Noting that he didn’t want to bum a guest out on national TV or anything, Stephen Colbert yet reminded Keanu Reeves of the fact that they are both the same age. And while Colbert has stood up relatively well for a decades-long veteran of the TV talk show mines, the late-night host had to admit that he’s not exactly hurling himself off of a 50-story building 19 or so times in order to satisfy the artistic ambitions of The Matrix Resurrections director Lana Wachowski on the reg.
“I mean, there’s wires,” Reeves demurred humbly, although the 57-year-old action icon did admit that he had to take a moment to find his inner calm on the day. “You can’t think of the fear,” Reeves gamely tried to advise anyone faced with the prospect of hurling oneself off a high place, “You have to block it—not block it, but deal with it, absorb it, and just be there, and do.” Easy enough for Reeves to say, as Colbert asked his fellow quinquagenarian if this is the sort of thing he really enjoys in his personal life. “No, ’cause I’m scared of that,” Reeves explained happily, drawing the distinction between, say, putting his life in the hands of am independent bungee-jumping proprietor and doing the same knowing that an acclaimed director, a stunt team, and a very bottom line-minded movie company are all ensuring his safety.
In his three segments promoting the fourth Matrix movie (coming out December 22), Reeves was nothing if not happy to be there, animatedly acting out his shocked reaction to Wachowski’s nearly 18-years-later phone call to reprise his role as Neo/Thomas Anderson. (Reeves gamely debated Colbert as to which of his Matrix personae is the real one, with noted sci-fi/fantasy nerd Colbert seeming to bring Reeves around to his point of view by the end.) Honestly, the only thing that seemed to remotely derail Reeves’ signature positivity was Colbert’s assertion that the highly bankable superstar could just snap his fingers to revisit any other of his many memorable screen characters.
“That’s not true,” Reeves noted sadly, revealing that he’s been trying to get a Constantine sequel happening for some time now. And while not everybody agrees, perhaps, with Colbert’s seemingly sincere appraisal of Reeves’ 2005 outing as the controversially not-British DC/Vertigo Comics demon-fighting anti-hero as a “great film,” you’d think that certified franchise machine Reeves would be able to get somebody on the phone. Colbert even pitched himself to potential backers as a minor John Constantine nemesis, suggesting that a “reluctant demon” who really just wants to pal around with Constantine would be right up his alley.
Still, it’s not like the legendarily breezy and positive Reeves lets the vagaries of life and show business get him down—no matter what your incessant Twitter memes might suggest. Bringing up Reeves’ first foray into comics writing, the ongoing Boom! Studios series BRZRKR, Colbert showed a panel where artist Ron Garney recreated the infamous “Sad Keanu” meme, and asked his guest just what was up in that photo of a seemingly depressed Reeves on a park bench.
“I’m just eating a sandwich, man!,” Reeves explained, revealing that he had no idea Garney was going to further immortalize him in the person of the titular immortal berserker. (Sorry, BRZRKR.) Admitting that, sure, “I had some stuff going on,” Reeves nonetheless maintained that mere hunger and not some abyss-contemplating existential crisis was what had him looking so soulfully bereft on the day in question. He certainly wasn’t contemplating having to throw himself off a building 19 times or anything.