We probably don’t deserve Keanu Reeves. The man’s an unambiguous source of good in the world, brightening the lives of those around him and bringing joy to millions around the globe. Just look at the rapturous reception he received when he appeared on stage during Microsoft’s E3 press conference, causing a starstruck fan to yell “You’re breathtaking” up at him.
This recent career uptick has been dubbed the Keanuaissance and key events in it are the snowballing popularity of the John Wick franchise, his hilarious self-deprecating role in Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe and several high profile projects coming up, including his appearance in Pixar’s Toy Story 4.
It was at a press conference for the aforementioned movie that Reeves was asked what he made of all this, and his response was classically laconic:
“Well, I’m glad to be here. I’m glad to be having a revival. Thank you.”
For those who don’t know, Reeves is set to play Evel Knievel style stunt-motorcyclist toy Duke Caboom. Early notices have been glowing, with praise for the actor’s performance in particular as critics say he’s gone beyond what most people would expect for someone playing a small plastic toy, interrogating director Josh Cooley about what makes Duke Caboom tick while on set.
Speaking at the Toy Story 4 premiere, Cooley explained:
“He would ask these really deep character questions, and you couldn’t ignore them. What drives Duke Caboom? What is the toy afraid of?”
Cooley also admits that he didn’t know the answers to these at first, saying:
“He hadn’t said yes to the role yet, either, so it was kind of a test. It really did force us to dig deeper into this character that we thought was more of a gag. It became a well-rounded, real character because of that.”
The film hits theaters on June 21st and advance critical notices are calling it the “funniest entry yet.” After the pitch-perfect way Toy Story 3 ended, I’ve long been skeptical that a fourth entry in the franchise is really necessary. But, at least going by what people who’ve seen the movie are saying, it seems that Pixar has done it again. And it features Keanu Reeves, which can only be a good thing.