Who’s Your Keanu?

AGEIST explores the unique, multigenerational appeal of Keanu Reeves

The Excellent Appeal of Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves is having a bona fide moment. He’s looking every inch the noir-cool guy on the cover of GQ, is the new face of Saint Laurent, and is rumored to have a film festival (KeanuCon!) dedicated just to him. And, at 54, his renaissance is not only well played, but well deserved.


Here’s Five Reasons Keanu Reeves Matters More Than Ever:

1. He has multigenerational appeal

As the article in GQ states, “Every generation gets its own Keanu Reeves, except every generation’s Keanu Reeves is this Keanu Reeves.” I remember an amazing quote by Lorne Michaels on how your favorite SNL will be the one you watched in high school, and that’s also true of Keanu. Whether you’re team Bill and Ted, a Matrix maven or John Wick superfan, Keanu’s got you. Very few actors have that kind of mojo and enduring fandom. And we love him for it.

2. He’s regular

Keanu just seems like a regular dude — the kind of guy you’d want to hang with listening to vinyl and drinking wine out of the bottle and, say, deconstructing civilization. This quote from the GQ story says it all:
“Here, before you’re quite ready for him, is Keanu Reeves: At the top of the driveway of the Chateau Marmont, smoking a cigarette on a low couch, like he’s on his front porch.”
Even though he’s a big-time movie star, he still has an ease about him that is never about being better than you. It’s more about who he is. He’s got that effortless American cool that we all know and love. Don’t go changin’.

3. He’s like a nice Nebbiolo

A self-described “over-the-hill assassin,” Keanu manages to truly get better with age. His humility, his dignity, and his style keep him slaying. Not to mention he keeps getting better looking. Even straight guys can admit they’re crushing on Keanu, and women the world over love his brooding sensitivity, soulfulness, and shy side. Plus, he’s not one to court the press or controversy of any kind; he likes his private life to be just that.

4. He’s woke

Keanu’s not just a pretty face. He’s also a pretty awesome guy. He’s been known to defer his own compensation in order to get movies made, and he privately and quietly donates to children’s hospitals and cancer research and even makes impromptu visits to hospitals. He’s also recently credited with helping a plane full of people calm down when they made an emergency landing. Reeves was said to have taken charge of the effort to reroute the passengers to Burbank. Taking a van with other passengers, Reeves was said to have regaled them during the road trip with facts about Burbank, sang them a country song, and chowed down at a Carl’s Jr.

5. He’s a master of reinvention

Keanu turned down the sequel to Speed as he considered it being in “movie jail” and he’s also been booed off the stage when he tried to be a rock god with his band Dogstar. But you can’t keep a good Keanu down — and his recent John Wick franchise has made him a huge movie star all over again.
It’s great he’s on the cover of GQ. His cool cred is transcendent and evergreen. And it’s tremendous that everyone keeps loving him. Love to love you, Keanu. Thanks for keeping it real and all the excellent adventures. And most of all, we love you because you’re one of us.

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  1. Don’t the John Wick movies promote violence and revenge? I haven’t seen the movies, but the trailers are full of guns and violence. Seems like just the type of movie that might appeal to a teenager who feels alienated and decides to, like his on-screen hero, seek notoriety and power through a school shooting. In my mind, Reeves, a “regular dude” and a “pretty nice guy” who visits hospitals, playing a gun-slinging assassin character that boys and men will want to imitate is a disturbing disconnect.


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Sheri Radel Rosenberghttp://sherimavenblog.com/
Sheri Radel Rosenberg has spent a life in advertising. Currently she's a freelance writer focusing on women at midlife and the power of reinvention. She regularly writes on her own blog and also works with brands to develop content in the areas of women's health, wellness, fashion, and beauty .She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and a ten pound ball of doggie fluff called Khan.


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