Seriously! Read on, and I’ll make a believer out of you! I was first alerted to this by seeing a bio of romance author Liz Matis and her answer to the question “Who would you prefer to go on a date with, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, or someone else?” Her answer? “Hands down, no competition – Keanu Reeves. You might be surprised to know that he loves to read. I picture us meeting in the poetry aisle at a Barnes and Noble, he buys me a hot chocolate and we talk about books.”
I stored that nugget away until I could profile him and was so glad I did. I find this interesting article in Details magazine, in which this is an excerpt:
“He is the opposite of dumb,” says Scott Derrickson, who directed him in December’s The Day the Earth Stood Still. “That is a word that has no applicationto him. This is not just a director trying to defend his actor and say, ‘No, really, he’s not dumb.’ He’s fiercely intelligent.”… So could it be? Is Keanu Reeves some kind of . . . stealth genius? “I’ve swapped a lot of books with him in the last nine months. He is one of the most voracious readers I’ve ever met,” Derrickson says. “He’s very unpretentious about it. Nobody really knows, and he doesn’t really care that nobody knows.”
No. It becomes clear after 30 seconds of watching Keanu pinball around the aisles of Book Soup that he approaches the printed word as both a glutton and a gourmand: He inhales a lot, and he’s game to order off-menu. He tells me he just finished all of the novels in John Updike’s Rabbit series. “So fantastic,” he says with a reverent hush. I mention another work about suburban crisis, Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road, and he rears back and slides the helmet onto his head so that he can free up his left hand. “Oh, YES!!!” he shouts. “Let’s high-five on Revolutionary Road!” We slap palms. This prompts a rumination from Keanu on the primary characters in that book, Frank and April Wheeler, and “the identities that they’re wearing—you know, their authentic self and then their external self and that dialogue that’s going on.”
As we pass Proust, Keanu reveals that he devoured every page of the meticulous colossus that is Remembrance of Things Past. “It took a couple of years, but I did it,” he says. The grin has straightened itself; it’s ear-to-ear now. “I didn’t do the Moncrief, I did the newer translation. Some books would come in between. But I found that it was a thread—like time—that you could walk away and come back to. I didn’t feel like I had lost the momentum of the story at all. It was like meeting a good friend or someone that you like, and you’re like, ‘Hey, dude! How’s it goin’?’”
It’s worth reading the article in its entirety. In it, they visit Book Soup, the bookstore in Los Angeles, which he’s been visiting for 20 years and knows the sales clerk by name. He rattles off books he likes: “James Salter’s A Sport and a Pastime? Yes, he’s read that. David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas? That too, yes. The Butcher, an erotic novel by Alina Reyes? Absolutely. He’s never put off by a dash of kink—in fact, he’d be happy to recommend a volume in that vein. “You’ve read Bataille, right?”" And off they go to search for that. The store didn’t have it, but Reeves recommends The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq, which he said made his head explode when he read it. Later in the article, they are on a long drive and Reeves recites from three different Shakespeare sonnets.
Some industrious denizen of Goodreads has helpfully gathered the books he likes. He also penned a satirical self-help book called “Ode to Happiness.“
Here is a picture of him with a Chapter book from Frank151
So that’s this month’s Hunk Who Reads. If you like these articles, please comment. They’re fun to write, but are time-consuming – on that note, if you run across any photos of hunks reading, please let me know. If you know of an intellectual hunk you’d like to see profiled, let me know that too.Reading is sexy people!
For further opportunities to idolize men and books:
The 2012 Men of the Stacks calendar. It’s a calendar of sexy male librarians!
The American Library Association – Celebrity READ posters.
Do you have any photos of male celebrities reading?
Come back on the first Mondays of each month to see the next Hunk Who Reads…
Past Hunks Who Read/Related Articles:
- Monday Hunk Who Reads – Dan Stevens*
- Monday Hunk Who Reads – Nathan Fillion
- Monday Hunk Who Reads – Marlon Brando
- Monday Hunk Who Reads – George Clooney
- Monday Hunk Who Reads – Billy Crudup
- Monday Hunk Who Reads – Colin Firth
*previous Ovaries Exploding Award winner