I kept a distant eye on you from the day I saw you, not really knowing why, but my brain classified you as « note for later ». Not just because woah handsome (even though, woah handsome), but because something peculiar about you caught my attention like few did. It was a vague benevolent feeling, nothing to get obsessed about. Just the occasional cheer whenever you appeared on screen or in the media.
I read some interviews to figure out if my gut feeling was justified, but after a while celebrities tend to sound the same on paper. And I learned not to trust written things too much anyway. I watched some movies when they fit my interest, and some that weren’t all that much.
There were bumps and odd choices in your career, like for any actor who is lucky enough to get a lasting career of prominent roles. And not that many do.
I smiled at beginning of Speed, because the part clashed with the puppy image I had of you, but after 5 minutes I forgot it and got caught into the movie. Which is what acting is about. I learned stuff from Little Buddha, laughed at Something’s gotta Give, made my first encounter with Shakespeare with Much Ado About Nothing (.. yeah, about that : French culture is too full of theater masters for everyone to be exposed to Shakespeare as much as you are in English-speaking countries in schools, I think) etc.
Matrix took me by surprise, as it summed up all my scifi references into a black duster (and Trinity’s sleek black leather suit) and became widely popular, even in France (a country where scifi was despised until then). Good job.
But hey, it was good having you back on magazines covers. And it sounded like, unlike some actors, you did genre movies not just because they hired you when you were less in demand, but because you valued them for what they were.
Lately, the news about you made me raise an ear again. Conceiving a motorbike. Shooting a documentary about digital movies vs film. Making your debut as a director with a martial arts movie. All of which confirming that you were as versatile as I suspected, better than interviews and dubious press articles.
I like curious people. It doesn’t matter much what they’re curious and passionate about, only that they’re eager to learn, always. It makes for interesting conversations, where one can learn from them in turn.
Then the Champs-Elysees Film Festival granted me the opportunity to see both Side by Side and Man of Tai-Chi (I enjoyed both a lot), and to attend your Q&As before each showing. I would be a little jealous that you got to interview all those directors whose work I adore, but I’m grateful you shared the result with us.
Thank you for being being gracious to all, even when fans lost their nerves and asked silly or self-centered questions mostly for a chance to catch your attention.
Thank you for trying to give interesting and thoughtful answers even when the questions didn’t make much sense.
Thank you for always praising your coworkers, actors, directors and giving credit where credit is due.
Thank you for delivering intelligentand articulated answers, showing how you much you cared about both projects, and for your sense of humour.
And, selfishly, thank you for confirming my good impression of you.
Happy birthday Mr Reeves! May the next years see you accomplish more of your dreams.