On Wednesday, September 2, 2020, Keanu Reeves turned 56 years young — and we use the word “young,” not “old” because he still looks better than most people in their 30s. The actor and by-all-accounts genuinely decent human is arguably more beloved now than he’s ever been, even at the height of Speed and Matrix mania. He’s aged like fine wine, blossoming into one of the screen’s most welcome presences, from the John Wick movies to the new Bill & Ted threequel to his instantly memed Always Be My Maybe cameo.
Everyone loves Keanu, and for proof, all you had to do was head to social media. There, you found endless well-wishes, dreamy pictures, even anecdotes that showed what a stand-up guy he is, on top of being a terrific thespian. One story that went viral came from a sports writer from Australia.
In honor of John Wick 3 I have a Keanu Reeves story.
— James Dator (@James_Dator) May 17, 2019
The anecdote was actually quite old, originally posted in May of 2019. “In honor of John Wick 3 I have a Keanu Reeves story,” wrote SBNation’s James Datar. And it was a good one:
Keanu came to the movie theater I worked at in Sydney in 2001. He was working on the Matrix series at the time. It’s a quiet, Wednesday morning — almost nobody is seeing movies. I’m working the box office, bored as hell and suddenly this dude walks up in jeans, a leather jacket and a horse riding helmet. A full ass, weird equestrian looking helmet. It takes me a solid 30 seconds to ignore the helmet and realize it’s Keanu Reeves. He wants to buy a ticket for “From Hell,” the Johnny Depp movie. I’m so fucking star struck I do what any sensible 16-year-old does and tell him I’d like to give him my employee discount. This means he needs to sign my sheet and therefore I have his autograph. “I don’t work here,” Keanu says. Seemingly confused by my offer. I’m flustered and just charge him the normal price. Kicking myself after for not getting his autograph. 2 minutes later there’s a knock on the door behind me that leads into the box office. I assume it’s my manager. It’s Keanu. “I realized you probably wanted my autograph,” he says. “So I signed this.” He hands me a receipt from the concessions stand that he signed on the back. He then casually throws an ice cream cone in the trash can and sees his movie. I realize later that he bought an ice cream cone he didn’t want, just to get receipt paper so he could scribble his autograph for a 16-year-old idiot.
There were plenty of other fine Keanu shares on his big day.
On Keanu Reeves’ birthday let’s just remember when he murdered someone on live TV.
— TZE THEE CHUN (@thetzechun) September 2, 2020
In honor of Keanu’s birthday, here’s some Bill and Ted fanart I made a while ago. Party on dudes pic.twitter.com/CFvOhC9Lfi
— Scary Bradshaw 🕷👠 (@biancaxunise) September 2, 2020
— déia | happy bday keanu reeves (@partygirlu2) September 2, 2020
Keanu Reeves, we hope you’re having a good day. 💐 pic.twitter.com/NEBYTFSwCO
— Super Yaki (@SuperYakiStuff) September 2, 2020
There were also bittersweet posts from fellow actors.
I just got sad because I realized how unlikely I am to ever hug Keanu Reeves
— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) September 2, 2020
But let’s leave it on a high note.