Reimagining The Matrix

Another excellent – if familiar – adventure on the way for Keanu Reeves.

Keanu Reeves doesn’t subscribe to cancel culture, and besides, there aren’t too many sins to account for! In fact, if skirting back over past behaviour is a determination of popularity in the years to come, then the 56-year-old Beirut-born star has stored up enough credits to last well beyond retirement.

From queuing in the rain outside his own party because he didn’t want to make a fuss to bouncers, to redistributing his movie fees around support staff and special effects workers, through to acts of random kindness to strangers, such as giving up his seat on the New York subway.

Add in charitable donations thought to exceed $100m, and the star clearly goes well beyond what is expected of him. “I don’t do things for any other reason than they feel right,” he says. “And that makes me no different to 99% of people out there – good people who give up their time or their energy for something that doesn’t directly benefit them.”

While his behaviour on-set is no less community spirited, it’s accurate to say the actor’s feelgood vibes haven’t directly translated into big hits in the past couple of years – his most recent movie being the semi-successful reprisal of Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan in the Bill & Ted franchise last year, and John Wick in 2019.

“I think I’ve really taken a new view to it all in the past decade,” he says. “I don’t subscribe to the fanfare and the glamour. You’ve seen the way I live – I like basic things, I love motorbikes; I’d rather be out on a gravelly road getting mud on my boots than sat in the back of a limo. That’s just the person I am now.

“Of course, I respect in others a desire to go after the bright lights, but I’d rather have a conscience that is more about people and worthwhile experiences, so I guess that leads me to do a lot of the things that I do. I’m not doing it for any other reason than I want to.”

For all the Speed, 47 Ronin and The Day the Earth Stood Still actor’s protestations, he might well be advised to prepare for a bit more press intrusion very soon with an expected triumphant return to form as the character of cybercriminal-turned apparent superhero Neo in the fourth instalment of The Matrix series of films.

“I am absolutely happy – I always feel I have to be totally committed to doing a role justice, particularly on a sequel, as you run the risk of sullying everything that went before it unless you get it right.”

There seems little danger of that…