Keanu Reeves has been working solidly in the industry for over 35 years, but the actor has arguably never been as popular as he is right now. As the world around us becomes more cynical by the day, his wholesome nature and well-earned reputation as one of the kindest souls in Hollywood has seen him elevated into the sort of rarefied air occupied by Tom Hanks as a major A-list star that nobody ever seems to say a bad word about.
Of course, it helps that his career has enjoyed a mini-resurgence of sorts over the last few years, thanks largely to the success of the acclaimed John Wick series, not to mention an enthusiastic voice performance in Toy Story 4, a scene-stealing cameo as a fictionalized version of himself in Netflix comedy Always Be My Maybe and long-awaited threequel Bill & Ted Face the Music.
The stories of Keanu Reeves doing Keanu Reeves things are legion, whether it be gifting brand new motorcycles to the stunt team on The Matrix sequels as a thank you for their hard work or helping out future Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer a quarter of a century ago when she was still a jobbing actress struggling to make it to an audition on time, and in a recent interview, the 56 year-old reflected on his status, saying:
“I don’t think of myself as a role model or anything like that. If people have had any impact from however they interact with me, in terms of entertainment or in real life or on social media, I just hope it’s been positive.”
It isn’t surprising that he would play down his reputation, but there’s even science to back up why people love the guy so much. Some actors spend years carefully cultivating their image, but all Keanu Reeves had to do was remain in the public eye and just be himself to become one of the most beloved stars on the planet.