Keanu Reeves is one of the most popular actors in Hollywood, but some fans might not be aware that the actor smokes — a habit he started because of a movie role. The A-list star is not only beloved because of his acting skill, but because of how he fits into the celebrity landscape. Reeves frequently goes viral for the way he treats strangers and fans with respect even though he is an A-list actor, as well as his discreet lifestyle and philanthropic efforts.
Reeves broke out into Hollywood in the sci-fi comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and cemented himself as an action star with early ’90s movies like Point Break and Speed. As a versatile actor, Reeves has also established himself across all movie genres, starring in horror (The Devil’s Advocate), dramas (My Own Private Idaho), and rom-coms (Something’s Gotta Give and Always Be My Maybe). However, Reeves is most iconic for starring in the smash-hit The Matrix and John Wick franchises. Reeves has played many roles including two where smoking was a central part of the character’s personality.
Keanu Reeves Started Smoking While Filming Feeling Minnesota
In 2008, Reeves was interviewed by the Daily Mail, and he revealed that he regrets his smoking habit, saying, “Smoking. I didn’t even start until I was 30. I got hooked making Feeling Minnesota and now it’s a prison, but I want to stop.” Feeling Minnesota was released in 1996, and it stars Reeves as Jjaks Clayton. The movie also features Cameron Diaz as Freddie Clayton and Vincent D’Onofrio as Jjaks’ brother Sam. In the story, Freddie meets Jjaks at her wedding to Sam and falls for him instead.
Jjaks and Freddie get together, and in retaliation, Sam kills Freddie and tries to frame Jjaks for her death. In Feeling Minnesota, multiple characters are heavy smokers, Jjaks included. While Feeling Minnesota has comedic elements, its central plot is a crime story that includes deception, theft, and murder. The movie primarily received negative reviews from critics, but taking up smoking clearly helped Reeves get into character while playing Jjaks.
Reeves’ Constantine Is A Chain-Smoker
Nearly a decade later, Reeves played another smoker, the titular antihero John Constantine, in 2005’s Constantine. Smoking is a central part of John’s character; when he is first introduced, he has terminal lung cancer and smokes daily. He believes he will be sent to Hell when he dies because he attempted suicide when he was younger. John has the ability to see half-angels and half-demons, and to try and earn his way to Heaven, he set out to send half-demons back to Hell.
John’s chain-smoking in the movie reflects his own feeling of hopelessness. Keanu Reeves’ character knows he will die because of his cancer, and he feels nothing will stop him from going to Hell. Because of this, he has no motivation to stop smoking as he feels he is doomed no matter what. At the end of the movie, Lucifer cures John’s cancer, hoping that John will continue on a negative path and end up in Hell. However, John shows his efforts to change by chewing nicotine gum instead of smoking. John quitting smoking in Constantine demonstrates that he no longer feels hopeless about his fate or his impact on Earth.