Keanu Reeves interview 2021 – Keanu Reeves on Matrix Resurrection, John Wick, His Personal Life

Sweater by Dries Van Noten.


PARIS, the Day Before Halloween

He sits in the black leather booth of a Paris brasserie, a porcelain cup half full of cappuccino by his elbow, thumbing the screen of his phone with his left hand, which is caked with slashes of dried blood.

“Let’s see, where is it,” he says, scrolling. He’s searching for a text message he sent to Carrie-Anne Moss, his costar in the Matrix movie franchise, almost two years ago. Keanu Reeves had appeared in the doorway of this restaurant exactly on time, on about five hours’ sleep, just a few minutes ago. It’s called Le Grand Colbert, and he was last here for one very long night with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, filming the end of the 2003 movie Something’s Gotta Give. He hasn’t set foot in the place since.

He was wearing a surgical mask, a black knit cap over his long black straw hair, a black motorcycle jacket, and jeans. He showed his proof of vaccination to the maître d’. And he walked into the bright salon of a place, thirty-foot ceilings and big round bistro lights and brass railings and clinking glasses and waitstaff in clean white shirts and dark aprons.

As he removed his mask and walked down the center of the restaurant, diners (a good percentage of whom are tourists and are here because of the movie), waiters, and bartenders watched him, a surreal, time-warp moment. He was Meg Ryan stopping into Katz’s Deli for a pastrami sandwich.


Tuxedo jacket, vest, and shirt by Ralph Lauren; jeans, Keanu’s own; belt available at Kiliwatch Paris.

Nathaniel Goldberg

Is that—?

Does he actually—?

He stopped to chat at a table where someone happened to have worked with his girlfriend, the artist Alexandra Grant. He passed the booth where the famous scene was filmed. People always request that booth, so it’s always occupied. Today the woman sitting where Keanu Reeves sat in the movie she loves looked up and saw Keanu Reeves walk right past the booth where Keanu Reeves sat, and damn near choked on her escargot.

He’s still scrolling, searching for the thing.

“That looks like it hurt,” I say after a minute. “Your hand.”

He twists his hand around and looks down at it, showing a gash that extends from his pinkie clear down the side of his palm, all the way to the wrist bone.

“Oh, yeah,” he says, then gives a quick tilt of his head and smiles. “Movie shenanigans!”

Keanu is here talking with me to promote The Matrix Resurrections, the fourth installment in one of his gazillion-dollar movie franchises. But the reason he’s in Paris is to film John Wick: Chapter 4, the fourth installment in his other gazillion-dollar movie franchise.

“We’re filming nights now, and I finished at seven o’clock this morning,” he says, pulling back his hair, still damp from a shower. “I just woke up.” It’s 1:15 in the afternoon. He coughs a little.


Suit by Dolce & Gabbana.

Nathaniel Goldberg

This article appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of Esquire

I’m still looking at his hand. “Does it hurt?”

He looks at me, momentarily confused, then realizes I’m the one who’s confused. “Oh, no, this is all movie blood,” he says, amused. “It doesn’t all come off in the first wash.”

He turns back to his phone, focused. He scrolls through dozens of messages, a blur of alternating blue and gray text bubbles, the gray ones—the other person’s—punctuated sometimes with emojis and hearts.

“Sorry this is taking so long,” Keanu says. An apology, which is surprising because he is doing a favor, searching for a text message I’ve asked him to find—a message that contains evidence of him doing a favor for someone else, in this case Moss. (She did the emojis and hearts.)

“It’s weird going back through these,” he says, lost in the text messages the way you get when you scroll back in time. “This is very on-point for Resurrections.”

Now he scrolls in silence. Realizing that there will be a long dead space on my tape recorder, he leans down and says into it loudly, “I’m still looking up the list.”


LEFT: Coat by Giuliva Heritage; shirt and trousers by the Row; tie by Charvet;boots by Alden; belt available at Kiliwatch Paris. RIGHT: Sweater by Dries Van Noten; T-shirt available at Le Vif, Paris.

Nathaniel Goldberg

Toward the end of filming Resurrections, Moss had asked him to recommend a few good movies she could watch with her teenage kids. “In the Matrix movies, I’ve always felt like I was his partner, and he was my partner, in the execution of these characters,” Moss told me. “It was never the feeling of, Oh, he’s the movie star. His work ethic is unlike anyone I’ve ever met, and I’ve seen it up close: He trains harder, works harder, cares more, always asks more and more questions to understand the depth of what we’re doing. And while he was doing all of that for himself, he always had an eye out for me. Like when I asked him for those movies, it seems like a little thing, but he’s so busy, he’s exhausted, and took the time to write this very, very thoughtful list.”

“It’s here somewhere,” Keanu says at the restaurant. “Anything else you’d like to talk about while I’m scrolling?”

One Month Earlier

Are we into October yet?

It takes him a second. Not because of the pandemic blur, where time and place bend and fold over each other so that daily life has sometimes seemed distorted to the point of being unrecognizable. No, it takes Keanu a second because he’s been in Paris for two days—no, wait it’s . . . yeah, this is the third day—and in Berlin for six months before that, filming nights and sleeping until midafternoon (he calls them vampire hours), and he’s just packed and unpacked without a stop at home, and, well, you sometimes lose track. But yes, it’s October 2. Or 3. Something like that. Saturday. It’s three o’clock, and he just woke up. He’s had some toast with crunchy peanut butter and honey, and he’s drinking coffee from a glass cup. He has the John Wick beard, which he periodically trims with scissors to keep it the same John Wick length during the long months of the shoot, for consistency.

After his coffee—

Hold on a second.

He looks down at his phone on the table and smiles. Sorry. It’s not three o’clock. It’s four o’clock.

We’re on Zoom. He’s in Paris but sitting against a white wall. He could be anywhere, and often is.

Soon the daily shooting schedule will get more rigorous. The nighttime shoots will creep into the daylight hours. A 7:00 p.m. call might become a 2:00 p.m. call. He’s doing physical training. He’s doing fight scenes. Running. Leaping.

So those nights are about to get harder?

“I mean, ‘hard’? Come on, man. We’re making a movie!”

He makes a face, laughs.


Paris is cloudy today, low sixties, and he’s got the cap and a black zippered fleece. He always overpacks for these long expeditions—too many clothes, and a handful of books he won’t have time to read but likes having with him anyway, though he did just fly through Trouble Boys, a biography of the Replacements that a friend gave him for his birthday.

It’s another day in a place he doesn’t live, working, sleeping, and, when he’s not working, “working on work”—the time that goes into training, or running scenes, or developing the next project, or having conversations with people that might lead to something.


Cardigan and trousers by Brunello Cucinelli; shirt by Lemaire; T-shirt available at Le Vif, Paris; boots by Umit Benan; watch by Patek Philippe; socks, Keanu’s own.


And if, amid the travel and the all-night shoots, he wakes up feeling crappy—tired bones, a little sore throat?

He makes the face again, a disapproving smile.

“So? Drink some hot tea with some lemon and honey in it. I don’t know. Slap yourself in the face.” He slaps himself in the face. “Stretch. Concentrate, man. Concentrate.

He’s fifty-seven years old. It’s been more than two decades since the first Matrix movie came out. Twenty-seven years since Speed. Thirty-two—thirty- two years!—since he gave Ted “Theodore” Logan to the world in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. And here he fucking is: filming the new John Wick, promoting the new Matrix. “Just trying to have a career,” he says.


Some of his characters over the years can seem, on the surface, like the doofiest of boobs—Ted, of course, but see also his lovely performance in a movie called The Prince of Pennsylvania. Some are stone-faced and earnest to the point of seeming implacable—Thomas Anderson in The Matrix, Wick, Point Break’s Johnny Utah. But: You always kind of know there’s something else going on, some knowledge the guy possesses that no one else does. He knows something, and we stick with his characters through the strangest places because they aren’t frightened, and we want to know what they know.

He says this just comes from good scriptwriting, or from the directors. “I’m just one of the paints,” he says. And you think, Uh-huh, yeah, but no.

There’s something he’s not revealing.

Does Keanu know something we don’t?


When Keanu was about twenty-four, Ron Howard cast him in 1989’s Parenthood as a rambunctious teenage dude who liked to race cars and dated a cool, bratty girl played by Martha Plimpton. Playing Plimpton’s younger brother: Leaf Phoenix, who later changed his name back to Joaquin and whose real-life older brother was Plimpton’s real-life boyfriend.

That’s how Keanu Reeves met River Phoenix. River lived in Gainesville, Florida, at the time, less than two hours from Universal Studios in Orlando, where Parenthood was filming. Between his girlfriend and his little brother, River was on the set all the time. Plimpton and Keanu liked each other from the start, she introduced him to River, and then the three older kids—and sometimes Leaf, who was only about thirteen—started hanging out.

Onscreen, Keanu and Plimpton clicked as an earnest, tortured, heartsick young couple in ways that don’t always result from the simple accident of casting.


Coat by Giuliva Heritage; shirt and trousers by the Row; tie by Charvet; boots by Alden; belt available at Kiliwatch Paris.


“We just liked each other,” Plimpton says, by way of explaining why Tod and Julie became one of the more memorable teen couples of the late eighties, which is saying something. “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.”

Bill & Ted came out while they were there, and Keanu, Plimpton, and River all went to a theater to see it. They all took a motorcycle trip to—where was it, Key West? No one’s sure—to see the indie-rock band the Feelies. Plimpton was just eighteen, but afterward at the bar she was drinking a beer. “We were playing pool, and Keanu went to go to the bathroom or something, and all the sudden the lights came on and I looked up and there was a cop,” she says. “And the cop said, ‘Can I see your ID, please?’ And I was like, Ohhh, shit, man. And just then Keanu comes around the corner and goes, ‘What did you do? Did you take a sip of my beer?’ He tried to get me out of it.”

When he was a little boy, Keanu Reeves would sometimes get on the subway all by himself and ride it to the end.

He was a latchkey kid, and he hung out with other latchkey kids, playing street hockey after school until dark in the tree-lined, bohemian section of Toronto called Yorkville. Or they would have chestnut fights. The chestnuts would fall to the ground in their spiky green casings and you’d crack them open and inside would be this beautiful hard orb that the kids would pelt each other with. But on some afternoons, he wandered off alone to take his rides. There were only two subway lines in Toronto, and he lived near the middle, where they met. One direction dipped down into a U and then back again, or he could head all the way east out to the Kennedy stop, or up and down—children rode for a quarter, and he could do this for hours.


At the end, when you had to get off, he would walk around in an unfamiliar part of the city, looking at the people and the buildings and the stores, an abstraction of the world he knew, similar but foreign—his own neighborhood in a weird dream.

He was never frightened. He wanted to see what was out there.

To this day, when he finds himself dropped in some new city—which he often does—Keanu feels comfortable more quickly than you or I would. He looks around, like a character in an Elmore Leonard story who just got off a bus, and he can find the high street or the good café or the pool hall in the seedy part of town. If you were dropped in a new city and feeling disoriented, you would want him with you. Even when he’s lost, he’s not lost.


“He’s a listener,” Sandra Bullock says. “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?” she says suddenly. “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.”


Shirt by Dior Men; T-shirt by Brioni; hat by Borsalino; watch by Patek Philippe.


A year or so after Speed came out, Bullock and Keanu were hanging out, talking about whatever, and somehow the subject of Champagne and truffles came up, which is not really a subject at all, but Bullock said, offhand, that she had never had Champagne and truffles. A nothing comment. “Really?” Keanu said. “Nope, never had ’em,” Bullock said. The conversation wandered to other topics.

A few days later, Bullock was sitting in the living room of the little house she had bought—her first house—with a girlfriend. They were painting their nails. She heard an engine outside, which turned out to be Keanu’s motorcycle. He rang the doorbell, and Bullock opened the door to find him there with flowers, Champagne, and truffles. He said, “I just thought you might want to try Champagne and truffles, to see what it’s like.” He sat on the couch. Bullock poured some Champagne, and they opened the truffles. Keanu put his hands out, without a word, and Bullock painted his nails black, same as hers.


Coat by Alaïa; T-shirt by Brioni; watch by Patek Philippe.

Nathaniel Goldberg

He didn’t stay long. He had a date, in fact. He called his date, said he would be there soon, and left.

“That’s what I mean that it drives you crazy,” Bullock says. “When I first met him, I would spend as much time as I could filling a silence, just to feel comfortable. And the more I jibber-jabbered on, the quieter he would get. And I thought, I don’t understand what’s happening! He’s looking at me with eyes of confusion. He’s quiet. Did I say something to offend him? And then a day or two later, he would arrive with a note or a little package, saying, ‘I thought about what you said.’ And he would have his response.”

Bullock, who sometimes speaks in spectacular streaks, is quiet for a moment. Then she says, “How many people do you know like that?”

“Anything else you’d like to talk about while I’m scrolling?”

A gray rain has started to fall in Paris, but inside Le Grand Colbert, waiters whip around carrying plates of roasted chicken and chateaubriand, people are laughing and ordering more wine, a little boy in a bow tie stabs a balloon-sized profiterole with his tiny fork—it feels like a holiday. I ask Keanu how he came to relate or connect to others so well—it’s a theme, something you read about him and that people keep telling me about him. Of course, no one is pious and lovely every moment. (“I shouldn’t make him sound like some kind of Zen fucking Buddhist fucking monk,” Martha Plimpton says.) Rather, it seems like something we learn.

“Is it?” he says. “I mean, of course that has to be a part of it. But I think there’s a little nature/nurture in there. I guess what isn’t nature/nurture?”

I really am interested in where it comes from for him.


Jacket, shirt, and trousers, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello; T-shirt available at Le Vif, Paris; boots by Alden; watch by Patek Philippe; belt available at Kiliwatch Paris.


“Yeah, in terms of the biological, psychological, cultural, genetic breakdown of my upbringing, I’m sure you could put together a bunch of stuff there, but that’s why I mentioned the idea of nature, because even as a kid, I was pretty empathetic. Okay, wait—here we go. There was another list, but this was the new list. ‘KR New Recommends Film List.’ So let’s see, it was like a mix of Reeves movies, and other stuff:

The Neon Demon, A Clockwork Orange,


The Bad Batch,

Dr. Strangelove,

Seven Samurai,


Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead,

The Evil Dead,

Raising Arizona,

The Big Lebowski,

La Femme Nikita—the French version—

The Professional,

Young Frankenstein,

Blazing Saddles,

Monty Python and the Holy Grail,

The Outlaw Josey Wales,

The Road Warrior: Mad Max 2.”

He pauses, still looking at his phone. Smiles. “So yeah, that was for her.”

When he’s home for a stretch and has a day with nothing to do, he sometimes goes to the movie theater and sees two, maybe three movies in a day. He loves, loves, loves movies. Even on an off day while he’s working—he went to see Dune the other night in Paris. (“Awesome.”)

He’s made sixty-eight movies, every genre. A Walk in the Clouds: treacly World War II romance. Constantine: supernatural demon stuff. Bill & Ted Face the Music: dudes at fifty. If he met someone who had never heard of him, never seen one of his movies, and wanted to get to know him, which three would he tell that person to start with? What is the Keanu Primer? “Getting to know me, or getting to know my work? Because if you’re getting to know me—” he says, considering this. “I guess you could do it through my work.” He frowns, thinking. “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. [Pause.] 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.


Coat and T-shirt by Umit Benan.


He sits back in his chair and folds his arms on his chest, tilts his head, and smiles on one side of his mouth.

“Start with the easy stuff.”

The head tilt is a Keanu trick, which is perhaps the wrong word because it implies too much calculation, or deception, on his part. But it’s more than a tic, because it has purpose. It is calculated. He does it in character, and he does it as himself, and the power of the head tilt is that it breaks the moment. If a moment is getting too serious or too weird or too boring, the head tilt tugs things back to reality, or Keanu’s reality.

There is mystery in the head tilt, making him seem both very present and kind of elsewhere at the same time, and it makes us want to go along with him. (“He is a mystery, which makes him even more charming,” Diane Keaton says.)


One time in the summer of 2019, Keanu went to a movie theater to see John Wick 3. “I didn’t know if I was going to get the chance to do another one, and I just wanted to see if people liked it,” he says. “It was cool when people started laughing during the knife fight in the opening.” He laughs a mischievous, little-kid laugh, a tee-hee laugh. “I went with a friend. I was like, ‘Let’s go see John Wick 3 before it goes.’ I love John Wick movies! They’re fun!” He is smiling, eyes wide, speaking faster, with more excitement—speaking almost as if he were not the actor playing John Wick. “I wanted to be with an audience, because I didn’t know if I would get to see it again, or if another one would happen. I wanted to soak it in, to see it on the big screen—these movies are made for the big screen. We got popcorn—you gotta have popcorn. Some Peanut M&M’s. Sweet and savory. Coca-Cola.”

Head tilt.

He slips into an old-timey voice: “Watch a picture show!”

He left home at eighteen not having graduated from any of the four high schools he attended, and at twenty he left Toronto, driving a 1969 British racing-green Volvo 122 straight to Los Angeles. He read Philip K. Dick and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and William Gibson. Head-tilt kind of stuff. He read Shakespeare again and again.

Sometime around 1990, having appeared in a dozen or so movies already, he read a script that was inspired by Henry IV called My Own Private Idaho, by Gus Van Sant, the story of a couple hustlers finding their way in the world, desperate to get closer to the point of it all. He made that movie with River Phoenix. And then, six or seven years later, he read The Matrix, a screenplay by Lana and Lilly Wachowski. “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.


Turtleneck sweater by Brunello Cucinelli.


“Those are stories and perspectives on storytelling that I prefer. There’s always a relationship—a drama, a circumstance—in storytelling. But for me, it’s cool when a work of art can entertain but also be inspirational or challenging or—I’m gonna bring up ye olde Bard—hold the mirror up. It’s much more rewarding because it means that you’re getting into it. Asking questions. Looking at the diamond and seeing which ways the light refracts and reflects. It can be everything from ‘Be excellent to each other’ in the circumstances of Bill and Ted, and those characters going against all odds, to The Matrix, which is, you know, ‘What truth?’ Confronting systems of control and thinking about will, and love, and who we are and how we are. Even back to River’s Edge: a group of high school kids and a murder. What are the choices they make? And then the impact of technology in storytelling: playing A Scanner Darkly, or even Johnny Mnemonic. The journey of Little Buddha, working with Bertolucci and being introduced in a very very very very very very very broad way to Buddhist practice and thought. The notion of impermanence and connection to one’s own body and thought and feeling, and sensorially your relationship to the world and meaning. And being confronted by one’s own anatomical mind. Being introduced to meditation and what that is and to have mind-expanding experiences without any other stimulus besides intention, thought, and sitting. It really does kind of unfold to: Wow, there is a lot more going on! What’s going on?”

No head tilt. Keanu shifts in his chair and stares straight ahead.


There’s a moment in Parenthood when Reeves’s dude-bro character, Tod, gives a terrific little speech to his girlfriend’s mom, played by Dianne Wiest. Now, throughout most of the story, Tod is the mom’s enemy, a wannabe man, maybe not so bright, stealing her daughter into adulthood. But then he does his monologue while drinking milk from the carton in her kitchen.

“I guess a boy Garry’s age really needs a man around,” Wiest’s character says, referring to how Tod has become an unlikely father figure for her thirteen-year-old son. “Yeah, well,” Tod says, guzzling milk. He stops, points a pinkie at her: “Depends on the man. I had a man around. He used to wake me up in the morning by flicking lit cigarettes at my head. ‘Hey, asshole! Get up and make me breakfast.’ You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.”

He gazes off for just a second, snaps to, and looks Wiest right in the eye. Then he shudders and makes a bluurhrh sound, as if he’s shaking off a big insect or a bad memory, and says, “Well, I’m gonna pick up Julie.”

Thirty-two years later, Plimpton remembers it: “That’s him. That little shudder. He added that. That’s his little touch. I thought it was fucking brilliant. It was hilarious. And so him. So dear. So. Dear. I just love that moment in the movie.”

I ask Plimpton if she picked up any bit of wisdom from her time with Keanu, a lesson that’s stuck with her. Without hesitating, she says, “Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I think it’s a sense of forgiveness. Of myself.”

To hear others talk about Keanu, he seems almost Confucian in his ability to understand people. And to listen to them.

Is that the thing he knows? People. That it’s about the other people. He loves movies, yes. Loves stories. He can’t stop working—sixty-eight films in thirty-five years. More stories, always more stories. Ye olde Bard. Hold the mirror up.

Bad things happen in life, inexplicable things. Keanu has seen people disappear: his father, who wasn’t around; later, an unborn child, lost in the cruel randomness of prenatal mortality; a life partner, lost in a car accident. And his friend River, to a drug overdose, when River was twenty-three and Keanu was twenty-eight. In our Zoom call, I ask about him.

“He’s a—”

Keanu cuts himself off and smiles downward. Head tilt. What tripped him up was the word he’s. He is. Present tense.

“It’s weird speaking about him in the past,” Keanu says, almost thirty years after River’s death. “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.”


Shirt by Dior Men.


Bullock was close friends with Samantha Mathis, who by 1993 was dating River. All three had starred in the Peter Bogdanovich country-music movie The Thing Called Love that year. When River died, production had begun on Speed. Bullock was getting to know Keanu.

“I watched how Keanu grieved. And oh, did he grieve for his friend,” she says. “He’s very private, but he couldn’t hide that. And just to see that a man like that was able to grieve. And I remember thinking, God, if that’s the tip of the iceberg of his depth, and his level of love and care for a friend—that just draws you in.”

Of course, we’ve all lost people. And we all react in different ways. For him it seems to inform everything he does: We’re all in it together, searching for . . . whatever people search for.

“I think you do all you can for the ones you love,” he says. “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.”

I tell him I like to think I’ve been there for people, but I truly don’t know if I have.

“We can always do more. We can always do more. There’s no ceiling on that.” Head tilt, smile. “And you can’t do everything. You can’t do it all.”

Resurrections, who knows—the Wachowski sisters, Lana and Lilly, who wrote and directed the first three, said they weren’t even going to do this one. (Lilly was not involved in Resurrections.) Keanu says there’s no dream project simmering in the back of his mind, no favorite novel he wants to adapt and star in, no genre he’s burning to try.

Just trying to have a career, he says. (Bullock has a thought: “I would love nothing more than to do a comedy with Keanu before we die. Just laugh with him. He’s funny. We can be seventy-five—it’ll be even better then, like an old-people Cocoon thing. We play two funny old people. A road trip. Just put us in an RV as old people. It’ll be the bookend of Speed! We’ll just be driving really slowly. Pissing the world off. There’s our movie.”)


Suit by Dolce & Gabbana.


Winona Ryder, who has known Keanu for thirty-five years and starred with him in four movies, says it’s the stories that keep him going. “He’s always ready to explore uncharted landscapes of both character and storytelling,” she says. “He understands that in telling the story, you have to allow that human mystery to live.”

At Le Grand Colbert, I ask him if it made him self-conscious, my asking those questions about why people like him so much, and where his reputation for, well, kindness came from.

“Um,” he says, smiling a little. “Yeah. I mean, I don’t think I necessarily want to be like, ‘Yeah!’ I don’t know.” He busts out a kind of Ted Logan voice. “I’m just livin’, man.”

When we lose people in life, maybe it reminds us that life is short and all that.

He changes voices again, much quieter, and looking downward just a little bit: “Yeah, for sure.” And then: “For sure.”

“It’s a cliché, I guess,” I say.

He looks up right away and says, “No, but it’s real.”

He gathers his hat and a sweatshirt, everything black, and steps out to the street. He’ll go directly from here to meet with a horse trainer. “There’s a sequence—hopefully, knock on wood,” he knocks on wood—“in John Wick 4, the opening sequence. John Wick is back in the desert on a horse. I’m going to hopefully be able to fast-gallop and run.”

“And you know how to do that?”

Ish. That’s why I’m going to training.”

A few patrons follow him outside, apologize, and ask for a selfie. A few people don’t apologize. The maître d’ is trying to find out how long he’ll be in town, because he wants to introduce him to someone; Keanu says softly, kindly, more politely than perhaps the man is to him, “Thank you, but probably not.”

The man looks surprised. “Why not?”

“Time and work,” Keanu says.

He walks down the wet street, past buildings hundreds of years old, on his way to see the horse trainer, so he can finish telling this story, and then another one, and then another one.

Photographer: Nathaniel Goldberg
Anastasia Barbieri
Kerrie Smith Campbell
Stephen Kelley
Creative Director:
Nick Sullivan
Design Director:
Rockwell Harwood
Executive Director of Talent:
Randi Peck
Visual Director:
Justin O’Neill

By Indana