Keanu Reeves is one of those guys that pretty much everyone loves. He does great action movies like John Wick and The Matrix, he can do warm comedy in things like Bill & Ted, he generally does not take himself too seriously, and he does not appear to have aged in the last 20 years. It’s hard to dislike a dude like that.
Or maybe not…
In the last day or two, excerpts from Friends star Matthew Perry’s upcoming memoir have gotten a lot of attention, specifically for multiple (not just one!) digs at Keanu Reeves’ expense. Perry’s book is largely about his own career, and his battles with substance abuse and addiction. And in talking about drugs, he occasionally references others who were not as lucky as he has been, and succumbed to their addictions. Of River Phoenix, for example, Perry reportedly writes “River was a beautiful man, inside and out — too beautiful for this world, it turned out. It always seems to be the really talented guys who go down. Why is it that the original thinkers like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger die, but Keanu Reeves still walks among us?”
In another excerpt, Perry wrote of the late Chris Farley that “his disease had progressed faster than mine had. (Plus, I had a healthy fear of the word ‘heroin,’ a fear we did not share) … I punched a hole through Jennifer Aniston’s dressing room wall when I found out. Keanu Reeves walks among us.”
The reaction to these jokes at Reeves’ expense have gotten big enough that People reached out to Perry who has already apologized for the remarks — more than a week before his book is officially released. Perry’s statement read: “I’m actually a big fan of Keanu. I just chose a random name, my mistake. I apologize. I should have used my own name instead.”
It’s sort of a strange name to pick Keanu Reeves at “random,” and for their not to be some ulterior motive behind it, but let’s take Perry at his word. His new memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, will go on sale on November 1. (If Keanu Reeves wants to write a memoir, I would totally read that without or without any random shots at other actors.)