Canadian actor Keanu Reeves has played an LAPD SWAT team member, detective and army sergeant in his movies, but has the film star ever been in the military for real?
Keanu Reeves has not served in the military. All accounts of the actor’s life have no mention of military service and Reeves himself has never publicly mentioned giving his time to the military in any country’s militaries.
Keanu Reeves has starred in dozens of blockbusters over the years and several of these put the actor into the role of military, law enforcement or private hitman.
Let’s take a look at how the actor prepared for these roles and what training, if any, he received.
Keanu Reeves starred in this critically-acclaimed action-thriller movie alongside Dennis Hopper and Sandra Bullock. Reeves plays an LAPD SWAT officer who must stop an extortionist from enacting his plan to hold a group of people in an elevator for ransom.
To realistically portray a member of the elite SWAT team, the actor underwent training from real SWAT officers to perfect those quintessential gun-toting movements.
Reeves also did a daring stunt in the movie, without a body double, against director Jan De Bont’s wishes. The moviestar had to leap from a Jaguar convertible onto a moving bus, and did so successfully, even though he almost gave De Bont “a heart attack.”
A Walk in the Clouds (1995)
Keanu Reeves starred in this American romantic drama about an army soldier who returns from the war with PTSD and tries to rejoin civilian life.
The movie is set in 1945, meaning that Reeves was involved in the American WWII military response—fictitiously, of course.
Since the movie’s plot focuses on the soldier’s attempts to settle back into life as a civilian, Reeves didn’t need any training to help him play the role of a military man.
The movie received mixed reviews from critics, some arguing that Reeves was not the best suited to this period romance movie—perhaps Keanu should have done some more shooting in it.
Street Kings (2008)
This film, which received a lukewarm reception from critics, stars Keanu Reeves as a booze-loving LAPD Vice detective. The maverick cop is determined to get his own personal justice for his murdered partner and uses his police and gun skills to do it.
To look and act like a real LAPD detective, Keanu needed to know how to behave like one and how to shoot a gun. He received training which included shooting simulations and shouting “Shoot” or “Don’t shoot,” at targets.
At first, Keanu was reluctant to shoot any of the targets but judging from his performance in the film, he quickly got over his fears.
Reeves has starred in the hugely-popular franchise John Wick that includes four feature movies, for which the first film was released in 2014.
Reeves plays the title character in the series and is a retired hitman, who un-retires himself in order to enact violent revenge upon those who wronged him.
The actor has received plentiful training for this role over the years, in order to convincingly play the highly-trained John Wick and has definitely proved himself to be an apt hand at handling firearms.
Take a look at Keanu’s impressive aim in this video:
Not only did the actor have to work on his shooting skills but he also needed to get his body in shape for each installment of the series. Reeves worked with celebrity trainer Patrick Murphy who put him through gruelling workouts to get the actor in tip top form.
If that wasn’t enough, Keanu was put through his paces by Navy Seals in order to master a mix of martial arts.
So, even though the actor has never technically been part of the military, he has trained alongside military members and gone through a program that rivals that of the basic training received by military men and women.