thought the name Keanu Reeves wouldn’t fill movie seats.
What did Keanu Reeves almost change his name to?
Keanu Reeves slips Chuck Spadina into Jimmy Fallon's Whisper Challenge https://t.co/3fxY1lnvFo
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) June 24, 2017
Without missing a beat, Reeves agreed to their demands and took to the ocean for inspiration. The name he came up with — Chuck Spadina, pronounced Spa-dye-na. Reeves touched base with his agents again, and they flat out refused the swap. Keanu asked, “What’s wrong with Chuck Spadina? Isn’t that the kind of direction you want?” Clearly, it wasn’t, and it was back to the drawing board for Reeves.
After doing a bit more thinking, Reeves came up with his next suggestion, Templeton Page Taylor. The name was on the opposite side of the spectrum, but it didn’t make the cut either. Considering the tri-name thing can be distinctive and trendy, he may have been on to something! Plenty of his fellow stars rock three names.
Sex and the City’s, Sarah Jessica Parker, wouldn’t have as much flair if her name was just Sarah Parker. Neil Patrick Harris’ name would just be boring if it were only Neil Harris. Can you even imagine Tommy Lee Jones without the Lee? A middle name can really help an actor stand out amongst their comrades. That being said, Templeton Page Taylor, is a name in a league all its own.
Ultimately Reeves’ agents gave up and allowed the actor to retain his birth name. Score — Keanu 1. Agents 0.
What does Keanu Reeves’ name mean?
Reeves isn’t just unique. It carries a beautiful meaning. Reeves’ first name comes from his father’s native home, Hawaii. The name means “cool breeze over the mountains.” His last name, while not as magical, does have quite a fascinating history. Reeves may be a form of the name Reeve, an Olde English occupational name that represented bailiffs and stewards. The name may also be based on topography and representational of those living on the edge of the woods.
With an intriguing meaning and perfect sound, it’s great Reeves managed to keep his original name. If not, it would have been Chuck Spadina who was lauded for their performance in The Matrix Trilogy. Doesn’t sound that great, does it? Honestly, though fans would have probably rolled with Templeton Page Taylor any day.