Since Keanu Reeves has been acting since 1984, he has gained many fans over the years. His recent voice acting role in Toy Story 4 as a Canadian stuntman named Duke Caboom left many of those fans wondering if he was actually Canadian.
Though he was born in Beirut, Keanu Reeves is a Canadian citizen. Keanu moved to Toronto, Canada when he was six years old and grew up there. He later became a Canadian citizen and still is to this day.
Continue reading to find out more about Keanu Reeves’ upbringing in Canada.
There are two types of citizenship in Canada: Canadian by birth and Canadian citizen by naturalization.
A Canadian citizen by birth either needs to be born in Canada, in Canadian waters, or even over Canadian airspace to one or two Canadian parents. Alternatively, a child can be born abroad and still be Canadian if their parents are.
Becoming a Canadian citizen through naturalization means a person immigrated to Canada and applied for citizenship. Adults must pass a Canadian Citizenship Test to get citizenship. This is how Keanu Reeves became a Canadian citizen as a child.
Keanu Reeves’ Upbringing
Keanu Reeves has a very interesting and diverse background. His mother, Patricia Taylor is English and was born in Essex, northeast of London, England.
His father Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr. was born in Hawaii but is also Chinese, English, Irish, Native Hawaiian, and Portuguese.
Both Keanu’s parents were living in Beirut when they met and later got married. This is why Keanu was born there in 1964.
The two got divorced two years later in 1966, so Keanu and his mother moved first to Sydney, Australia then to New York City where she got remarried in 1970 to Paul Aaron.
After getting married, they moved to Toronto, Canada with Keanu when he was six years old. The couple got divorced a year later, but Keanu and his mother stayed in Toronto and became Canadian citizens.
Keanu essentially grew up in Toronto. He grew up in the Yorkville area of Toronto with his sisters and was raised by his grandparents and nannies.
He went on to attend four different high schools in Toronto because he got expelled from three of them for being “rambunctious”. He went on to drop out of high school at 17 to pursue his acting career.
Keanu fulfilled the common, Canadian stereotype that all Canadians play hockey. He joined his ice hockey team in high school as the goalkeeper.
He actually started his television career in Canada as he worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as a correspondent in 1984.
He then went on to start his acting career the year later as he landed a theatre role for a production of Romeo and Juliet.
He then moved onto acting in films. Notably, he played his former hockey position, a goalkeeper, in a film called Flying in 1986.
Keanu later moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue his acting career. He was able to become a permanent resident in the United States because of his American stepfather.
He never forgot his Canadian roots though as he still visits and has kept his Canadian citizenship.
He has also alluded to his Canadian background in his career as he has played Canadian characters previously. The most recent was in 2019 in the film Toy Story 4.
Keanu was voice acting in the film as the character Duke Kaboom, self-proclaimed as “Canada’s Greatest Stuntman”. Duke Caboom is very proud of his Canadian heritage as his motorcycle, helmet and entire outfit are made out of the Canadian flag.
Though Keanu Reeves is not as overt about his Canadian heritage as Duke Caboom, he is still a proud Canadian.