Keanu Reeves has been a part of Hollywood for over thirty years, but it seems like these days the 54-year-old actor is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Having starred in everything from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Point Break, to The Matrix trilogy and the John Wick franchise, Keanu Reeves has always been a blockbuster star, but his minimalist acting style hasn’t always rubbed critics the right way.
Luckily, the fans have never lost faith in Keanu, and when he showed up at the 2019 E3 convention to shepherd in Cyberpunk 2077 (in which he stars), they showed him the appropriate love that he deserves. Known for his humble attitude and charitable nature, Keanu was gracious with the screaming crowds, even going so far as to call them “breathtaking” after one man screamed the compliment his way. From that momentous event, the internet exploded with wholesome memes all in praise of Keanu, who has always proven to be a bright light in a world that can sometimes be full of darkness. Here are 10 feel good Keanu memes that came from E3 2019!
10 THE MANY FACES OF KEANU
Though he’s been in dozens of films across multiple genres at this point, Keanu is still heavily associated with action-packed blockbusters. To date, his two most famous roles have been in The Matrix trilogy as Neo, a former hacker turned cyberpunk savior, and in the John Wick franchise as John Wick, a hitman who comes out of retirement to take on the association of assassins he once belonged to.
Keanu has built the film persona of a man with whom you do not mess, which is at odds with his laid-back personality in public. It’s this duality that endears the public to him; he seems like both a tough guy and the sweetest guy in the world, as evidenced by all the love he gave at E3 this year.
9 JOHN WICK IN CYBERPUNK 2077
The John Wick films begin with a very simple premise; a hitman leaves a life of contract killing behind for a fresh start with his new wife. She tragically dies of an illness but leaves him a special gift with her parting; an adorable beagle puppy. Thugs break into his home and kill said puppy. Former hitman snaps and begins a quest for revenge against the men who deprived him of his one chance at happiness.
Now, imagine if the tough hombre revealed at the end of the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer saw some thugs attack a poor defenseless robo puppy? Basically, what if John Wick had cybernetic implants and laser vision? It’s nice to know even cyborg Keanu cares about puppies in the future.
8 WHEN YOU REALIZE KEANU IS THE PUREST OF US ALL
Over the years, Keanu has garnered a reputation for being a genuinely “nice guy”. Not only is he kind and courteous to fans, but he extends that same level of respect to his peers. When he starred in The Matrix films, he was reported to have bought the entire stunt crew motorcycles for their tremendous work bringing the action scenes to life.
Despite being a huge movie star and wealthy enough to drop money like that, he remains a humble and compassionate person. So humble, in fact, that he’s taken no credit for secretly funding children’s hospitals and cancer research for years. He also regularly mans the phones at telethons to raise money for cancer research, to the delight of anyone who calls in!
7 YOU'RE ALL BREATHTAKING!
One of the standout moments at E3, besides witnessing Keanu Reeves materializing on stage in a billowing cloud of smoke, was hearing his exchange with a young audience member, Youtuber Peter Sark. When he came onto the stage to promote his appearance in the game Cyberpunk 2077, Peter shouted, “You’re breathtaking!” to which Keanu promptly pointed to him and responded, “You’re breathtaking!”
But he didn’t stop there - he then swept wide his arms and declared the entire audience was in fact breathtaking. In true Keanu fashion, he didn’t make the moment about himself, but made it about everyone gathered together to celebrate the release of their favorite games.
6 THE MANY MEMES OF KEANU
At this point, Keanu Reeves has become a meme institution. There’s been Sad Keanu, the basis of which involves him sitting forlornly on a bench, eating a sandwich all alone. There’s been the face of Theodore Logan from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, questioning some established fact on the internet. Then there was running Keanu after he gleefully stole a camera from a paparazzi.
This meme has been artfully combined with anything that gives you a thrill in life, because everyone wants to look as happy as Keanu does practically skipping down the street lugging a heavy piece of equipment. Incorporating the thrill of Keanu calling you breathtaking at E3 2019 seems like its natural progression.
5 KEANU JUST EXISTING
These days, Keanu breathes and well, the internet sighs collectively. He’s humble, friendly, gives to charity, and hasn’t had any scandals in his life. Keanu, like some sort of ancient guardian, seems to have been quietly following the philosophy of his famous character Theodore Logan and helping the world’s population “be excellent to each other” for decades now.
We all could have worse role models to look up to, especially in Hollywood, and the look that Winona Ryder gave him during their press junket for the romantic comedy Destination Wedding (their third film together) seems to capture how we’d all feel if we were sitting next to such a righteous dude.
4 THE WHOLESOME MAN OF BREATHTAKING
Since so many of us spend so much of our free time mindlessly scrolling through our social media feed, it can seem like the only updates we see have to do with negativity from our friends and family, disasters in the news, and civil unrest. The only salve it seems is the occasional funny meme or cute puppy picture.
Then there’s those memes that only exist to remind you how great you are. Memes involving Keanu at this point are the epitome of that template, like this one involving the Wholesome Man of Breathtaking. How would you not feel better if Keanu came scrolling by, giving you a little jolt of self-love?
3 WHOLESOME x3
Though Keanu is as wholesome a dude as they come, there are two other people that might challenge him for that title; Bruce Banner/Hulk and Scott Lang/Ant-Man. While the other Avengers have good intentions and pure hearts, these two often come across more genuine simply because they represent the misfits in the motley crew of superheroes.
Sitting on a bench outside Avengers Headquarters, Scott Lang did his best Sad Keanu impression after his taco gets destroyed from an arriving helicopters’ landing. Hulk saves the day with a brand new taco, which is pretty much the physical embodiment of getting a “You’re breathtaking!” from Keanu.
2 KEANU LEAVES
Like Mufasa appearing to Simba in a cluster of clouds, Keanu Leaves appears to you in a pile of leaves. He imparts to you his words of wisdom, reminds you that you’re breathtaking, and then just as suddenly as he appeared, he’s carried away on a strong autumn wind, in search of another who needs to hear his pep talk.
You go to your therapist, endeavoring to sort through what you’ve just experienced. You try to describe the transcendence of it, but can’t find the words. You just know that Keanu memes can’t leave us, because the world will always be dark and disappointing, and you will always need Keanu Leaves.
1 KEANU THINKS YOU'RE A LEGEND
There’s a lot that gives Keanu legendary status. He’s practiced martial arts for two decades, highly accomplished in karate, ju-jitsu, and kung-fu. It’s his personal commitment to training since filming The Matrix that makes him so believable to watch in the John Wick franchise.
Since filming those movies, he’s become an accomplished marksman, doing speed trials even in his off time. On top of the martial arts and the gun-fu, he rides and designs motorcycles, traveling all over the world to attend rallies, races, and shows. Then there’s his graciousness with fans and peers, as well as his copious donations to charity. All of that combined makes him a legend in our book.