Keanu Reeves, a man who seems to embody the personification of zen if it were a walking, talking entity, was born September 2nd, 1964. Although he has brought a diverse array of characters to life throughout his 30+ year film career, he’s often thought of as having a somewhat typecast personality, a surfer dude-bro who enjoys chill vibes and sparking up a fat J. In reality, the Lebanon-born, Hawaii-raised Reeves is a humble man known for his incredible generosity, intelligence, and musical talents as well as his on-screen roles.
While there are numerous unconfirmed reports of Reeves’ enjoyment of cannabis in real life, he has been quoted as saying he doesn’t “really think of marijuana as a scourge on society,” which is good enough for me. So in honor of one of the most beloved working actors who’s brought us some of the most enjoyable, cerebral, action-packed, and just plain funny movies, we look back on Reeves’ expansive film career and determine whether some of his most iconic characters were, in fact, stoned.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
Character: Ted “Theodore” Logan, a high school slacker who needs to get a good grade on his history oral final to cement the future’s utopian society status
IMDb Synopsis: “Two seemingly dumb teens struggle to prepare a historical presentation with the help of a time machine.”
Standout Quote: “I believe our adventure through time has taken a most serious turn.”
Was He Stoned? Must you even ask? You know Bill and Ted would have been BFFs with another iconic cinematic stoner, Jeff Spicoli, bonding over their inability to pass History and their mutual love of garage band-quality music. It’s not a stretch to assume this excellent adventure was made even more excellent with some top-shelf buds.
(Also, for the sake of moving this along, I’m going to go ahead and assume that Ted was equally stoned throughout some or all of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.)
Point Break (1991)
Character: Johnny friggin’ Utah, college football quarterback-turned FBI agent turned secret love of Bodhi’s life (behind the “50-Year Storm” wave, of course)
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IMDb Synopsis: “An FBI agent goes undercover to catch a gang of surfers who may be bank robbers.” (And it. Is. Awesome.)
Standout Quote: “You’re sayin’ the FBI’s gonna pay me to learn to surf?”
Was He Stoned? Probably at times, but only because he had to or else he’d blow his cover. This movie represents a turning point for Reeves’ acting career — his character, Johnny Utah, is an FBI agent who has to pretend to be a SoCal surfer bro in order to infiltrate a group of extreme sports-loving bank robbers. That’s some layers right there. I could easily see Bodhi offering Utah a fat joint during one of their beach bonfires, and what’s Utah going to do, say, “No, I can’t because the FBI drug tests all its employees?” Even if he weren’t secretly working for the FBI, he knows better than to turn down a joint from Bodhi. Hell, the D.A.R.E. program is powerless to Bodhi’s steely blue gaze and his flowing golden locks.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Character: Jonathan Harker, a solicitor who takes on Count Dracula as his client. (Seriously.)
IMDb Synopsis: “The vampire comes to England to seduce a visitor’s fiancée and inflict havoc in the foreign land.”
Standout Quote: “The Count, the way he looked at Mina’s picture fills me with dread. As if I have a part to play in a story that is not known to me.”
Was He Stoned? You probably heard Reeves’ dicey accent in this movie and thought, “Totally,” but I’m going to say it’s unlikely that his late 19th century aristocratic lawyer character had time to get high between bouts of getting hypnotized, fed upon, and hunting Dracula with Van Helsing.
Character: Jack Traven, a Los Angeles SWAT officer who is fond of both pop quizzes and being called “Hotshot”
IMDb Synopsis: “A young cop must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.”
Standout Quote: “I’m a cop! LAPD! There’s a bomb on your bus! There is a bomb on your bus!”
Was He Stoned? When would his character have had any time to get stoned during this movie? “Non-stop thrill ride” means “non-stop,” not “Let me put this bus into cruise control while I light up a J real quick.” (Not “cruise control” as in Speed 2: Cruise Control, because we all know that movie is a sack of hot garbage.)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Character: Johnny Mnemonic, a “mnemonic courier” with the same storage capabilities as a low-tier iPhone
IMDb Synopsis: “A data courier, literally carrying a data package inside his head, must deliver it before he dies from the burden or is killed by the Yakuza.”
Standout Quote: “What the fuck is going on? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?” (The audience agrees.)
Was He Stoned? Not likely. In this amusingly dated technological dystopia, our protagonist is a data courier with the capacity to store a whopping 80 gigabytes of data in his brain. He upgrades to 160 GB, which still isn’t enough to carry a shipment that’s an insane-at-the-time size of 320 GB. As a result, Mnemonic dumps some of his personal memories to make some room, which is why I’m guessing he wouldn’t be eager to cloud up the memories he did hold onto with some futuristic strains. Gang chases, hokey virtual reality scenes, and Dolph Lundgren ensue as Reeves’ character struggles to make his character seem cool in a movie that also features Ice-T and Henry Rollins. (He fails.)
The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
Character: Kevin Lomax, folksy Florida attorney who is no match for an unhinged Al Pacino who chews so much scenery, chunks of it are sprayed onto Reeves’ face whenever Pacino screams lines at him
IMDb Synopsis: “An exceptionally adept Florida lawyer is offered a job to work in New York City for a high-end law firm with a high-end boss – the biggest opportunity of his career to date.”
Standout Quote: “Lose? I don’t lose! I win! I win! I’m a lawyer! That’s my job, that’s what I do!”
Was He Stoned? No, although he was severely under the influence of an awesomely hammy Pacino’s machinations. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if, after Lomax learns his mentor is actually Satan and wants him to have sex with the sister he just met so they can birth the Antichrist, he procures an anti-anxiety strain to unwind a bit while he processes what the eff is going on.
The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions (1999, 2003)
Character: Thomas Anderson, aka Neo, a computer hacker who finds out he’s “The One” and can download martial arts moves, dodge/stop bullets, and avoid filling out CAPTCHAs
IMDb Synopsis: “A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.”
Standout Quote: “I know kung fu.”
Was He Stoned: On the contrary, the whole point of this trilogy is that Neo “wakes up” from the simulated world in which he and everyone else lived and battles intelligent machines to save mankind’s actual existence, which looks a lot like a grungy rave in an abandoned manufacturing plant. Red Pill Neo is probably the least stoned character in Reeves’ repertoire, which is ironic considering The Matrix is a fantastic movie to watch while stoned. (The sequels not so much.)
John Wick (2014)
Character: John Wick, a retired hitman of few words who loves dogs and revenge
IMDb Synopsis: “An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.”
Standout Quote: “People keep asking if I’m back and I haven’t really had an answer. But now, yeah, I’m thinkin’ I’m back. So you can either hand over your son or you can die screaming alongside him!”
Was He Stoned? Not during the movie, although I’d wager that as soon as Wick concluded his Terms of Enrampagement, he picked up some potent bud for its pain-relieving qualities considering he was in pretty rough shape by the end of the movie. The upside is that cannabis is fully legal for John Wick, because even the feds know better than to mess with this bad-ass.
Character: The voice of Keanu, a kitten who gets stolen by gangsters
IMDb Synopsis: “Friends hatch a plot to retrieve a stolen kitten by posing as drug dealers for a street gang.”
Standout Quote: “Hello, Clarence. It’s me, Keanu. Me-ow!”
Was He Stoned? I doubt the kitten was stoned, but Keanu Reeves recorded his lines for his fur ball character via Skype, so if he wasn’t high during the call, he can definitely enjoy his favorite strain while watching the finished version of the film.