It has been a good year for Keanu Reeves as far as movies and popular appeal go—definitely a high time in the Beirut-born, Canadian actor’s soaring career. Today, Reeves turns 55, adding to the list of reasons to celebrate the actor we adore in 2019.
Born on Sept. 2, 1964, the actor who first caught our eye as Theodor “Ted” Logan in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” way back in 1987, has had a resurgence lately, a “Reeve-vival,” if you will.
People on Twitter have even hilariously dubbed 2019 the “Keanussance.”
Wooah… In honor of the 30th anniversary of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure this Sunday, we're challenging you to…
What led to this priceless declaration? Let’s take a trip down memory lane in his honor and spell it out.
In 1990, Reeves followed up his role as Ted in the sequel “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey,” after which he starred in “Point Break.” But Reeves’s career really took off with his role as LA police officer Jack Traven in the riveting 1994 action thriller “Speed.”
“There’s a bomb on a bus …” We all recall the awesomeness of that line.
Of course, we can’t brush over Reeves’s iconic role as Neo in the 1999 cyberpunk classic “The Matrix,” which certainly helped solidify his popularity, while defining a new genre of action-CGI.
POP QUIZ, HOTSHOT: What city was bus 2525 in when Jack first got the call about the bomb?
Watch Neo fulfill the prophecy from beginning to end. Own The Matrix Trilogy on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray™ and Digital today!http://bit.ly/2MOMaxF
Honestly, though, if there ever was a lull in Reeves’s career following “The Matrix,” it was the rise of social media that sparked a renewed interest in the actor for his role as … himself.
Viral videos and photos showed a down-to-earth Keanu who rides the New York subway like everyone else and gives up his seat for ladies toting heavy bags—someone who is untainted by ego, success, and superstardom. And the world began to see that the heart behind the famous movie star was a good one.
Then, a sad-looking photo of the actor eating a sandwich alone in a New York park surfaced on the internet and went viral. We learned of Keanu’s hard times: how he lost his friend, fellow actor River Phoenix, to a drug overdose; his miscarried daughter, and the death of his then-girlfriend Jennifer Syme. All of which garnered him the epithet “Sad Keanu,” which he later debunked.
“I’m normal. We all go through phases of happy and sad,” he told France 24 in an interview.
What’s not “normal,” though, is giving away Harley Davidson motorcycles and millions of dollars out of his earnings to members of the special effects crew, as Reeves reportedly did for those whom he worked with on the set of “The Matrix.” He has also quietly donated millions to a non-profit organization dedicated to helping sick children.
All of that was viral fodder for launching a resurgence in his popularity … as well as a push by his fans to make him Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Literally tens of thousands of netizens recently signed a petition “Make Keanu Reeves 2019 Times Person of the Year.”
Now, with the third installment of “John Wick” and Keanu having a role in “Toy Story 4,” 2019 has been a highlight in the 55-year-old’s acting career. Looking ahead, the veteran actor will arrive full circle with the revival of Ted Logan for third sequel “Bill and Ted Face the Music,” tailing nearly three decades after the last.
And fans couldn’t be more thrilled about Reeves’s “Reeve-vival.”
They took to Twitter to coin a new epoch.
“So lucky to be alive during the Keanussance,” wrote Kath Barbadoro.
So lucky to be alive during the keanussance
— Kath Barbadoro (@kathbarbadoro) June 9, 2019
J. E-D wrote, “This year is to Keanu Reeves as 2013-2014 was to Matthew McConaughey.
“We’re out of the McConaissance and we’ve now entered… the Keanussance.”
As far as Twitter goes, the 55-year-old actor remains both humble and quiet-spoken. “I don’t know. I’m a pretty private person. But I don’t have anything to tweet, or say, or anything,” he told Esquire in an interview.
Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan.