Fans now have unprecedented access to their favorite stars. But just as the internet loves the ability to reach out to a celebrity, the ones who retain some mystery are just as popular. Take Keanu Reeves, for example. The actor saw a significant career boost in the late 2010s, as his fan base continues to grow. But an unexpected actor similarly has taken off online.
Keanu Reeves fans consider him the ‘internet’s boyfriend’
Somewhere between Reeves’ resurgence in 2014’s John Wick and the public reveal of his relationship with Alexandra Grant, fans gained a whole new appreciation for the actor. Of course, Reeves already had a track record of big-screen hits and an established fan base. However, his fame has dwindled in recent years, due largely to less successful movie roles.
The emergence of the “Sad Keanu” meme in 2010 perhaps set the stage for his perceived comeback. Fans remembered instantly what they loved about Reeves. According to The Matrix Reloaded co-star Jada Pinkett Smith, the actor’s appeal boils down to a mix of coolness and sweetness. Nevertheless, Reeves might have to defend his title as the “internet’s boyfriend.”
But an unexpected actor could be coming for the title
Given Reeves’ early rise to stardom and action hero roles, it stands to reason why the actor’s fans would swoon over him. Much like Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, Reeves remained a heartthrob throughout the 1990s. But character actor Stanley Tucci — who is only four years older than Reeves — has emerged as an unexpected sex symbol in some corners of the internet.
In her book A Field Guide to Internet Boyfriends: Meme-Worthy Celebrity Crushes from A to Z (via Town and Country magazine), Esther Zuckerman calls Tucci out as pure “internet’s boyfriend” material. The actor — who appeared in The Hunger Games, The Devil Wears Prada, and Maid in Manhattan — has been active since the 1980s. But he’s rarely played a lead.
Perhaps that’s why his — as Zuckerman puts it — “stealth run as an Internet Boyfriend” has taken so many fans by surprise. He has played supportive husbands and fathers — particularly in Julie & Julia and Easy A, respectively — but Tucci also went viral. In April 2020, the actor posted a video in which he demonstrates how to make a Negroni cocktail. Fans loved it.
Stanley Tucci is 1 of the most popular characters actors
Undoubtedly, a big part of why Tucci has earned such support from fans is how omnipresent he’s been in movies. For years, the actor has popped up in everything from the biggest blockbuster franchises (e.g., Transformers) to prestige fare (e.g., Spotlight). And he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Most recently, Tucci appears as the overwhelmed hotel manager Mr. Stringer in 2020’s The Witches. That movie — a remake of the 1990 classic — reunites the actor with Anne Hathaway for the first time since 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada. We’ll bet Tucci loyalists will be tuning in.