Paula Abdul Once Caught Keanu Reeves Going Full Bill And Ted And Playing Air Guitar In His Underwear

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure 1989 featuring Keanu Reeves as Ted.
(Image credit: Orion Pictures)

These days, Keanu Reeves may be more known for gigs like the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4, but he’s also had a recent resurgence of roles that defined him early in his career. Among these are his role as Neo in The Matrix and his iconic role as Ted in the Bill and Ted films. Anytime I think about Ted or his merry compatriot Bill I think about them engaging in a round of air guitar, which is something Reeves also does in his personal life. Or at least so says Paula Abdul. 

On an episode of Watch What Happens Live!, a fan of Andy Cohen’s series notably asked Paula Abdul whether she and Reeves ever dated. The two starred together in the music video for her song “Rush Rush,” which came out in the early nineties, after both Abdul and Keanu Reeves had become famous--in his case for Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and in her case for the hit single "Straight Up."

When Abdul went to introduce herself to the actor, he certainly pulled a full Bill and Ted on her, though when asked if they had dated, she had to admit the answer was no. But she did get a good story out of their time together, as she noted:

I wish! I mean, I got to see him by accident… it was like the funniest thing. I wanted to introduce myself to him; I hadn’t met him yet. And I went up to his trailer, and the door was slightly open. He had headphones on, and he was air guitaring in his underwear. And I said, ‘That’s my boyfriend.’

Keanu Reeves has now been dubbed “The Internet’s Boyfriend,” but back in 1991 he was starring as Paula Abdul’s fake love interest in the aforementioned “Rush, Rush” video and trying not to be convinced to change his name to Chuck Spadina. The music video itself reimagines Abdul and Reeves as the leads from James Dean’s famous movie Rebel Without a Cause. At one point, the actor even recreates the frequently gif’d scene with James Dean holding milk up to his face.

Keanu Reeves in Paula Abdul music video and James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause milk scene.

(Image credit: UMG, Warner Bros)

While they were filming a new take on the notable story, in real life Paula Abdul was one of a slew of women who enjoyed working with the actor but never dated him. In fact, this question has come up before with other co-stars, including Speed actress Sandra Bullock, who has also spoken on the topic of why she didn’t date Keanu Reeves

Meanwhile, this Paula Abdul comment is coming years after the “Rush Rush” video came out in 1991–the same year the actor and his pal Alex Winter reprised their roles as Ted and Bill respectively in the sequel Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. So, it actually makes total sense that Keanu Reeves would be in a phase where he might be hanging out and practicing his air guitar. He's probably been doing the same more recently as well. 

The air guitar has definitely continued in Keanu Reeves’ life in more recent years thanks to the greenlight and subsequent release of Bill and Ted Face The Music, the latest sequel in the franchise, which also just so happens to have broken the record for largest group of air guitar players in history. That may be a memorable moment for the sequel, but I do "straight up" think Paula Abdul has it beat with her own air guitar memory. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.