Saturday, October 24, 2015

My Mum Was a Keanu Reeves Superfan

[ed. Me too. I'll watch anything with Keanu in it.]

For as long as I can remember, my mom has been a Keanu Reeves super fan. She’s had a non-stop obsession with the actor and musician since 1994, and it’s one she’s been unable to shake. “It has nothing to do with the fame,” she told me. “I like him because he is a beautiful person who has endured the same struggles and challenges in life as me. But, if I was to say it has nothing to do with his looks, I would be lying.”

Meredith Nirui, my mom, moved to Japan in 1989 to escape the Islamic leadership transition in Iran, and became more aware of western culture after witnessing the legions of Hollywood-obsessed Japanese girls in Kobe. After my father forced her to watch the movie Speed, starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, my mom took an immediate interest in the Canadian actor. “I remember absolutely hating action movies and I was really mad your dad forced me to watch this film with tons of explosions and violence,” she said, “but the moment I started watching Speed, I was so mesmerized by Keanu. I loved absolutely everything about him, and he had such a great energy. I can't quite explain it.”

From this moment on, she religiously kept tabs on the actor in the media, while forming an impressive VHS collection of Keanu's films — Point Break, Feeling Minnesota, My Own Private Idaho—you name it. “I joined a Keanu fan club online and would visit the forums every night and stay on for hours. I would put you and your brother to bed and rush to the computer,” she said. “From the web, I learned he was the bass player in the post-grunge band Dogstar. They became my new favourite band.”

By 1996, my mom had built a detailed Keanu shrine on the interior of our linen closet, featuring a bunch of posters and cut-outs from TV Weekly and other tabloid mags, along with a life-size framed Keanu poster stapled to our living room wall. When she discovered through a forum that Dogstar was touring in the U.S, she saw this as an opportunity not only to see him in the flesh, but to potentially profess her love for him face-to-face. “A completely random girl asked me if I wanted to meet her in Chicago and drive around to all the shows. I was really scared of meeting a stranger off the Internet, but I had Keanu in mind and would do whatever it took to get to him.” She met with the stranger in Chicago, and they drove for days over the span of two weeks to see Keanu play each and every show.

by Ava Nirui, Dazed | Read more:
Image: Meredith Nirui