1993, River Phoenix died of an accidental drug overdose — another painful thing Reeves didn’t want to talk about, but he did speak affectionately of his friend and My Own Private Idaho co-star.
“I enjoyed his company. Very,” Reeves told Rolling Stone in 2000. “And enjoyed his mind and his spirit and his soul . Into something.”
As for Phoenix’s death, “It’s something he thinks about all the time, something he never really talks about,” a friend of Reeves’ told People. “Friends know they shouldn’t go there with him.”
(Reeves later told The Guardian that it wasn’t age that made him think more about the people he’d lost throughout his life. “It’s always with you, but like an ebb and flow,” he said Asked if he was thinking of anyone in particular, he replied, “Many people.”)
In 1994, his estranged father, Samuel, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for drug possession in Hawaii, but was released two years later. “Jesus, man. No, the story with me and my father is quite difficult. She’s full of pain and hurt and fucking loss and all that shit,” he told RS around the time. In 1995, when asked why he didn’t want to know more about his father’s case, he told Vanity Fair, “Why would I want to find out what I didn’t know?” He called the situation “pretty incredible,” and it was already.