It may not be the latest religious fad in L.A., but Buddhism has certainly continued to attract celebrity practitioners unsatisfied with their own religions. From Richard Gere to Orlando Bloom, Beastie Boy Adam Yauch to Kate Bosworth, the adoption of Buddhism into celebrity culture has helped bring the Eastern religion into the Western conscience.Keanu Reeves is one of 14 celebrity Buddhists assessed in Armstrong's article "Celebrities who are Buddhists... with an assessment of the degree Buddhism is a part of each of their careers." Keanu Reeves was ranked 6th highest on the list in terms of the proportion of web hits (google.com: 1.0%) and current news article hits (news.google.com: 0.4%) mentioning him which also contain either the word "Buddhism" or "Buddhist." From: Tom Armstrong, "Celebrities who are Buddhists... with an assessment of the degree Buddhism is a part of each of their careers", 8 March 2005 in Zen Unbound Emagazine (http://www.zenunbound.com/celebbuds.html; viewed 18 August 2005):
...Celebrities like Gere, Yauch, Steven Seagal and Keanu Reeves have made their religious beliefs public, but it is no longer just the stars who are interested in Buddhism; it is the Hollywood machine itself. In recent years, Tinseltown has come out with blockbuster Buddhist narratives, such as Kundun (1997), Seven Years in Tibet (1997) and Little Buddha (1993)[starring Keanu Reeves as the Buddha himself: Siddhartha].
Let us then look at the Tinseltown moths that flitter around the white light of Buddhism. From a googling of websites that come up on a search of "Buddhist, celebrities," we found lists enabling us to amass the thirteen prime Buddhist celebrities on the chart at right. Some are cited as Buddhist leaders: Richard Gere is often in the company of the Dalai Lama and has a foundation in his name to aid Tibet and other most worthy causes; Tina Turner, if you believe Tricycle writer Jeff Wilson, has helped to bring the dharma to the South; Keanu Reeves is now working with Gere on a project to make a film in India about the Buddha's life.
Keanu Reeves is increasingly becoming known for being Buddhist.