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Credit: Marybel Le Pape

Film

What happens when we die, according to Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves is a cinematic legend. Star of Bill and TedMy Own Private IdahoThe Matrix and more recently, John Wick, Reeves has earned a reputation for being an all-around nice guy that’s long been regarded as the “internet’s boyfriend”. Reeves has a propensity for striking up a rapport with anyone and he’s as casual as his onscreen character Ted. Duly, he is one of Hollywood’s most remarkable figures.

Another endearing aspect of Reeves’ persona is how much of a tremendous music fan he is. Mirroring his famed character of Ted, music has played a key part in Reeves’ life since he was a child. Aside from acting, he made a foray into the music industry with his band Dogstar in the mid-1990s. Active between 1991 and 2002, the band enjoyed moderate success, laying with bands such as Weezer and Rancid, Reeves is a polymath, and his pedigree stretches much further than that of any run of the mill celebrity.

This is why, of course, he is so cherished. Reeves has a sincerity, and his everyman character and down-to-earth outlook is so far from the norm when it comes to Hollywood, making him a breath of fresh air when interviewed. There’s no bullshit; what you see is what you get. For someone in his position, that is unheard of. 

He’s also led a life quite like no other. Whether it be his upbringing that was surrounded by stars given his mother’s work in the film industry, his skill as an ice hockey player, or all of the heartbreaking trauma he’s endured, Reeves is precisely the kind of man who deserves a biopic. At the very least, something akin to Nicholas Cage’s upcoming satire The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent would be something he’d undoubtedly shine in. 

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It’s no coincidence that everyone who’s worked with Reeves showers him with praise. Carrie-Ann Moss, Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, the list is endless. Take. for instance, this account from the director of A Scanner Darkly, Richard Linklater: “My biggest thing about his quality is that, you know, I’m sure everyone says he has that good-hearted, kind-hearted guy quality. Not a suck-up, though, like he’s trying to be a good guy or impress anyone. He’s not running for class favourite. He’s not asking for your vote for anything. And yet, he exudes total decency.”

This honest nature has shone through many times across Reeves’ career, but one of the most disarming came during his 2019 appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert when promoting John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. At the end of the hugely revealing and hilarious interview, Colbert asked Reeves what he thinks happens when we die.

After pausing for a moment, deep in thought, Reeves responded: “I know that the ones who love us will miss us.” 

Colbert was so taken aback by the profound sentiment of Reeves’ response that all he could do was lean in and shake his hand, beaming from ear to ear. The one-liner prompted a thunderous round of applause from the audience, as Colbert closed the show. One of the most Keanu Reeves moments in existence, he’s the gift who keeps on giving.

Watch the clip below.