Today marks the first official Canada Day of the Keanu-aissance, the Keanuvolution, the second coming of Keanu Reeves.
Our Canadian superstar has been making big waves lately. He continued to shoot a bunch of bad guys and avenge that dog in “John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum.” He wooed Ali Wong (and all of us) in the Netflix hit, “Always Be My Maybe. He’s been praised (nay, worshipped) for being humble, respecting women and just generally seeming like an all-around great guy. And in June, he brought some CanCon to Toy Story 4 as Duke Caboom, a Canadian stuntman action figure.
Disney Pixar marked Canada Day with a clip from the new film feature that dubs Reeves as “the Canuck with all the luck.”
In the film, Duke helps Woody, Buzz and the gang get through some tough situations. In recent months, Reeves has helped us — and the world —remember why he is such a beloved Canadian icon. So, let’s look back on some of Keanu’s most Canadian moments.
He dreamed the hockey dream
Like many Canadian kids, Keanu strapped on the skates. He played for De La Salle College in Toronto as a goalie, and even considered pursuing hockey as a career, but decided to move into acting at the age of 15. He’s been known to be a Leafs fan.
He was basically a CBC star
In this absolutely delightful clip from the CBC’s old newsmagazine show, ”Going Great,” a young, roving reporter Keanu asks important questions like, “What do your friends think about you collecting bears?” There’s also some quality roller-skating and a scene where Keanu reenacts a bear attack in front of a child using a stuffed polar bear. Nice to see a tough guy like John Wick is also a tough interviewer, and has some aptitude on a horse.
If acting doesn’t work out (though it looks like it’s going alright), come revive your journalism career with us here at HuffPost Canada, Keanu!
Alice Cooper babysat him
Growing up in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto, a young Keanu used to spend time around Toronto’s Nimbus 9 Studios because of his mom’s work as a costume designer in the rock ’n roll business. Apparently, that included being babysat by rock legend Alice Cooper.
In another interview with Jimmy Fallon, Reeves also revealed he almost changed his name when he first drove to Los Angeles. His options? Chuck Spadina — obviously after prominent Toronto street Spadina Avenue — or Templeton Page Taylor. Because of course if he was going to pick a name, he’d pick the most Toronto name possible.
His role as Duke Caboom was animated mostly by Canadians
Ahead of Toy Story 4’s release, producer Mark Nielsen revealed that Canadian Pixar animators were super pumped to work on Duke Caboom.
“They all volunteered to animate all of the Duke Caboom shots. So, he’s mostly animated by Canadian animators. The ‘maple leaf crew’,” he said at a press conference.
He was Manitoba’s ‘Hamlet’
Keanu came home to Canada in the mid-1990s amidst his blossoming film career to star in a production of ‘Hamlet’ at the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg.
“What was intended to be purely an acting exercise for the up-and-coming young action star turned out to be an unprecedented cultural event,” Daniel Fischlin wrote for the Canadian Adaptions of Shakespeare Project.
Winnipeg even established a ‘Keanu Hotline’ for people to call when they spotted the actor around town.
And while people were obsessed, reviews were mixed. Critics panned Reeves’ delivery as over-pronounced. Thankfully, it didn’t seem to keep him from the career our Canuck with all the luck was intended to have.
Yes he Can-ada (Or is it Yes, he Keanu?).
Also on HuffPost: Fans want Keanu Reeves to be Time’s ‘Person of the Year’