What Is Keanu Reeves’ Ethnicity? Learn More About the ‘Matrix’ Actor’s Heritage

Keanu Reeves is famous for roles in movies including The Matrix, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and John Wick. Given how captivating Reeves’ features are, some fans have wondered what his ethnic heritage is.

There are some surprises in Keanu Reeves’ early biography

Keanu Reeves attends the premiere of Disney and Pixar's "Toy Story 4" on June 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Keanu Reeves | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

RELATED: Ne-Yo’s Stage Name Was Inspired By Keanu Reeves and ‘The Matrix’

Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1964. Thereafter, he was raised in Toronto, Canada. Reeves’ mother is of British descent and his father is of British, Chinese, Portuguese, and Native Hawaiian heritage. This means that Reeves’ heritage includes a rich cultural blend of his parents’ backgrounds, the places he has lived, and the place he calls home now: Los Angeles.

He spent a huge portion of his childhood playing hockey and was a coach at one point. Reeves even caught the eye of some professional teams but ultimately turned down those opportunities, choosing instead to keep pursuing his true dream of becoming a Hollywood performer.

Keanu Reeves has been a Hollywood star for decades

Though he had already appeared in some movies and shows, Reeves’ dream came true when he landed his first major role as Ted in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in 1989. That movie spawned a series that will be getting its third installment soon. Fans were ecstatic when they learned Reeves will be reprising the role of Ted.

Throughout the ’90s, he was seen mostly as an action star due to films such as Speed (1994) and The Matrix (1999). But part of the reason Reeves has managed to have such a long career is he can do all sorts of roles.

He isn’t afraid to appear in comedies like Always Be My Maybe (2019) or in romantic films like Sweet November (2001) or The Lake House (2006). Over the years he has proven his range as an actor.

His ethnic heritage isn’t the only compelling part of Reeves’ background

Recently, Mental Floss put together a list of interesting facts about Reeves, and a lot of them are surprising.

For instance, Alice Cooper used to regularly come over to Reeves’ house when he was a kid. Because Reeves’ mom was a well-known costume designer, she sometimes had famous clients. And Cooper just so happened to be one of them.

Another surprising fact is Reeves is a published poet. He published a book of his poetry titled Ode To Happiness back in 2011.

It was a collaboration with a visual artist named Alexandra Grant, who created illustrations to accompany Reeves’ words. The two later went on to work on another book, Shadows, in 2016. The two even turned out to be a couple.

It seems Reeves is an enigmatic figure as nuanced and diverse as his ethnic heritage.

[Correction: An earlier version mixed up Keanu Reeves’ mother’s and father’s backgrounds.]