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Keanu Reeves says he was told his name was 'too ethnic' when he first started acting

The actor even tried several new names. 'Eventually, I went back to my agents and I was like, 'I can’t change my name,'' Reeves revealed.

Keanu Reeves says he was told his name was 'too ethnic' when he first started acting
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Frazer Harrison

Keanu Reeves has starred in many iconic movies such as "Bill and Ted," "Speed," and "The Matrix," to name a few. Audiences are showering praises on the star for his return as the titular stolid assassin in Chad Stahelski's "John Wick: Chapter 4," in which he is up against new characters played by Donnie Yen and Bill Skarsgård. But his journey was not without rough patches. After a lengthy career of three decades, the actor looked back on the past during the "John Wick" press tour and an appearance on the "SmartLess" podcast. He recalled his experience as an actor in the mid-1980s, who was even asked to change his name, reported Insider

Image Source: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown
Image Source: Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown


He discussed how his agents, at that time, asked him to change his name because it was "too ethnic." Reeves said, "I got my first car when I was 20, and I drove to Hollywood. Of course, when I got here, they wanted to change my name. Yeah, they were like, 'Keanu, it's too ethnic.'" He added that he was annoyed at the suggestion, saying, "I remember I had driven across the country and I remember they told me... I was driving up and down along the beach in Santa Monica going, 'What the f***?'"

“I was like, ‘OK, well, what’s my name going to be?’ And I was like, ‘Templeton,'” he said. He decided to be “K.C Reeves,” taking the initials of his first and middle names. “But then I had auditions and they’d be like, ‘K.C.,’ and I wouldn’t even look up,” the actor said. 

Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Dia Dipasupil
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Dia Dipasupil


The new moniker did not last long, as Reeves decided against changing his name. “Eventually, I went back to my agents and I was like, ‘I can’t change my name,'” Reeves said. "One of the first plays I ever did, I was playing John Procter and one of the lines is like, 'Because it is my name because I can have no other,' and that was just running through my head," Reeves added.

Reeves discussed changing his name to Hollywood when he appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" five years ago. He had revealed he did some soul searching by the ocean for a new name for himself. He said: "I go to the ocean, because this is a big deal for me, right? It's my name. It's my name!" And ocean did give him a new name, the actor joked, "Chuck Spadina!" Reeves pointed out that his managers did not like this name either, and that he tried again with Templeton Page-Taylor, but that didn't work well either. 


Recently, the star was also in the news as he offered a rare comment about his relationship. According to PEOPLE, when asked about the last moment of bliss he had, he said, “A couple of days ago with my honey.” “We were in bed. We were connected,” Reeves said. “We were smiling and laughing and giggling. Feeling great. It was just really nice to be together.” He has reportedly been in a long-term relationship with artist and philanthropist Alexandra Grant. 



Be it his marvelous movies or his touching comments on his personal life, Reeves keeps winning our hearts!

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