What Really Caused Keanu Reeves’ Career Revival?

Keanu Reeves is something of an enigma, and the internet loves an enigma. Reeves, who got his first breakout role in 1986, is experiencing a revival, and that revival appears to be linked to his internet fame. Dubbed the “Keanussiance,” Reeves’ career revival has grabbed the attention of industry insiders and fans alike. It has become a topic of conversation online, on podcasts and in some of the country’s most respected news publications. So, what exactly has led to the reignited interest in Reeves?

The internet loves Keanu

Reeves isn’t your average Hollywood star. For years there wasn’t much being said about the John Wick actor. Sure, he showed up for promotional events, and he’s been working steadily since he broke into the entertainment industry, but for many years Reeves was a non-entity in tabloids.

Then the internet entered the game. The current interest in Reeves seems to have its roots in Reddit. Currently, a subreddit exists that is wholly dedicated to discussing all things, Reeves. The subreddit has more than 300,000 subscribers.  His celebrity isn’t limited to Reddit, either. A Twitter page dedicated to random photos of Reeves merely living his life has amassed a following of around 250,000 people.

The people of the internet don’t just want to observe their hero, either. They want to help him. A petition is currently circulating to make Reeves Time’s Person of the Year, according to the Los Angeles Times. Reeves, as unlikely as it seems, has become something of an internet hero, and his star doesn’t look like it will be declining anytime soon. The question still remains, though, why is Reeves such a sensation more than 30 years after he got his big break in Hollywood?

His career has been well-designed

Reeves might present as someone who isn’t enamored with Hollywood. He might appear to be someone who has let his career just unfold, but if you look at his list of credits, you’ll see that his filmography is perhaps one of the most well-designed careers in history.

Reeves avoided being typecast, in part by playing around a lot in the acting world. His work in the late 1980s and early 1990s primarily took on a surfer-boy persona, but by the early 2000s, he had shaken free from that. He’s been involved in everything from action flicks to psychological thrillers, to stoner cult classics. Reeves has even thrown his hat into the ring for a romantic comedy or two.

In the upcoming years, he’ll also be reprising some of his most famous roles. John Wick: Chapter 4 and Matrix 4 are slated for 2021 and 2022 release, respectively. He will also be reprising his role as Ted in the upcoming Bill & Ted Face the Music. The film is due in theaters in 2020.

Reeves has ensured he’s still relatable

Hollywood stardom can go to anyone’s head, but that hasn’t seemed to happen to Reeves. It appears that more average people have had encounters with Reeves than any other major celebrity. The New Yorker notes that the A-lister often travels without an entourage or handlers. He spends a great deal of time alone and seems to embrace the complex entity that is the New York City subway system.

Keanu Reeves attends a special screening of Lionsgate's "Semper Fi"
Keanu Reeves | Rachel Luna/FilmMagic

Reeves is, essentially, an average guy wrapped up in an actor’s body and people seem to adore him for it. He’s never let the celebrity go to his head. He’s kept things quiet and low-key, and in doing so he’s created a relatable mystery; one that his fans aren’t particularly keen on solving. Instead, they appear to enjoy watching from a respectful distance.