In November 2019 the world of celebrity gossip was suddenly shaken to its core. Keanu Reeves – the famously private but extremely beloved A-list actor – appeared to be dating again after a long period of being single. And even more shockingly, his new girlfriend was the age-appropriate, relatively unstarry artist Alexandra Grant. What do we actually know about Grant? Well, prepare to have your eyes opened…
In November 2019 the world of celebrity gossip was suddenly shaken to its core. Keanu Reeves – the famously private but extremely beloved A-list actor – appeared to be dating again after a long period of being single. And even more shockingly, his new girlfriend was the age-appropriate, relatively unstarry artist Alexandra Grant. What do we actually know about Grant? Well, prepare to have your eyes opened…
20. The couple first met back in 2009
Reeves kept himself pretty busy in 2009. For starters, he had the movie The Private Lives of Pippa Lee to promote alongside Robin Wright and Winona Ryder. He also played a comedic Swede in the web-based television series Sparhusen. But there was still time to relax, and at a dinner party Reeves encountered the woman who, ten years later, would practically break the internet.
And while it seems that Reeves and Grant were pretty much taken with each other right away, their budding relationship came as a surprise to some. Yep, although actress Jennifer Tilly had learned about the liaison long before the rest of the world, she was no less overwhelmed. In 2020 she told Page Six magazine that her reaction at the time had been “Wait. What? What? What?” She added, “[Grant] was so cool [that] I thought she was a lesbian.”
19. Grant’s white hair is all natural
Grant is still in her 40s – at time of writing, anyway – but her hair is already a bright shade of white more often seen on women many years her senior. She didn’t dye her locks, either; they naturally turned that way before she even hit the big 4-0. And Grant doesn’t appear to mind at all. You could even say that she’s proud of her distinctive hair. In March 2020 she revealed to Vogue, “We should all have more options as to what beauty is.”
Seemingly, Grant also has worries about the safety of hair dye. She once shared an article on her Instagram page about the apparent greater risk of breast cancer among women who artificially colored their tresses. And alongside the PSA, she wrote, “[I] dyed my hair every color along the way until I couldn’t tolerate the toxicity of the dyes anymore.”
18. The pair worked on a book together
Before they were revealed to be boyfriend and girlfriend, Reeves and Grant teamed up to create a book called Ode to Happiness. The Canadian actor wrote the poem contained within the work – with one line featuring per page – while the artist worked on the accompanying illustrations. And, notably, the book was the first one that the Hollywood A-lister had ever released.
Speaking to the BBC in 2011, Grant said of her and Reeves’ collaboration, “I’ve seen people cracking up over it. Then I showed it to someone at a bookstore in LA, and she started weeping, so you never know what the reaction will be. It depends what people bring to the book, but there’s a real power to it.”
17. There are nine years between the couple
When news of Grant and Reeves’ relationship first broke, people noted with happiness that the two looked as though they were roughly the same age. Maybe the artist was even in her fifties – she’s the one with white hair, after all. But in fact the actor is older than his partner by nine years; he was born in 1964 and she in 1973.
This led to no small amount of comment about Hollywood double standards and how women are quickly seen as “past their prime.” One Twitter user also noted that while the Reeves-Grant relationship was a “refreshing” one, “Hollywood’s conditioned us to see a 55-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman as the same age.”
16. Reeves has turned Grant onto motorcycles
The Speed star happens to be a big fan of motorcycles – both when it comes to riding them and creating them. Reeves loves the vehicles so much, in fact, that he’s accumulated a pretty large collection as time has passed. He even owns a bike-making company that he helped set up back in 2011. Any woman who wants to go out with the actor, then, probably needs an appreciation of his passion.
Luckily, Grant seems to have that in spades. For one, she’s reportedly learning how to handle a motorcycle correctly. And in May 2020 an anonymous source told Life & Style magazine that one of the couple’s pastimes was “going for a ride on [Reeves’] motorbike.”
15. You can look up to them
You can look up to Reeves and Grant as a good example of a healthy Hollywood relationship. Depending on your own size, though, you may also be literally craning your neck to see the pair if you’re ever lucky enough to spot them in the wild. The star of The Matrix is 6’1” – taller than you may have assumed. And while his partner’s exact height isn’t known, in some pictures – maybe thanks to high heels – she actually seems to loom over her boyfriend.
Of course, this isn’t an odd thing, but there are some actors who reportedly get awkward about being shorter than their romantic partners. Rumor has it, for instance, that Nicole Kidman didn’t wear high heels around her then-husband Tom Cruise in order to downplay their respective heights. But Reeves doesn’t seem to care – as far as we know, anyway.
14. People thought Grant was Reeves’ mother
Grant faced plenty of ageism when news got out that she and Reeves were dating. And sometimes, while this was unintentional, it was no less awkward. For example, when the actor took his mother, Patricia Taylor, with him to the Oscars in 2020, some photo captions misidentified his parent – claiming instead that she was his partner. Oops.
There were other spiteful jibes aimed at Grant, too. Yes, when photographs of her and Reeves began appearing on the internet, trolls unfortunately made cruel remarks, with one writing, “Men age like wine; women age like milk.” Reeves himself, with his reputation for kindness, would most likely be appalled by that behavior.
13. Grant has directed a film
Grant has plenty of strings to her bow – and one of them crosses into her boyfriend’s territory. Back in 2015, you see, she worked with the Nebraska-based Bemis Center for Contemporary Art to create a documentary film called Taking Lena Home.
Reeves, meanwhile, has of course worked with many directors throughout his acting career. And even though female filmmakers are underrepresented in Hollywood, a lot of them have actually been women – including Kathryn Bigelow and Nancy Meyers. So, could Grant be added to that list one day?
12. Reeves’ mom likes Grant a lot
Reeves has another very important woman in his life: his mom, Patricia Taylor. And, luckily, Taylor apparently adores her son’s new love interest. In February 2020 an anonymous source told Life & Style that the Hollywood superstar and his girlfriend frequently meet up with his mother to have meals together.
The unnamed insider said to the magazine, “[Taylor] first met Alexandra over a year ago and warmed to her instantly. They share a ton in common, including their passion for the arts.” They added that Reeves was “extremely close” to his mom – but was anyone expecting it to be any other way?
11. Reeves and Grant were originally thought to be just friends
It seems that Reeves and Grant’s relationship flew under the radar for a little while. The actor doesn’t do social media, after all, so he has posted no pics of the pair together. The artist has never shared anything online about her beau, either. And although folks who saw the couple in a social setting would surely have noticed that they liked each other very much, it took some time for the media to realize that they were more than friends.
As late as October 2019, the Daily Mail was describing Grant as Reeves’ “best pal.” Yet the evidence was there for anyone who wanted to see it. In June of that year, the two of them had held hands while watching a Saint Laurent fashion show in Malibu, California.
10. Grant officiates weddings
Neither Grant nor Reeves has said anything about getting married yet. But there is an interesting tidbit out there regarding the artist and weddings: she’s actually entitled to officiate them. That’s right: while Grant doesn’t share many details of her life, in August 2019 she posted pics to her Instagram page that showed her officiating the wedding of a couple of her friends.
Grant captioned the snaps, “Congratulations to Ginna and Edwin! I’m so honored to have officiated your wedding and be a part of this beautiful next chapter of your lives. Our friendship deepens my sense of wonder, connection and creativity. Love you both!” That may even be a little insight into Grant’s feelings about marriage, too.
9. They co-founded a publishing house
In 2017 it was reported that Reeves was one of the co-founders of new publishing company X Artists’ Books; the others were designer Jessica Fleischmann and Grant herself. And at the official launch of the project at NeueHouse Hollywood, the actor described it as involving “people coming together with all their talents and creativity.”
Meanwhile, the official website for X Artists’ Books reads, “Our books are works of art; portals to imagined worlds; treasured companions; the fabric of a community. We love the same things about our books as we do about our friends: generosity, open-heartedness, intelligence, mystery, style.” It definitely sounds like the couple’s kind of thing.
8. Grant will be around for a massive new Reeves movie
There were two exciting Reeves-related reveals in 2019. One, of course, was the revelation that he was in a relationship with Grant. The other was that there would finally be a fourth movie in the Matrix franchise, meaning the Hollywood A-lister will be reprising his starring role as Neo. And in 2020 filming on the flick officially began.
Reeves was of course spotted on and around the movie’s sets. And when the cast of the film flew out to Berlin, his partner came along too. In July 2020 the Daily Mail reported that Reeves and Grant had been seen in the German city having dinner as well as – of course – visiting an art gallery.
7. Both Grant and Reeves are philanthropists
Tales of Reeves’ philanthropy are legendary. The actor has used his millions to help finance cancer research and children’s hospitals, among other things. Apparently, he’s even been known to field phone calls himself during charity telethons. And most remarkably of all, he’s kept all of this pretty much on the down-low.
Reeves and Grant are very well matched in that regard. Back in 2008, the artist formed the grantLOVE project, which uses artwork and jewelry to financially benefit charities. And the money raised has gone to many good causes, including Project Angel Food, The Union for Contemporary Art and Heart of Los Angeles.
6. The relationship wasn’t confirmed for a long time
In November 2019 it finally came to the wider world’s attention that Reeves was no longer single. In that month, you see, the actor turned up at the LACMA Art + Film Gala with Grant as his date. And although media reports confirmed that the pair had been together for a while, that didn’t stop the world from reeling.
Twitter practically exploded with delight at the news – especially as Reeves had for so long been dubbed “the internet’s boyfriend.” Author Kendra Wilkinson seemed to speak for a lot of people when she wrote on the social media site, “Looks like my crush Keanu is off the market, but for some reason I fell in love with him even more. [Grant’s] beautiful, and they look great together.”
5. Grant was Reeves’ first serious relationship for a while
Reeves’ romance with Grant marked a turning point, as it was common knowledge that his last serious relationship had ended in terrible grief. The actor had once been with a woman named Jennifer Syme, who was the mother of his child, Ava Syme-Reeves. But, tragically, Ava arrived into the world stillborn.
Understandably, Syme began suffering from depression after the death of the child she had carried. In the wake of the tragedy, she and Reeves also separated – although they apparently remained friends. Yet the pair never got a chance to rekindle their relationship, as in 2001 Syme passed away in a car crash. And for years afterward – right up until Grant arrived on the scene – the movie star reportedly remained single.
4. Grant was mistaken for Helen Mirren
When pictures of Grant and Reeves together were first published on the internet, some folks temporarily mistook his new partner for another elegant white-haired woman: famous actress Helen Mirren. One person tweeted, for instance, “Helen Mirren is sexy; Keanu’s lady is sexy. But at first glance, I really thought she was Helen.”
Mirren – who’s actually a friend of Reeves’ – even commented on the Twitter kerfuffle. On the red carpet for her film The Good Liar, she told journalists from Entertainment Tonight, “That was very flattering on me, you know, because [Grant is] obviously lovely.”
3. Grant has been stalked by a Reeves fan
Unfortunately, dating an A-lister can sometimes come at a cost. And with the sheer number of fans that Reeves has, it’s arguably unsurprising that one of them could cause trouble for a new girlfriend. Sadly, that was indeed the case. In July 2020 it was reported that Grant had requested a restraining order against a Reeves admirer who had been following her for months.
Grant alleged that the fan, whose name was given only as “Cathryn,” had been causing her considerable distress. According to the artist, the woman had been creating “hate accounts” online to upset her and even trespassing at her home to take photographs. And after hearing this testimony, the court subsequently permitted a temporary restraining order – meaning “Cathryn” was forbidden from getting in touch with Reeves’ partner.
2. A friend thinks that marriage isn’t on the cards
Jennifer Tilly – a long-time friend of Grant – has spilled the beans on the artist’s relationship. In February 2020 she told Page Six, “I think why everybody went crazy [about Reeves and Grant] is that they’re sort of the perfect couple. I think everybody wishes that they had something like that. It’s not a razzle-dazzle Hollywood romance.”
But would everybody get a chance to go crazy again at the news of a Reeves-Grant wedding? Well, Tilly actually doubted that would ever happen. The actress went on, “I don’t know, [marriage] doesn’t seem very hip and bohemian, does it? They’re artists. They’re just going to do what they do.”
1. Grant has apparently helped Reeves heal
At around the turn of the century, Reeves lost his unborn baby and then the mother of his child in quick succession. And while understandably he doesn’t speak much about these tragedies on the record, he has indicated that they are still on his mind. In 2019 he told The Irish Times, “Grief and loss – those are things that don’t ever go away.”
Still, according to an insider who spoke to Life & Style in 2019, Grant may be helping Reeves overcome his trauma. The source said, “[Reeves] was in such a dark place for so long, but Alexandra’s positive outlook and support have played a huge part in helping him turn his life around. Some say she’s not only stolen his heart, but she’s also saved him.”
But behind the scenes, is Reeves really all he seems? Is he the affable, laid-back dude of popular legend, or is he really a bit of a diva? Well, one guy who knows the star better than most is Jeremy Fry. And when speaking to the press, the stuntman has given the world a little taste of the true nature of the John Wick actor.
In June 2020 stunt driver extraordinaire Jeremy Fry broke the internet when he opened up to Metro about working on the John Wick movies with the A-lister. Of course, Fry spoke a bit about doubling for Reeves and performing those hair-raising car chases on all three flicks. But it was the stuntman’s comments about Reeves’ personality that really caught people’s attention. After all, it’s not every day you learn what a star is like when the cameras aren’t rolling.
Mind you, Fry did make a point of first praising Reeves’ dedication to stunt work. He also applauded the actor’s aptitude for learning complicated fight choreography. Interestingly, too, Fry said Reeves didn’t always insist on doing everything himself. Instead, he said Reeves knows what he is capable of accomplishing – but also knows when to leave it to the professionals.
“It’s always interesting to me when actors want to do their own stunts,” Fry told Metro. “When you have people who you can use, and you won’t know that it’s not them. But Keanu, he completely gets that. He has never said, ‘I want to do that. I want to do it.’” Fry insisted that this was a good thing, though.
Yep, Fry appreciates how Reeves doesn’t put himself in unnecessary danger. Rather, he puts his faith in stunt coordinator Darrin Prescott and director Chad Stahelski. “He trusts Darrin and [Stahelski] to make the best decision that they can, and he knows that they will use him whenever they feel it’s appropriate and safe,” the stuntman said. Fry then illustrated this aspect of Reeves’ character with an example.
There was one particular stunt in John Wick that required Reeves to do it himself, just as the director envisioned. And not only was it deemed safe enough for Reeves, but the actor also performed the stunt perfectly. Fry explained, “There was a shot where we wanted Keanu to slide up to the camera, and we wanted to have the camera come right up to him.” How did Reeves react to this situation?
Well, the stunt team worked extensively with Reeves to plan the stunt’s execution specifically to utilize his abilities. “And we worked with him for a while on that one, and it’s a tricky one [but] he nailed it. He did such a good job on that,” Fry told Metro. And while this doesn’t tell us much about Reeves’ personality, it is high praise indeed. Fry is a guy who has years of experience in the industry, after all.
Fry actually got his start by working at the Motion Picture Driving Clinic, a prestigious stunt-driving school in California. He then rose through the ranks to become its head instructor during his 12-year tenure. He also competed in rally car racing and learned how to drift in a Ford Mustang. For those who don’t know, drifting is essentially sliding a car sideways – like they did in the third Fast and the Furious movie.
Fry’s first stunt credit came in Swordfish, a 2001 tech-thriller starring Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and John Travolta. But he quickly began picking up more stunt gigs on films and television shows in the early 2000s. These included The O.C., Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Spider-Man 2 and National Treasure. This all led to his first encounter with Reeves.
It was 2005 when Fry first crossed paths with the star, during the shooting of supernatural thriller Constantine. Yet in 2018 Fry told Street Muscle magazine that he considered his work on The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007 to be his first big job. The stuntman then drifted a truck in the 2009 Gerard Butler action movie, Gamer.
Fast forward to today, and Fry’s career is thriving. Yes, his driving prowess can be seen in blockbusters such as Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Ryan Reynolds’ upcoming action-comedy Free Guy. He also drove on female-centric superhero romp Birds of Prey. And in a practical stunt capacity, he worked on Ford v Ferrari and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, both released in 2019. Of course, he’s also famous for working with Reeves on John Wick.
But arguably Fry’s most fun job came in 2017 when he was hired as a stunt driver on Edgar Wright’s action-comedy Baby Driver. The stuntman knew the movie – which focused on Ansel Elgort’s music-loving getaway driver – was ideal for his talents. He told Street Machine, “When I saw the script, I knew I’d hit the jackpot.”
Fry continued, “What stunt performer in L.A. doesn’t want to double the lead actor in a movie where the character is a getaway driver and there’s car stuff the whole way through? It doesn’t get any better than that!” The stuntman enjoyed his experience in the movie even more because he was heavily involved in developing the action sequences. And – much like he would go on to dish the dirt on Reeves – Fry had plenty to say about the movie’s stars.
Fry was complimentary about Elgort and co-star Jon Hamm’s proficiency with the stunt driving they took on. The stuntman spent time training the actors at the Motion Picture Driving Clinic and felt Elgort, in particular, exceeded expectations. He said, “Ansel and Jon Hamm both picked it up really fast, and we were able to use them for a lot of stuff.”
Like Elgort, Reeves is an actor known for exceeding expectations when it comes to working hand-in-hand with his stunt team. The star, who first rose to fame playing metalhead Ted “Theodore” Logan in 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, has starred in several iconic action movies throughout his career, after all. Point Break and Speed were early 1990s hits, before 1999 sci-fi classic The Matrix changed everything.
Chad Stahelski, Reeves’ stunt double on that movie, told Vulture in 2019, “The Matrix literally transformed the industry.” Stahelski would go on to become a director, of course, re-teaming with Reeves on the John Wick franchise. But their close relationship began on The Matrix. You’ll remember that the fight choreography in The Matrix was revolutionary – and Reeves performed as much of the martial arts and wirework as he could himself.
As Stahelski explained, “Back in the day, fight scenes were secondary to car chases and horse chases and helicopter chases.” But The Matrix showed that fight scenes could actually be part of the storytelling and not just about watching a character getting duffed up. For example, Reeves’ jiu-jitsu scene with Laurence Fishburne in the dōjō is really about Neo’s journey of self-discovery.
And from Reeves’ perspective, he feels that if an audience knows an actor is performing the stunts themselves, it prevents them from disconnecting. “I do all of the action,” he told Willie Geist of Today in 2019. “I’m 90 percent of what’s happening there. I’m maintaining the connection to the audience, and with the story.”
That audience certainly is connected, too. In 2020 Reeves is worth a staggering $360 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. And a decent-sized chunk of that wealth comes off the back of the John Wick franchise – which was a comeback of sorts for the star. Before his first outing as the titular assassin in 2014, you see, Reeves had experienced a series of commercial failures, such as 2008’s The Day the Earth Stood Still.
But John Wick grossed over four times its budget at the worldwide box-office and was quickly hailed as an action classic. Then Reeves starred in two sequels, John Wick: Chapter 2 in 2017 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum in 2019. Each sequel upped the ante in terms of the scale and quantity of action on-screen, and the box-office figures also grew accordingly.
When Metro interviewed Fry, they asked about the most challenging stunt he performed on any of the Wick movies. And he chose one that came during a pivotal scene in John Wick: Chapter 2. Fry said, “The second one when he finds his Mustang,” and went on to explain what made the scene so tough to accomplish.
“That whole sequence we tried to make it look like it was happening in a larger area than it was,” said Fry. “The floor of this warehouse was about 3 feet lower than the parking lot outside. So they had this ramp that was already part of the building.” Within these limitations, Fry had a brainwave.
Yes, the stuntman wanted to try a live-action version of a stunt he saw in the animated hit Big Hero 6, in which a car was jolted sideways. The stunt team agreed to try it, despite space being limited. “The door was 20 feet wide, and the car was about 18 feet long,” Fry told Metro, only slightly exaggerating the length of the famously long Mustang.
Anyway, the team knew there was almost no margin for error on the stunt. “So if I was coming out if I happen to be sideways, I only had a foot on either end at speed to get the car out the door,” explained Fry. “So it was tricky.” The car even sustained some damage on the first attempt at the stunt.
Much to his dismay, Fry clipped the Mustang’s front bumper on the doorway, and it tore off. As a fan of muscle cars, Fry was upset at having caused damage to a Mustang in pristine condition. He told Metro, “Physically I was fine. Emotionally I was destroyed.”
In the end, it took five takes to nail the stunt. After the director yelled “Cut!” on the fifth take, Fry said the atmosphere on set was electric. He said, “They played it back, and it was so cool. For whatever reason on that shot, everything had kind of come together. It’s one of the coolest shots that I’ve been a part of.”
Then Metro asked Fry whether he believes it is more dangerous to be a stunt driver or a practical stunt performer. And he started his answer by acknowledging the hazards of practical stunt work, which can certainly lead to injuries. “I think people get more injured during fights, a lot of practical stunts, getting thrown down a hillside or getting tossed into a wall,” he said.
However, Fry does believe that the overall risk factor is higher for stunt drivers. He reasons that a mistake in a car can more than likely lead to extremely serious injury – or worse. Fry stated, “That being said, when the big gags happen, the chances of getting hurt, seriously hurt, are probably higher with what we’re doing.”
Fry illustrated his point by noting the difference between making a mistake during a fight scene and making a mistake while performing an automobile stunt. He said, “Just because having an actor accidentally hit you in the face, which has happened to me, I mean, it hurts. But when you are hitting a ramp and are [going] at 60 miles an hour, the chances of getting seriously hurt, probably a lot higher.”
Also, the various logistical issues that a car stunt can present to a movie production add to the level of difficulty. You see, it’s not simply a matter of trying things out on a whim. “In a car, [if] you want to do a rehearsal, you’ve got to have a location, you got to have everyone locking it up, locking up all the different entrances to our area,” Fry told Metro.
Fry continued, “We might have the cops that have to close traffic. We got the AD on the walkies making sure that everyone’s safe. And it’s a production that’s just for one rehearsal.” All things considered, with the organization and planning that a car stunt entails plus the extra risk factor, Fry has concluded that stunt driving is more nerve-racking than practical stunt work.
“Other [stunts] can be stressful,” said Fry. “But cars tend to present challenges and obstacles that other elements of stunt performing do not.” But he was quick to clarify that his intention was not to downplay the dangers of other stunt work. He noted, “But that being said, every facet of our industry of stunts has their own individual and unique challenges.”
So, given that Fry works in an industry where he faces potential harm every day, Metro asked the stuntman if he had ever been too frightened to perform a particular gag. And while he did admit to being fearful at times, he said he would never attempt a stunt that wasn’t 100 percent safe. “I will never get to a situation where I feel like I’m rolling the dice,” he told Metro.
The stuntman explained, “I might have the initial feeling like, ‘Oh man, this could be really bad.’ But then when you really think about it, and I really process and evaluate it, I go, ‘Okay, this gag has been done before many times. I have all the safeties in place. There’s plenty of people far smarter and more intelligent than I that have signed off on this.’”
Looking at his career as a whole, Fry was adamant he has never been in a situation where all the angles hadn’t been covered by the stunt crew. He believes he has never been involved in a stunt that could truly endanger his life or the life of an actor. He declared, “I would say that I never have, and I never would do anything where I felt like I was risking my life or anyone else’s.”
Amusingly, however, Fry did admit that there have been occasions where he wondered why he didn’t choose a different profession. This usually happened when waiting to perform a stunt, before his adrenaline kicked in. He laughed, “Over the course of my job, I’ve definitely been sitting in the car going, ‘Oh man, I can’t wait until this is over, why didn’t I become an accountant like my mum always suggested?’”
But how was it working with Reeves? Well, Fry didn’t disappoint in his assessment of the star – who has somewhat of a reputation in the industry. Yep, he revealed that Reeves is every bit as amazing as anyone could hope. “He is a giver, he is selfless, he works tirelessly,” confirmed Fry. “Every good thing you’ve ever heard about him is 110 percent true.”
Fry told Metro about the incredible generosity shown by Reeves during the filming of his movies. For example, on the set of John Wick: Chapter 2, Fry had bonded with the star over their shared interest in motorcycles. So when Reeves approached Fry with an offer, he knew it was something he had to take up.
“He goes, ‘Hey, how would you like to go to Laguna Seca?’ and when Keanu Reeves asks you if you wanna go pretty much anywhere, you say yes,” Fry told Metro. “Turns out he had rented Laguna Seca, which is a very well-known popular racetrack in California, and he rented it out for two days, private rental.”
So Fry traveled to the racetrack and was taken aback by how many VIPs were there. Strikingly, he said all expenses were paid for by Reeves. “There were about 80 of his friends and people he knew,” remarked Fry. “There were celebrities there, people from different industries there, a huge cross-section of people. He put us up in local hotels, he catered breakfast, lunch, dinners.”
All in all, the weekend was an extraordinary experience for Fry, who relished being able to introduce his brother to his colleague: world-famous movie star and all-round nice guy Keanu Reeves. Then they proceeded to race motorcycles all weekend long. Fry said, “That was a very special time for me for many different reasons.”
Yet Keanu Reeves is one of those rare Hollywood stars whose private life has largely remained something of an enigma. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that the internet went crazy when the Matrix star appeared to take a date to a Los Angeles gala. And when details of the mystery woman finally emerged, Reeves’ fans noticed something rather extraordinary about her.
Yes, social media erupted when photos emerged of Reeves happily posing on the red carpet with artist Alexandra Grant in November 2019. At the time, the pair were attending the Art + Film Gala at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which has showcased several of Grant’s collections. And it turns out that the couple’s relationship goes way back.
Reportedly, Reeves and Grant have been good friends since the late 2000s. Over the years, though, their once-platonic connection appears to have grown into something more romantic. But why exactly has the John Wick star’s partner got everyone’s tongues wagging?
Keanu Reeves has been famously secretive about his life away from the cameras ever since he began his film career in the mid-1980s. However, admirers of the actor may have heard that he once entered into a three-year relationship with one of his first big-screen co-stars. Apparently, Reeves began dating Jill Schoelen after they appeared together in Babes in Toyland.
Yet while Schoelen moved on to have a brief engagement with Brad Pitt following her split with Reeves, the actor himself appeared to have enjoyed the single life. That said, there were a few rumored romances. In 1992 Reeves supposedly began stepping out with Sofia Coppola, whose father, Francis, had directed Reeves film Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This relationship has never been confirmed, mind you.
In fact, Reeves even got ‘married’ while shooting the horror movie – although the wedding is unlikely to be officially recognized anywhere outside of the Romanian film set. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2018, co-star Winona Ryder recalled the moment when her and Reeves’ characters walked down the aisle – and she made the startling claim that the pair could be husband and wife for real.
Ryder explained, “In that scene, Francis used a real Romanian priest. We shot the master, and he did the whole thing. So I think we’re married.” Reeves, who was also being interviewed at the time, initially expressed his surprise at this recollection. After Ryder jogged his memory a bit further, though, the star jokingly relented, saying, “Oh my gosh, we’re married.”
Yet while Reeves’ most serious relationship to date appears to have been with actress Jennifer Syme, their time together unfortunately ended in tragedy. The pair first began dating in 1999, with Syme falling pregnant not long after. Sadly, though, Ava Archer Syme-Reeves arrived stillborn on Christmas Eve later that same year. This devastating loss understandably put a major strain on the pair’s relationship, and by early 2000 they’d agreed to split.
Still, Reeves and Syme continued to stay in touch over the following year. In fact, according to reports, the pair enjoyed brunch together in April 2001 – and just 24 hours before tragedy struck once again. Shockingly, less than 18 months after the death of her first-born, Syme also lost her own life in a terrible car accident.
Syme had been driving down Cahuenga Boulevard in Los Angeles on her own when she struck three cars parked at the side of the road. She was subsequently thrown outside her own vehicle as it repeatedly rolled over, and she reportedly died at the scene. Police later discovered prescription medicine in Syme’s car.
Under the shadow of this loss, an understandably distraught Reeves put his work commitments on hold to deal with his grief. The star had been set to film both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions back to back when the fatal accident occurred. And guitarist Bret Domrose – who has played with Reeves in grunge outfit Dogstar – would go on to claim that his bandmate needed “peace and time” before resuming his career.
Years later, Reeves discussed channeling this sense of grief while working on the original John Wick. In 2019 he told The Guardian, “For the character and in life, it’s about the love of the person you’re grieving for, and any time you can keep company with that fire, it is warm. I absolutely relate to that, and I don’t think you ever work through it. Grief and loss – those are things that don’t ever go away. They stay with you.”
Reeves was also later linked to Clare Forlani – his co-star in 1997 biographical drama The Last Time I Committed Suicide. In fact, the pair were rumored to have got engaged during an apparent three-year relationship in the mid-’00s. During a 2006 interview with the New York Daily News, however, Reeves claimed that he and Forlani had only ever been good friends.
Another celebrity to have become attached to Reeves romantically was actress and model China Chow in 2008. And, in fact, the Burn Notice star may have become accustomed to sharing the limelight with high-profile beaus. Reportedly, Chow has dated such A-listers as Mark Wahlberg, Jared Leto and Steve Coogan over the years.
More recently, though, Reeves’ love life has appeared to be relatively uneventful. And that’s precisely why so many fans were left shocked when he appeared on the red carpet in 2019 with a mystery date. But the woman in question didn’t remain an enigma for long. For one, it’s emerged that Alexandra Grant has been a part of Reeves’ life for a good ten years. So, who is the star’s new flame?
Originating from Ohio but now living in Los Angeles, Grant studied history and studio art at Swarthmore College. Then, after graduating in 1994, she began to make a name for herself on the American art scene. And Grant is particularly renowned for her paintings, sculptures and multimedia works that are inspired by the spoken word and dialogues with fellow creatives.
It’s worth noting, too, that Grant has also had experience in the film world. In 2015, for example, she took the director’s chair for the first time to shoot a 60-minute documentary entitled Taking Lena Home. Created as part of Grant’s time in residence at Omaha’s Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, the movie focused on the recovery of a tombstone that had been unlawfully taken from the state of Nebraska.
Grant has had a passion for languages from an early age, too, having spent a portion of her youth in France, Spain and Mexico. She’s also had her work shown at venues such as New York’s Harris Lieberman Gallery, Paris’ Galerie Gradiva and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. And, of course, it was during her gala appearance with Reeves at LACMA that Grant’s profile skyrocketed.
Grant has known Reeves for quite some time, however. In fact, as far back as 2011, the pair worked together on Ode to Happiness – a picture book aimed at an adult audience. Their collaboration proved to be so well-received, moreover, that the pair decided to join forces again in 2016 on second book Shadows.
And Reeves and Grant certainly appeared to enjoy each other’s company. They were pictured together for the Spanish edition of Vogue, for instance, and attended numerous book signings as a duo. In addition, Grant couldn’t stop gushing about the actor in interviews to promote Shadows – a book that combined her silhouette photography with his poetic words.
“No one can move the way he can,” Grant enthused in a 2016 chat with the Los Angeles Times. “He’s a really extreme performer. That’s a huge piece of why those images are so interesting. I knew that if I moved the camera as we danced together, as photographer and subject, we could create these wonderful optical illusions.”
Reeves was also present for this particular interview. And the Los Angeles Times journalist asking the questions certainly appeared to recognize that there was perhaps more than meets the eye to his relationship with Grant. In the piece, the reporter remarks, “In conversation, the two friends share an easy rapport and speak in a comfortable shorthand fueled by inside jokes and knowing smiles.”
Meanwhile, in another 2016 interview with W magazine, Grant discussed how she and Reeves inspire each other when collaborating. She said, “We can spend a lot of time debating. Like, ‘A raspberry hue? And should it be darker?’ We can get obsessive.” And in 2017 the pair founded X Artist Books – a publishing company focusing on “unusual collaborations” and work falling between genres that may struggle to find a home elsewhere.
However, Grant and Reeves’ professional relationship gradually appeared to evolve into a full-blown romantic one. In May 2019, for example, the pair were pictured on the red carpet at a Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) benefit show held at the Geffen Contemporary site in Los Angeles. And they seemingly couldn’t stop beaming as they posed for photos together.
Then, a month later, Grant and Reeves were pictured clutching hands at the Saint Laurent Men’s Spring/Summer 20 event at Malibu’s Paradise Cove. And in October that same year, the couple were spotted in a loving embrace as they left a Hollywood eaterie.
What’s more, an unnamed source confirmed to People magazine that the pair were no longer just friends. In November 2019 they said, “[Reeves and Grant] started dating earlier this year, but [they] have wanted to keep it quiet. Keanu wants to openly share his life with her. He is extremely happy and grateful to have Alex in his life.”
Yet Grant and Reeves’ surprising willingness to engage in some PDA went largely unnoticed until they stepped out at the LACMA Art + Film Gala in November 2019. And social media duly went into meltdown after pictures emerged of the pair once again holding hands on the red carpet. It wasn’t just the fact that the famously private Reeves was being openly affectionate that got tongues wagging, however.
You see, much of the talk on Twitter centered around the fact that, unlike many of his Hollywood peers, Reeves was dating someone who was considered age-appropriate. And while admittedly Grant is still nine years younger than the much-loved actor, a month previously 65-year-old Dennis Quaid had announced his engagement to Laura Savoie – a Ph.D. student 39 years his junior.
One particularly supportive fan tweeted, “It’s a miracle: Hollywood actor dates age-appropriately. An artist with a full head of grey hair to boot. Keanu, I could not love you more at this moment.” Another wrote, “Just when I didn’t think he could get more wholesome, Keanu dates within his age group despite his peers often dating young women. Fantastic man.”
By the same token, some were just genuinely pleased that one of Hollywood’s nicest guys had finally found someone to settle down with. One Twitter user posted, “I don’t know him, but am I really happy that Keanu Reeves has found someone to be happy with? Too right I am. Keanu is a blessing to us all and deserves all the happiness.”
In addition, Reeves was praised by another approving fan on the social media platform for dating a “smart, creative, independent woman.” However, not everyone was as enthusiastic about the actor’s red-carpet appearance with Grant. “Keanu Reeves’ girlfriend is a decade younger than him – not ‘the same age,’” one unimpressed Twitter user pointed out.
“People really need to stop freaking out about Keanu and Alexandra,” wrote another in agreement. “Dating someone in your age bracket isn’t courageous; it’s f**king normal. He’s proven time and time again he’s a regular guy. Let’s stop with this amazement about who he’s dating and wish them both well.”
Similarly, others bemoaned the fact that Grant’s age had come into the equation at all. One Twitter user wrote, “Is the most fascinating thing to talk about Alexandra Grant really her age? She’s a highly accomplished artist, a philanthropist and a babe. Can she please not be reduced to ‘Keanu’s age-appropriate girlfriend?’ She’s a spectacular woman in her own right; he’s lucky to be her man.”
However, at least these comments were still supportive, as other less positive Twitter users were equally quick to make derisive remarks about Grant’s appearance. “Men age like wine; women age like milk,” read one particularly cruel tweet. “Keanu deserves a kind girl in their 20s or 30s at the latest, not a great-grandma” was another.
And the negative comments continued. “What is this? He should be bagging hot, young, feminine women, not some old, tattooed feminist,” carped one poster. Many also remarked upon Grant’s resemblance to a significantly older Oscar-winning actress. “Saw the photos and legit thought Keanu was dating Helen Mirren,” read one such post.
Remarkably, Helen Mirren herself actually commented on the comparisons during a red carpet chat at the Big Apple premiere for her film The Good Liar. The 74-year-old actress admitted, too, that she was delighted to be mentioned in the same breath as Grant. She told Entertainment Tonight, “That was very flattering on me, you know, because [Grant’s] obviously lovely.”
Plus, Mirren had nothing but positive things to say about Reeves, who had starred in The Devil’s Advocate – the 1997 thriller directed by her husband Taylor Hackford. She continued, “I do know Keanu very well… he is just the most adorable, lovely person. So she’s a lucky girl, and I’m sure that he’s a lucky boy.”
This sentiment was echoed by Life & Style magazine, which reported that Grant has helped Reeves to come to terms with his tragic experiences. An anonymous source told the publication that the artist is “one of the few people who’s managed to get Keanu to open up about his emotions and past. Some say she’s not only stolen his heart, but she’s also saved him.”
An unnamed friend also told the same magazine, “[Reeves] was in such a dark place for so long, but Alexandra’s positive outlook and support have played a huge part in helping him turn his life around.” Another remarked that Reeves was attracted to Grant as “she is kind, warm and spiritual… and she is a great communicator.”
Finally, when fans aren’t keeping tabs on Reeves’ love life, they can also look forward to seeing the star appear in several films in 2020. Firstly, he will reprise his role as loveable doofus Ted in the long-awaited Bill & Ted Face the Music. He will then lend his voice to Sage in the animated feature The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.