Anyone who has paid attention to Keanu Reeves‘ career should have no problem believing that the action star has a soft spot for comic books and genre fiction. From direct adaptations like Constantine to genre-favorites like The Matrix, Reeves’s sensibilities are part of the reason his career is still thriving three decades after his screen debut. He recently opened up about his favorites.
Keanu Reeves is a man of many genres
Reeves has been a part of Hollywood for over 35 years. He made his screen debut as an extra in the series Hangin’ In and continues going strong to this day.
After a successful career as a Hollywood bit actor and working television journeyman, his career changed overnight with the time-hopping teen comedy Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. In many ways, this set the course for the rest of his career.
While Reeves took on several dramatic roles in films like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Much Ado About Nothing, he became most synonymous with action and science fiction. This is no mistake. Reeves is an avid reader with a passion for comics and science fiction.
Even the aforementioned films, which were adaptations of their day’s genre-fiction, help paint a man who is the product of everything he’s read. While films like Johnny Mnemonic gave people a glimpse at Reeves’s appeal in these types of projects, it all changed with The Matrix.
Since The Matrix, Reeves has become a power player. Many of his projects, from 47 Ronin to the wildly popular John Wick series, have these same sentimentalities to this day. He’s one of the most popular actors on the planet in large part due to his commercial appeal. He spoke about this with Vanity Fair.
Reeves opens up about his favorites
Notoriously one of the most humble people in Hollywood, Reeves makes no qualms discussing his love for comics and science fiction. Throughout his interview, he spoke about what helps him decide on roles and make them solely his.
“I hope people enjoy what I do,” the actor told the magazine. “If someone talks about my body of work or whatever and appreciates it… Nice is nice.”
As far as his favorite works of fiction across mediums, Reeves is a fan of Frank Miller’s Ronin, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, the 1960s Batman, and of course, Lord of the Rings. His taste can explain his penchant for mixing up genre.
“It’s [about] appropriating and mixing styles and genres—and there’s a kind of making your own world to that,” he explained. “When you get into fantasy and science fiction…a lot of times these stories are antihero stories or about fighting against the system or trying to break something down, or the reluctant hero. I guess as a forming young person, whatever psychologically, I related to that.” (Per Vanity Fair)
Recently, Reeves took his talents to a different medium, appearing in the much-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077. It is, in many ways, a culmination of his career.
Fans will see Keanu Reeves next in ‘Cyberpunk 2077’
Fans of Reeves are likely to eat up Cyberpunk 2077. While the game has, quite infamously, seen its fair share of glitches and bad publicity, at its heart, one can see why Reeves and his fans would attach themselves to such a project.
With a world like the Matrix and the sentiments of Blade Runner, Reeves’ performance in the game helps reflect the one he’s built since the 1980s.
Reeves might not be the first actor that people think of when it comes to awards and accolades, but audiences love him for a reason. He’s always taking risks, defying genre, and owning whatever role he takes.
There might be actors with more accolades than Reeves, but it’s hard to find someone who has tailor-made a career that’s more appealing to a broad audience. This, perhaps more so than anything else, helps define Reeves.