What Keanu Reeves' Co-Stars Have Said About Him

Through his acts of kindness and generosity, Keanu Reeves has become everyone's favorite fantasy celebrity friend. He doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his body, and if you dare say a bad word about him, you best be ready to grovel before the court of public opinion and beg for forgiveness.

"Friends" star Matthew Perry found out what happens when you say one of the worst possible things you could say about the guy who avenges the murder of a puppy in "John Wick." Perry inexplicably decided to question the value of Reeves' life in his 2022 memoir "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," writing (via Variety), "Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?" Perry apologized in a statement to People, explaining in part, "I just chose a random name."

When most other celebrities talk about Reeves, it's not to malign "The Matrix" star. In the movie "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," his character abides by the mantra, "Be excellent to each other," and this is exactly what Reeves did when he saw that "The Help" star Octavia Spencer was in need of help moving her broken-down car. On "The Graham Norton Show," Spencer recalled how Reeves drove up on his motorcycle and offered to push her vehicle out of the road, like a badass guardian angel. The many actors who have worked with Keanu Reeves over the years have their own stories about his most excellent behavior.

His birthday celebration made Lance Reddick feel special

After Lance Reddick's tragic death in March 2023, an anecdote the actor once shared about Keanu Reeves went viral on Twitter. The two men first worked together on "John Wick," which was such a big hit that it spawned three sequels. Speaking to Vulture in 2021, Reddick revealed that Reeves is somewhat enigmatic, but he confirmed that everything you've read about his co-star is true. "I just adore that guy. He's such a wonderful human being," Reddick said.

In the "John Wick" films, Reeves plays a hitman with a heart of gold and a talent for killing — in his hands, pencils can become the deadliest of weapons. However, Reeves used a writing utensil to show Reddick some love while they were working on "John Wick: Chapter 4." Reddick recalled, "He wrote me a note thanking me for what I brought to the character in these movies."

The heartfelt gift was made even more special by how Reeves decided to deliver it. He brought it with him when he and his girlfriend, Alexandra Grant, visited the set of the movie one evening when Reddick was scheduled to work but Reeves was not. "His girlfriend is cool as f***," Reddick gushed. "And she told me that she asked Keanu what he wanted to do for his birthday and he said, 'I want to go see Lance.'" After sharing the sweet story, Reddick said, "I'm going to cry now." (Honestly? So are we.)

Michael B. Jordan's dinner to remember

Michael B. Jordan achieved A-list status with his roles in the "Black Panther" and "Creed" franchises, but when he worked with Keanu Reeves, he was a relatively unknown child actor. The two action icons appeared together in "Hardball," a 2001 dramedy about a gambler who coaches a Little League team to pay off a debt. Reeves played the begrudging coach, and Jordan was one of the players.

Reeves' movie "The Matrix" had recently come out when "Hardball" was being filmed, and director Brian Robbins told The Hollywood Reporter in 2021 that his young cast members were big fans of the sci-fi smash hit — as well as Reeves himself. "The kids would goof around with Keanu, re-enacting scenes, like dodging bullets in slow motion," Robbins recalled. 

But for a then-13-year-old Jordan, one of his fondest memories was when Reeves treated his young co-stars like adults by inviting them to dine with him and another adult whose "Matrix" moves they were likely trying to replicate. "We had a chance to meet Laurence Fishburne. To this day, I still remember thinking to myself in astonishment, 'I guess this is what movie stars do — take their casts out to dinner with other big actors,'" Jordan recalled. However, when he reflected back on the experience with two more decades of acting under his belt, he was able to realize just how special it was. "It really was such a cool moment with two of my heroes," Jordan said.

Keanu Reeves' thoughtful gift for Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves had explosive on-screen chemistry when they played two people falling in love against the most unlikely of backdrops: the cramped interior of a speeding bus with a bomb onboard. Twelve years later, the "Speed" co-stars finally gave their shippers a sappier romance in the 2006 fantasy film "The Lake House."

For Bullock, it sounds like befriending Reeves was a lot like living in a real-life romantic movie. Sometime in the late '90s, she mentioned to Reeves that she'd never tasted truffles or Champagne. Bullock told Esquire that Reeves later showed up at her door with both in hand, along with a bouquet. She recalled him saying, "I just thought you might want to try Champagne and truffles, to see what it's like." 

While Reeves and Bullock didn't date, during a 2018 appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Bullock admitted that she found Reeves attractive and found it difficult to avoid giggling like a schoolgirl whenever he looked at her. "Keanu's a guy who, I feel like, is friends with every woman he's ever dated. I don't think there's anyone who has something horrible to say about him. So maybe we could have survived. I don't know," she told Esquire of what might have been. But instead, Bullock has a lifelong friend and is hopeful that she and Reeves will team up again someday in a comedy. "It'll be the bookend of 'Speed!' We'll just be driving really slowly. Pissing the world off," she joked.

Jonathan Groff and Keanu Reeves' memorable fight scene

"Mindhunter" star Jonathan Groff played a rebooted version of Neo's formidable former enemy, Agent Smith, in the 2021 film "The Matrix Resurrections." The role called for the actor to learn the basics of kung fu and use that foundation to craft his own tweaked version of the original Smith's signature fighting style. Groff also had to work closely with Keanu Reeves when the cameras weren't rolling to perfect their choreographed fight scenes. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Groff had high praise for Reeves' commitment to his work, saying, "It was so exciting to be doing such extraordinary fight choreography with the greatest action star of our time."

From the sounds of it, Groff did his best to match Reeves' level of dedication to their training. He revealed that one of his most memorable moments filming with Reeves came when they were shooting a fight sequence and director Lana Wachowski yelled, "Cut!" Even though they were wrapping up an exhausting day, they didn't stop. "Keanu did the next move and then I did the next move, and then Keanu did the next move and then I did the next move," Groff recalled. "The cameras were no longer rolling, but we were so in the zone with each other that we just kept doing it for the joy of it and for ourselves." This was when the Broadway star saw Reeves' true passion for his craft. "It just meant so much," Groff stated.

Keanu Reeves kept everyone fed on The Matrix 4 set

Keanu Reeves once said, "Life is good when you have a good sandwich," per Parade. And on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in 2021, he explained why he looks so down-and-out in that much-cherished "Sad Keanu" meme by saying, "I was hungry!" So this is not a man who is going to let his cast and crew members get hangry.

In a 2021 interview with Looper, Reeves' "The Matrix Resurrections" co-star, Ellen Hollman, recalled how he endeared himself to everyone working on the movie when there was a catering issue. They were filming in Germany at the time. "There's language barriers, things happen," Hollman said. "So, he would just have a food truck for everyone." She didn't reveal whether it served sandwiches, but she added that the generous actor also paid to have his coworkers' equipment and luggage moved. Reeves even offered to give Hollman's husband, "John Wick" stunt coordinator Stephen Dunlevy, the VIP treatment by flying him to the "Resurrections" premiere and making his hotel arrangements for him.

According to Hollman, Reeves doesn't expect any of the praise he receives for being so thoughtful and giving, nor does he want it. "He is by far the most humble artist that I have ever had the honor of meeting," she said. "... I can say that his heart and his kindness are what has allowed him to become the megastar that he is today."

He refused a director's instruction to insult Winona Ryder

In a 2020 interview with The Times, "Stranger Things" star Winona Ryder claimed that Francis Ford Coppola yelled cruel insults at her while trying to make her cry for a scene in his movie "Bram Stoker's Dracula." She said that the director attempted to get Keanu Reeves and her other male co-stars to join him in verbally abusing her, but they refused. "I love Keanu. We're great friends," she said. As of 2020, they were even living within walking distance of each other.

After they filmed "Dracula" in 1992, Ryder and Reeves went on to appear together in "A Scanner Darkly" (2006), "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" (2009), and "Destination Wedding" (2018). The pair told People that they first met at an awards show in the late '80s and became friends who apparently were content to admire each other from afar. During a 2018 joint interview with ET, Ryder confessed, "I had a pretty big healthy crush on him." Reeves playfully responded, "I had a big, healthy crush on you too."

While the adorable pals' mutual adoration for each other never blossomed into a romance, Ryder thinks that they accidentally became husband and wife for real while filming their "Dracula" wedding scene. "I'm convinced we really did get married because it was a real Romanian priest," she explained to ET. But after all these years, she still doesn't seem to be in any rush to divorce the internet's dream hubby.

Keanu Reeves gave Priyanka Chopra just what she needed

"Quantico" star Priyanka Chopra had to work hard to earn her magical Keanu Reeves moment when she joined the cast of "The Matrix Resurrections." Her role was that of the program Sati, and it called for her to deliver a great deal of important information to Reeves' character Neo after his resurrection. In a December 2021 interview with "The View," Chopra said that the role was her first after the pandemic put actors on a forced hiatus, and she was finding it difficult to find her groove again. It didn't help that she had so many lines to learn. "I was stumbling over them a little bit," she said. Her concern over how director Lana Wachowski would react to her struggle to get through a pivotal scene just added to her distress. "I was terrified. My hands were sweating," she recalled.

The observant Reeves realized that she was having a hard time. "When the day was done, he came up to me and he said, 'That was a very difficult day and a lot to do, and you did such a great job, and you should know that,'" Chopra recalled to "Access." Reeves' praise and his acknowledgement that she'd overcome a tough challenge were exactly what she needed to hear at that moment. "That meant a lot to me," Chopra said. She also concluded, "I think people might be right about the fact that he's the nicest guy in Hollywood."

Rina Sawayama gushed about his romance with Alexandra Grant

Keanu Reeves is notoriously private when it comes to his personal life, but some of his "John Wick: Chapter 4" co-stars got the rare opportunity to make the acquaintance of his girlfriend during filming. Reeves and Alexandra Grant, a visual artist, went public with their relationship by walking the red carpet together at the LACMA Art + Film Gala in 2019. And according to Rina Sawayama, the pair are just as perfect together as they appear in their photos. "They're wonderful," Sawayama told People in March 2023. "... Beautiful, beautiful as a couple, beautiful people."

Along with the rest of the "John Wick" cast, Sawayama attended a few dinners with Reeves and Grant, and they even checked out some of Grant's pieces at an exhibition. This gave Sawayama a chance to observe how Reeves changes when he's with his girlfriend. "They're just very normal, honestly," she said. "... I feel like Keanu can switch off his celebrity and I've really felt that way when he was with Alexandra."

Sawayama has also spoken about what it was like working with Reeves. As the kickass concierge Akira, she got to film her fair share of fight scenes, and she prepped for them by enduring some intense training with Reeves. "My favorite memory is looking over to him while we were both training in the same gym and being like, 'F***!'" she told Metro. "... I loved sharing that moment with him — we were both like, 'This is horrible.'"

Ruby Rose was (accidentally) injured by Keanu Reeves

Ruby Rose earned a painful badge of honor while playing the assassin Ares in "John Wick: Chapter 2." In 2017, she told Yahoo! Movies that Keanu Reeves injured her when he made a wrong move during one of their fight scenes. "He was flipping me over his shoulder and he put the elbow out," she recalled. Reeves felt terrible about accidentally whacking Rose in the face, but she didn't mind getting a bit beat up by her co-star at all. In fact, she was thrilled with the way the scene turned out when she asked to watch it in slow motion. "I was so happy, and then I looked at [Reeves] and he's gone pale. He was mortified," she said.

Rose told Marie Claire (via ET Canada) that Reeves had hit her hard enough to leave a bruise, but because he was so caring and concerned, she recalled, "I was like, 'I can't even feel it at all.'"

While Rose told Yahoo! Movies that Reeves "wouldn't hurt a fly" (at least on purpose), his on-screen sparring partners certainly don't want to find themselves on the receiving end of John Wick's fists of fury. Common learned this the hard way when he went home one day with some black-and-blue marks of his own. "I kept doing forearm block and forearm block in the same place and I was bruised up," the rapper told E! News. "But I didn't want to let [Reeves] know."

Carrie-Anne Moss' heartfelt Time tribute to Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss delivered one of the edgiest, most exhilarating love stories ever in "The Matrix." While those fierce black leather outfits and futuristic shades sometimes made them seem almost as inhuman as the AI programs they were fighting, Neo and Trinity were just as vulnerable to feeling love as anyone else.

And when the cameras weren't rolling, the co-stars were really allowed to get the feels. While talking to "Access" about Reeves' nice-guy rep in 2021, Moss gushed, "Nice almost just seems too small." She got the opportunity to elaborate on Reeves' greatness when she penned an essay about him for Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People issue the following year. In it, Moss shared how much she treasures his friendship and praised Reeves for being just as supportive when they filmed "The Matrix Resurrections" as he was when they shot the original film two decades prior. "He's still the man who checks in on me during an intense training day," she wrote. Moss also revealed that when they first worked together, Reeves possessed the same gentle, compassionate spirit that would someday make him the subject of countless listicles about his awesomeness.

Moss has a theory about why this obsession with Reeves' benevolence exists, writing, "The actions of this handsome, talented, successful, and fiercely committed actor have become a reprieve from the constant disappointment we have for those who get put on a pedestal." In other words, he's a glitch in The Matrix.

Halle Berry injured herself trying to impress Keanu Reeves

After Halle Berry got cast alongside Keanu Reeves in the 2019 movie "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum," a source claimed to the National Enquirer, "Halle's been crushing on Keanu for years." Months later, Berry did describe Reeves as her "work crush" in an Instagram post, and you know how it goes with crushes — sometimes you'll go to great lengths just to get them to notice you.

In an interview with Extra, Berry admitted that she got a bit overzealous when it came to the intense training that she did for her sparring scenes. She'd seen what Reeves was bringing to the table, and it inspired her to push herself to the limit. "I wanted to be on the same level as him. I didn't want to disappoint him," Berry explained, noting how she went so far as to keep coming to work after suffering a painful injury. "I broke three ribs," the star said. "... It's like a badge of honor for me." She did, however, eventually have to take a break to heal before she could resume filming.

While Berry and Reeves hadn't worked together before, they came close to being co-stars in the '90s when Berry turned down the role that ultimately went to Sandra Bullock in "Speed." In a 2019 interview with MTV News, Berry jokingly said, "My stupidity didn't allow it to happen." But in her defense, she added that Reeves hadn't yet been cast in the movie at the time.

He gave Drew Barrymore a birthday drive to remember

In 1986, Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves starred together in the movie "Babes in Toyland." Barrymore was still a tween at the time, and it would still be a few years before Reeves began his most triumphant journey as a global superstar in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure." According to Barrymore, she and Reeves crossed paths again in 1991, the same year his movies "Point Break," "My Own Private Idaho," and the first "Bill & Ted" sequel were released.

When Reeves appeared on "The Drew Barrymore Show" in 2021, Barrymore recalled how he helped her party like a Wyld Stallyn when she was celebrating her 16th birthday at a club. "You walked in and you grabbed my hand and you took me outside and you put me on your motorcycle," Barrymore told Reeves, adding, "You took me on the ride of my life, and I was so free. ... It was just this moment where I just remember loving life."

While Barrymore remembered the wild ride vividly, it seemed as though Reeves was struggling to recall it. "I wonder where I took you," he said to Barrymore. She recalled simply riding around for a bit before he returned her to the party. "I literally walked back into the party, like skipping," Barrymore said. It's unclear whether her demonstration of this jogged his memory, but when you're Keanu Reeves, it's probably hard to remember every awesome thing you've ever done for someone.

Laurence Fishburne wants to film a comedy with Keanu Reeves

Almost 20 years after their working relationship began in "The Matrix," Laurence Fishburne joined Keanu Reeves in a new franchise. In "John Wick: Chapter 2" and subsequent sequels, he plays The Bowery King, a leader of a vast intelligence network operating under the guise of a homeless shelter. "We have a very, very special kind of chemistry. ... You can't explain it and you can't bottle it. We love each other and we respect each other," Fishburne told Looper in March 2023 of his close personal and professional relationship with Reeves.

It was Fishburne who delivered the speech during Reeves' 2019 induction ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre. Addressing Reeves, Fishburne said (via MaximoTV), "You have helped us to free our minds. You have touched our hearts. And you have soothed our soul." His genuine affection for Reeves was evident, so it should come as no surprise that he would love to keep working with his friend. 

In an interview with ET Canada, Fishburne said that he's open to doing a comedy the next time they team up, but he thinks Reeves would do the heavy lifting, humor-wise. "Keanu's really funny. When he's funny, he's really funny," Fishburne said. "And I don't know if I'm that funny." But according to Reeves, his pal would be able to hold his own. "He's got a wonderful sense of humor," he said of Fishburne. How could you not want more of this bromance?

He listened to Ian McShane's grandson pitch a movie idea

Keanu Reeves' "John Wick" co-star, Ian McShane, has his theories about why so many people can't get enough of Keanu Reeves. "Maybe his movie stardom tinged with tragedy, tinged with a real-life charm," McShane told ET Canada. "And tinged with, you know, people like looking at him on-screen. He ain't too difficult to look at, either." Reeves also possesses the patience to listen to excited young fans. During a March 2023 appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," McShane revealed that his grandkids are old enough to watch "John Wick," as hard as that is to believe, and they were thrilled when they got to meet Reeves. He even said that his youngest grandson, Raphael, who would have been around age 17 at the time, pitched Reeves his idea for a fifth "John Wick" film. "I said, 'Well, give Keanu a chance to recover. I mean ... he's only killed 5,394 people in this movie,'" McShane quipped.

Like many of Reeves' co-stars, McShane has been on the receiving end of one of his acts of kindness. During a joint 2019 interview with his late "John Wick" co-star, Lance Reddick, "For the Win" asked both men to share their memories of Reeves' famous big-hearted behavior. Reddick told a sweet story about how Reeves was encouraging and accommodating when Reddick wasn't sure what to do during a scene. He revealed that the way Reeves treated him really touched his heart. But McShane said, "I think he brought me tea once."

Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves are lifelong friends

Just like the heroes of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter's friendship has withstood the test of time. On the "Inside of You" podcast in 2022, Winter said that he and Reeves became fast friends when they first met while auditioning for the 1989 film. "He played the bass and rode a motorcycle, and I played the bass and rode a motorcycle," he explained to host Michael Rosenbaum. When they learned that they'd nabbed the two leads in the comedy, Winter recalled Reeves being a bit dejected. When he asked him why, Reeves said he'd wanted the role of Bill. "I was like, 'Dude ... honest to god, there's no f***ing difference between these two characters,'" Winter recalled with a laugh. But to be fair, Bill did get the most prestigious Esquire title tacked onto the end of his name.

Speaking to SyFy about his friendship with Reeves, Winter said, "We clicked as friends kind of the first time we hung out. That happens in life very rarely." He added, "We have a very similar perspective. Keanu is a very smart fella, and I enjoy his intellect and the way he looks at the world. And we laugh our butts off."

The Wyld Stallyns reunited to save the world using the power of music (and time travel) in the 2020 sequel "Bill & Ted Face the Music," and Winter now possesses the most excellent of bragging rights: In 2022, Reeves told ET that his bestie is his favorite all-time co-star.