Keanu Reeves, an action movie star known for his roles in The Matrix and John Wick, is quite private. He tries to stay out of the public eye as much as he can despite being well-known. Due to this, many people don’t know about his struggles growing up, particularly with reading.
Keanu Reeves had trouble reading growing up as he is dyslexic, he can now read as an adult. Though Keanu is a published author and reads scripts for movies, he is dyslexic. This caused him to have trouble in school and he believes it shaped his childhood.
Continue reading to find out more about Keanu Reeves’ childhood and his struggle with growing up with dyslexia.
Keanu Reeves’ Childhood
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects people’s ability to read. It causes problems with identifying which letters make which sound.
Dyslexia is commonly undiagnosed, it is estimated that 40 million people in the United States are dyslexic, but only 2 million people know it.
Keanu Reeves is likely part of the group of people who had undiagnosed dyslexia growing up as he was kicked out of most of his high schools.
He says, “Because I had trouble reading, I wasn’t a good student. I didn’t finish high school. I did a lot of pretending as a child. It was my way of coping with the fact that I didn’t really feel like I fit in.”
It seems as though Keanu knew that he had trouble reading, but his teachers may have not known and instead of helping him, they expelled him.
He attended four different high schools in Toronto where he grew up. He attended two art schools, Etobicoke School of the Arts and De La Salle College, and was expelled from them for being “rambunctious”.
He went on to attend Avondale Secondary Alternative School as he could pursue his acting career there at the same time.
Reeves ended up dropping out of that high school at 17 years old to instead pursue his acting career in Los Angeles, California.
It seems like if Reeves did not have trouble in school due to his dyslexia, he may not be on the same path that he is today.
Though he is still dyslexic since it is a lifelong disorder, Keanu can now read and write. He says even though he had trouble reading growing up, he loves Shakespeare.
He further says: “I recite Shakespeare to calm myself down. When I was 18, I did Romeo and Juliet on stage. It’s very relaxing when you read it out loud.”
His love of Shakespeare likely inspired him to write poetry of his own as he is actually a published author.
A Secret Poet and Author
Keanu Reeves is a published author of two books. The first is called Ode to Happiness that was published in 2011. He describes it as a “grown up’s picture book”.
The book consists of a poem written by Reeves and each page is illustrated by artist Alexandra Grant. It started as just a poem given to the book’s editor Janey Bergam,
She, however, made it into a book and gave it to Reeves. He loved it so much that he wanted it to be published.
He says about it: “There is a kind of life experience in it. I was hoping people would find it relatable and hopefully transformative in a sense.”
He went on to publish another, similar style of book called Shadows which was published in 2016. This book is another poetry book but features pictures of Keanu’s shadows instead of illustrated images.
It is meant to, “Explore the real and symbolic nature of the shadow as an image and figure of speech.”
So, Keanu Reeves may have struggled with reading and writing when he was younger, he is now an accomplished author and actor.