Despite a filmography spanning nearly three decades, Keanu Reeves remains an enigma. He’s private about his personal life, sure, but that’s not what’s intriguing. (And no, it’s also not that the man does not age — seriously, he looks virtually the same in his late 40s as he did two decades ago.) The man may be a mystery, but one thing is clear: We just can’t get enough of Keanu Reeves. Here are the top ten reasons why…
10. He Puts a Fresh Spin on Action Heroism
He’s stopped bullets midair (The Matrix trilogy), infiltrated a gang of surfing bank robbers (Point Break), and made the perils of public transportation sexy (Speed). Next up, he’ll be a vengeance-seeking samurai in 47 Ronin. Neither Schwarzenegger nor Stallone have that kind of range.
9. He’s Master of the One-Word Catchphrase.
When does a simple little word become a catchphrase? When it’s uttered with such conviction, such irrefutable panache that a whole generation of slackers adopts it en masse. Reeves has provided not one but two such gems: “Dude” from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and “Whoa” from, well, any number of his movies (Speed, The Devil’s Advocate, The Matrix…).
8. He’s Animated
No, really. Animated may not exactly be
how you’d describe his stony-faced facade but
then he’s more than a 3-D person as anyone knows who’s seen the highly stylized animation of A Scanner Darkly or Kid’s Story, a digital short from the Animatrix series.
7. He’s an Influencer
couldn’t have been an Ashton Kutcher — tall, dark, handsome, seemingly
vapid but much smarter than he looks — without a
Keanu Reeves. You’re welcome, world.
6. He Rocks
Not just figuratively. Reeves actually rocks. He was the bassist
for the band Dogstar in the ’90s and the band Becky in the ’00s. Not to
mention his fictional band in Bill & Ted — Wyld Stallyns Rule!
5. He’s Virtually Sad
Occasionally, an Internet meme is just so good that it won’t die. To wit: Sad Keanu.
One random snapshot taken in May, 2010 of a contemplative Reeves eating a
lonesome lunch has inspired countless variations, from the poignant (“I
really enjoy acting … Because when I act, I’m no longer me”) to the
absurd (sharing a bench with Forrest Gump).
4. He Makes Surprising Choices
Given the success of high-profile hits like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Speed, and The Matrix,
one might expect him to make more of the same. But more often than not
he chooses brilliant movies with indie appeal like My Own Private Idaho, Thumbsucker, and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.
3. He’s Organically International
His name is Hawaiian for “cool mountain breeze.” He was born in Lebanon. He grew up in Canada. When shooting The Matrix trilogy in Australia, he made Sydney fall in love with him by shopping
at the grocery store, driving a motorcycle, and acting like a normal guy.
2. He’s into the Classics
Not only has he done Shakespeare (Much Ado About Nothing), period drama (Dangerous Liaisons), and Goth lit (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), he’s read all of Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. How many of you can claim the same?
1. He Repeatedly Saves the World
Think how often he’s come to the rescue: In Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, he wrote a song to save the world. In The Matrix, he was Neo, the prophesied salvation of the fledgling freedom fighters. In The Day the Earth Stood Still, he was Klaatu the alien who came to dissuade earthlings from self-imposed doom. In Constantine he was a demon exorciser… The list goes on. Whoa, indeed.