Keanu Reeves: ‘We can always do more. There’s no ceiling on that’


I read a lot of magazine interviews for this job, and I usually hate sitting through some overwrought, long-winded men’s magazine cover profile. But I never clicked so fast as when I saw Keanu Reeves on the cover of the winter edition of Esquire. Keanu is promoting The Matrix Resurrections, and the interview takes place in Paris as he was filming John Wick: Chapter 4. The man is 57 years old and just… lovely. He’s the kind of man other men respect, but throughout this Esquire piece, it’s his female friends and costars who are all quoted extensively about how amazing he is and how they all love him and adore him, from Carrie Ann Moss to Sandra Bullock to Winona Ryder to Diane Keaton to Martha Plimpton. It’s the portrait of a man who is an empath and a listener, a sort of workaholic Zen monk who also thinks motorcycles and fight scenes are awesome. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Martha Plimpton on working with Keanu in Parenthood: “We just liked each other. We were friends. We had a good time together. We went to Disney World. We took road trips. We danced to Michael Jackson’s album Off the Wall in our trailer together. We liked each other.”

Sandra Bullock on Keanu: “He’s a listener. And it drives. People. Crazy.” Bullock met Keanu on the set of Speed, which came out in 1994. They had friends in common. They had the same publicist, which sometimes meant they wound up at the same Hollywood event, and they’d get a drink after. They never got-together got-together—never. “Nope,” she says. She has always maintained that getting-together getting-together would have ruined a great friendship. “But who knows? Keanu’s a guy who, I feel like, is friends with every woman he’s ever dated. I don’t think there’s anyone who has something horrible to say about him. So maybe we could have survived. I don’t know. But we didn’t have to survive anything. We just get to grow up together on parallel roads and tip our hats and meet for a dinner and try to work together. And the longer time goes on, the more in awe I am of the human being. Would I have been able to say that if he had dumped me and made me angry? Probably not.”

What is the Keanu Primer? “Getting to know me, or getting to know my work? Because if you’re getting to know me— I guess you could do it through my work. You’re gonna give me three? Okay. Three films. Man. Um. [Long pause.] Oh my gosh. Three films. Okay, let’s just start with The Matrix—and when I say The Matrix, let’s do the trilogy—that’s one. Then let’s do The Devil’s Advocate. And then let’s do . . . we need something action-y in there, so let’s do Point Break.”

Reading the script for The Matrix for the first time: “I just mainlined it,” he says. “I thought”—Jimmy Cagney voice—“Well, this is up my alley! I’d had some of that thought training, reading about multi personality universes and perspectives. So when I came across the script, thinking about this reality and this matrix, and then anime agents and the idea of thought control or what’s reality, and virtual reality—yeah, I felt pretty at home in those.

On his friend River Phoenix: “It’s weird speaking about him in the past. I hate speaking about him in the past. So I almost always gotta keep it present. He was a really special person, so original, unique, smart, talented, fiercely creative. Thoughtful. Brave. And funny. And dark. And light. It was great to have known him. To—yeah. Inspirational. Miss him.”

His empathy: “I think you do all you can for the ones you love, and that can turn into understanding a little bit of what other people go through. Being able to understand that, and share some of it, you see if maybe there are things that you can do. Knowing that perhaps you can offer something, if they’re in a situation or in a moment that isn’t clear, or they feel like they don’t know how to be or what to do. If someone comes to you for help—that shared experience, where you can have a conversation. You haven’t walked in their shoes, but you know a bit of the road that they’ve been on. We can always do more. We can always do more. There’s no ceiling on that. And you can’t do everything. You can’t do it all.”

[From Esquire]

All of the women tell lovely stories about him – Sandra mentioned that she’d never had champagne and truffles so one day he stopped by her house with champagne and truffles and she tried the combo while painting his fingernails black. Martha Plimpton tells a story about taking a roadtrip with Keanu and River down to Key West and she almost got arrested and Keanu tried to save her. Sandra talks about what it was like to work with him on Speed so soon after River’s death, and watch how he processed his grief while balancing work. And on and on – every woman had incredible stories about how lovely he is and how he’s still an unknowable enigma to them. I think he’s an unknowable enigma to everyone? That’s just who he is, the still water running deep, the action-star monk beloved by everyone.

Cover and IG courtesy of Esquire.

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33 Responses to “Keanu Reeves: ‘We can always do more. There’s no ceiling on that’”

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  1. Digital Unicorn says:

    I didn’t think I could adore him more and now i do!!!

    • I’ve been lucky enough to speak to him a few times at parties and he is TRULY the loveliest person. ( AND TALL!) He just exudes goodness and I have NEVER seen that here in LA. He’s also devastatingly handsome and I was giddy. And I’m a curmudgeon. I don’t get giddy about celebrities, lol.

  2. LadyMTL says:

    Goodness, what a great way to start my week! Keanu forever!

  3. CE says:

    Just re-watched the matrix movies for the first time in awhile. He’s so talented and humble. Good man

  4. Spaniard says:

    He has been my forever celebrity crush, since I saw him in My Own Private Idaho. Both him and River had a great chemistry together and they were both hot as hell.
    Not only he is beautiful outside, he seems to be the most generous and down-to-earth celebrity, has done a lot of charities and helped a lot of people without bragging and not for PR.

    • josephine says:

      Whew, that movie. So much male beauty in one movie. It’s the one I remember River for as well.

  5. SpiritedMisfit says:

    I’ve loved him since I was 6 and saw him in Bill and Ted. It’s been nearly a 33 year love affair lol I remember declaring to my grandmother that I was going to “marry Ted when I got older.” I was fortunate enough to meet him in 1997, and the other guys in the band, when I was 14 at the Rock Hall when he was in Cleveland to play a show with his then band Dogstar. He was just lovely. I was shy, and was dragged over by a friend of my father’s for the introduction because I was too nervous. I never fangirled or outed him for being there (he was incognito). So every time I saw him at other points at the Rock Hall, he would wave and smile at me, an awkward and shy 14 year old girl. He really is as kind and amazing as everyone says he is.

    • TIFFANY says:

      As a lover of the Bill and Ted films, I just adore that he and Alex Winter are just excellent dudes.

      • ViennaCalling says:

        <3 <3 <3
        I just came to say: I f***ing love Bill and Ted as well. Saw the third one in a short break from the pandemic more than a year ago and had a blast on one hand and bawled my eyes out on the other 'cause the message concerning their daughters really resonated with me.

  6. Deanne says:

    This beautiful man is a gift to humanity.

  7. browniecakes says:

    We are two days apart in age. I adore him. Always have. My daughter who never really crushes on celebrities adores him too.

  8. Miatagal says:

    I absolutely loved him in Destination Wedding with Wynona Ryder. No one else had lines in the film. Just the two of them. The repartee and the chemistry was incredible. A must see.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Destination Wedding, Swedish D!cks, To the Bone. Just a few of the good productions he’s been in lately that have passed under the radar.

  9. Mimi says:

    Ugh I just love him so much. Also river Phoenix is my forever crush. I hate using past tense for him too.

  10. Snazzy says:

    I also loved him in Constantine 🙂
    Overall one of my faves since Bill & Ted’s. Love reading anything about him, it just makes me happy

  11. Duke's Consort says:

    He is awesome.

  12. Hrefna says:

    *happy sigh* All the Keanu stories please! This is what I need in my morning browsing, lots of Keanu goodness.

  13. Wiglet Watcher says:

    My goodness he is perfect. I met him twice! Once at a bike show off a road and another on a sidewalk/shopping strip just passing by. He’s down to earth and more handsome in person. There is no ego with this man.

    I love his answer in an interview when he was asked what he thought happens after we die. His answer was that the ones that love us will miss us. So simple, so true and a bit heartbreaking.

    • notasugarhere says:

      It was simple and heartbreaking. And that he said it in answer to a question from Stephen Colbert, who lost his father and brother(s) to an accident very young. If you haven’t seen it, the conversation between Colbert and Anderson Cooper after Cooper’s mum passed away is another tear jerker.

  14. Lala11_7 says:

    All these years later…and I STILL 😢 up when I think of River….He and Keanu have that EXACT same lovely energy ❣

  15. searchlight soul says:

    I have loved him and his work since I first saw a movie called Permanent Record. He was so young and he already had that still waters run deep thing going on. Can’t wait for the new Matrix movie!

  16. Mei says:

    He just seems such a genuinely lovely and decent guy. Always here for some Keanu!

  17. The Recluse says:

    Fellow Wood Dragon is such a good soul. I adore that about him.
    People keep joking that he must be a vampire (just like Paul Rudd) and now I want him to make a cameo in What We Do In The Shadows.

    • notasugarhere says:

      From western astrology, one of his closest friends (Tiger Hu Chen) is a Pisces like his mum. Their birthdays are either the same day or one day apart (March 3/4). That Virgo/Pisces connection.

  18. Numen says:

    Everyone’s said what he IS but what ISN’T Keanu? He is the complete opposite of toxic masculinity. Love this man! So kind, such a heart-centred human being.

  19. Triscuit says:

    I love thinking of Keanu and me having deep, heartfelt conversations together, in a candlelit room with beautiful music playing in the background. I believe he is a very deep and interesting human being. Ah well, maybe in another life…at least he is a Virgo just like me!

    • Numen says:

      I love Virgos. Wonderful, considerate, caring, humble people. I’m a sag but with a lot of Taurus and Scorpio. Think that’s why I get along with Virgos even though saggies are not meant to.

  20. Leah says:

    I love this man so much.

  21. Christina Lowe says:

    Keanu is very in touch with himself and isnt searching for something to fill a void. He is content with who he is and it comes through in his chill demeanor. And the fact that he genuinely listens makes him the greatest man on earth