The modern revival of the career of Keanu Reeves, otherwise known as the ‘Keanaissance’, can be solely attributed to his appearance as the titular John Wick in 2014. Having already built something of a cult personality earlier in his career thanks to roles in Speed, Point Break and The Matrix, John Wick allowed Reeves to once again re-enter the mainstream, playing a hitman who is seeking revenge for his murdered dog.
These days, Keanu Reeves is acknowledged and beloved as one of the most popular contemporary movie stars, with his famously kind persona acting as the perfect context for an actor who often plays a brutal action hero. Stretching his influence outside of the boundaries of cinema itself, Reeves also appeared as the flagbearer of the influential video game Cyberpunk 2077.
Though the actor certainly exists within the bubble of the Hollywood elite, he seems to operate on the very fringes of its influence, helping him to become one of the most cherished stars working today. Growing and learning as a performer film-after-film, the state of the current actor is something of a synthesis of his past roles, embodying a sincere action star with a bohemian, eccentric attitude.
Thanks to his newfound fame, Reeves found himself the subject of his very own AMA on Reddit in 2014 where he answered questions from fans around the world, with many asking the actor about his favourite films. Referencing some of the finest filmmakers of all time, Reeves makes particular note of Stanley Kubrick, noting his controversial 1971 film A Clockwork Orange as his favourite of the director’s.
Kubrick has long been the focus of much fascination for Reeves too, with the actor telling The Guardian in 2011, “I would’ve been his wet dream!” making reference to the filmmaker’s gruelling set demands and long days of retakes. “After take 400, Kubrick would’ve been, [adopts grizzled Brooklyn accent] ‘All right, cut!’ and I’d be, like, ‘Stanley, can I do one more?’” the actor jokes, shedding light on his own meticulous acting style that he says “would’ve broken Kubrick”.
Whilst The Matrix: Resurrections failed to make the box-office splash that Warner Bros had hoped for, Keanu Reeves remains a dominant figure in modern Hollywood, capable of drawing in sizeable audience numbers for his frequent action efforts. His next project is the long-anticipated John Wick 4, featuring the likes of Bill Skarsgård, Natalia Tena, Hiroyuki Sanada, Donnie Yen and Laurence Fishburne, which has been delayed until 2023.