In the 2 previous posts we have followed Keanu Reeves in his childhood and teenage,but also  in his début as an actor. If you have missed the two first episodes you can check the by clicking here  <Keenu Reeves Part1> and <Keenu Reeves Part2>

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Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix


Keanu Reeves met first with River Phoenix when he was doing Parenthood, where Keanu was Tod Higgins the boyfriend of Julie Higgins played by Martha Plimpton.  Martha was the ex-girlfriend of River and In the movie there was also Leaf Phoenix, the brother River.  So Leaf and Martha were Keanu’s buddies before River became a friend of his.

River said ” I liked the guy. I wanted to work with him. He’s like my older brother. But shorter”. Then the two young actors met again in doing I Love You to Death. 

Keanu: ” We were doing  I Love to Date”, and we both got the Idaho script. We were driving in a car on Santa Monica Boulevard and were talking really fast about the whole idea. We were excited. It could have been like a bad dream – a dream that never follows through because no one commits, but we just forced ourselves into it. We said ‘OK, I’ll do it if you do it. I won’t do it if you don’t. ‘ We shook hands. that was it.”



Keanu and River in My Own Private Idaho

My Own Private Idaho is a drama film directed by Gus Van Sant.  The film starts with a guy standing alone on a deserted highway in Idaho, experiencing a narcoleptic dream. This young man is Mike (River Phoenix),  a Portland’s gay street hustler . Later on a wealthy client, an old woman brought him to her house where he meets two fellow hustlers, one of them is Scott (Keanu Reeves). Mike and Scoot became close and after a while they started a journey which brought them from Portland to Idaho, then to Italy. Mike admits that he is in love with Scott. In Italy, Scott was seduced by a girl,  Carmella and return to the US with her, leaving Mike to return his own home facing heartache over Scott’s leaving him. The film ends on the same deserted highway, Mike is back and falls into another narcoleptic stupor lying on the pavement, a truck stopped and two strangers steal the pack and the shoes of Mike, then an unidentified man picks Mike up, taking him into a car and drives away.


River Phoenix


Keanu about River:

“I think he’s the best. He asks questions that I don’t normally think about sometimes. He works in a way that, at least for me, showed me how to get it more in my blood and more imaginative.”

River about Keanu:

“Kenny is a sweetheart. People don’t understand him. He’s on this earth, he’s a together guy. He’ll rule the world- very smart, indigenous, and very productive.”


River: Someone you can tell all your secrets to. For me it’s a guy you enjoy being with, a guy you love and a guy you care about. Keanu is MY buddy, dude.

Keanu: I’ve always love you, River. River is my best friend and I don’t have many of them.

River; That’s really sweet, Keany.



Keanu and River by Bruce Weber

River Phoenix died of an overdose in the early morning on October 31, 1993, He collapsed outside the Viper Room a Hollywood night club partly owned at that time by the actor Johnny Depp. He was 23 year old.

Keanu Reeves was on the set of Speed when he learnt about the death of his friend. “All I can say is that I have never felt a thing like that before in my life,” he said quietly “I was very sad, and something beyond sad. I don’t know what it is, just you sob for hours…”




Speed: The movies’s poster


For Keanu Reeves the death of River Phoenix was felt as a great shock as he was on the shoot of  the movie Speed, the distress of Keanu was also shared by his co-star Sandra Bullock who knew River as film partner.

Speed was directed by Jan de Bont, in addition to Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hooper was also part of the cast. The film was released in 1994, and reached a worldwide success at the box-office cashing $350 million for a budget of $30 million.


Keanu Reeves is Jack Traven a police officer who is chasing a bomber. The bomber informs him that he placed a bomb in a bus that will activate when the bus exceeds 50 miles per hour and then will detonate when it falls below that He demands a larger sum of money to deactivate the device. Jack manages to get on the bus but the driver don’t understand and in a fight with Jack, he is accidentally hurt in the arm. Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) another passenger takes over the driver position.


Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock

Guided by the police Annie drives the bus through city streets and to a incomplete freeway devoid to traffic, while Jack tries to locate the bomb and send himself under the bus but without success, and he was rescued by the passenger using the floor panel. Meanwhile the police identify Howard Payne (Dennis Hooper) as the bomber and found out that he was monitoring his blackmail through a camera installed in the bus. Then with the help of Jack they record a sequence of footage and rebroadcast  that on the channel to falsify the signal back to the bomber. That gives time to the police to transfer the hostages into another bus and rescue them.  Jack and Annie remains in the bus to keep it steady during the trasfer  and then escape by the the floor panel. The bus finishes his race into an empty  cargo plane and explodes. The story continues as Annie is taken as hostage by Payne, the bomber, as she is used with Jack to capture Payne. Finally Jack will kill Payne and free Annie and in the last scene they realized that they have fallen in love with each other and share a kiss…