Thursday 21 November 2019

Caitlin McBride: 'Keanu Reeves' choice of an age appropriate partner is proof he's worthy of our enduring affection'

Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves attend the 2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci at LACMA on November 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Audi)
Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves attend the 2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci at LACMA on November 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Audi)
(L-R) Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves attend the 2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci at LACMA on November 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for LACMA)
(L-R) Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves attend the 2019 LACMA 2019 Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci at LACMA on November 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for LACMA)
(L-R) Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves attends the Saint Laurent Mens Spring Summer 20 Show on June 06, 2019 in Malibu, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

One of the benefits of a society which expresses outrage at the drop of a hat is that we are just as equally impressed when someone does something right.

This week, there was some unquestionably good news; something inspiring, reaffirming and also downright interesting. Keanu Reeves, legendary actor and all-around good guy, has a girlfriend - for the ‘FIRST TIME IN DECADES’, according to the Mail Online. And not only that, but she is an age appropriate woman so rarely seen in romantic partnerships with powerful men - especially in Hollywood.

Alexandra Grant is a 46-year-old artist he first met when they worked together on his 2011 book Ode to Happiness, and like all great relationships, it seems theirs first blossomed as a friendship. On Sunday night, he proudly held her hand on the red carpet at the LACMA Art + Film Gala, the Los Angeles art world’s version of the Met Gala and a big-deal event guaranteed to make a splash with the hordes of photographers.

We saw what likely attracted a kind, intelligent man to her: a woman so secure in herself and confident in her appearance that she doesn't indulge in botox and embraced her grey hair with gusto. It's hard to believe a hair colour could signify so much about someone’s personality, but it's an image so rarely seen that her undeniable natural beauty garnered headlines around the world.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

While it was this set of pictures that set the internet alight, further confirming our collective crush on one of the last good men left in Hollywood, they actually made their public debut in June at the Saint Laurent menswear show in Malibu.

One would suspect rather cynically that because Ms Grant’s hair wasn’t as visibly grey in the June images that they weren’t used as prominently.

(L-R) Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves attends the Saint Laurent Mens Spring Summer 20 Show on June 06, 2019 in Malibu, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
(L-R) Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves attends the Saint Laurent Mens Spring Summer 20 Show on June 06, 2019 in Malibu, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

“They started dating earlier this year, but 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,” a source told People magazine.

In Hollywood, time seems to function differently and in a month where Katherine McPhee (35) celebrated her husband David Foster’s 70th birthday and Dennis Quaid (65) announced his engagement to his 26-year-old girlfriend Laura Savoie, it was welcome news to see an age appropriate romance with one of the film industry's biggest stars.

Grant is also independently accomplished: she holds a Masters in Fine Art from the California College of the Arts, and her work regularly shows at Lowell Ryan Projects, a Los Angeles-based gallery and she’s an outspoken advocate for gender equality in the arts.

“I now know that the lack of opportunities I’ve experienced has little to do with my value and worth as an artist, but because of institutionalized and naturalized gender-based biases,” she told Voyage LA in July of last year. “I have been told ‘not to show up pregnant’ at exhibition openings by other professionals and that my ‘work has less (market) value’ because I’m a woman.”

For years, Keanu has maintained the sort-of ‘guaranteed good guy’ status, so rarely maintained over a career which has spanned as long as his. There are the stories of how he shares much of his estimated €110m fortune by donating to charities and taking pay cuts to share the earnings with lesser paid staff on set, or in order to secure other big names (like Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate and Gene Hackman in The Replacements).

In 2014, he waited for 20 minutes outside his own film’s wrap party because he didn’t want to cause a scene and he once reportedly drove a woman 50 miles after he saw her car broke down and there are myriad threads on Reddit about his seemingly endless list of good deeds.

Keanu's life has also been marred by tragedy. The 'Sad Keanu' meme went viral after he was pictured looking particularly forlorn on a park bench in New York in 2010. He's a man who outwardly has it all: beauty, wealth and success, but has been privately battling long-term grief for most of his life.

Part of the reason there is such interest in his love life is because Grant is the first girlfriend he has dated publicly since his relationship with the late Jennifer Syme in 1999, during which she gave birth to a stillborn child. The stress and grief of burying their eight-month-old daughter Ava caused their split weeks later.

(L-R) Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves attend the 2019 LACMA 2019 Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci at LACMA on November 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for LACMA)
(L-R) Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves attend the 2019 LACMA 2019 Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci at LACMA on November 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for LACMA)

In 2001, she died in a car crash.

His father left his family when he was three years old and they became fully estranged when he was 13. He was later convicted for selling heroin and attempted to re-connect with his son in the '90s, but Keanu never engaged.

And hee lost his best friend, the actor River Phoenix, in 1993 at the age of 23.

"Grief and loss, those are things that don’t ever go away. They stay with you....It’s always with you, but like an ebb and flow,” he told The Guardian earlier this year.

Everyone simply wants Keanu to be happy - and we’re positively beaming that he finally is - and with someone who surpassed our wildest dreams.

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in this section