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Keanu Reeves talks Sad Keanu and why he's so damn memeable

Stephen Colbert asked the Matrix and John Wick star why meme-makers love him so much.

Keanu Reeves is a movie star. Witness The Matrix, John Wick, the Bill and Ted films, Point Break and more. But he's also a meme star. You might see memes of Sad Keanu, or of Sad Keanu in a Helmet, or of Walking in Slow Motion Keanu. But Reeves himself admits he finds his meme-ability mystifying, as he told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Monday.

"Why do you think you are so memeable?" asked Colbert. "There are so many Keanu memes out there."

Putting his chin in his hand, a thoughtful-looking Reeves gave a very Ted "Theodore" Logan answer.

"I have no clue, sir," he said, as the studio audience laughed.

Colbert tried to answer his own question, proposing that while Reeves has his own distinct character, people find it easy to overlay photos of him with their own meanings. That inspired the Main Meme Man to burst into a version of Bill Withers' famed hit, "Lean on Me," with the words changed to "Meme on Me."

Earlier in the interview, Colbert showed the Sad Keanu meme, which features Reeves sitting alone on a bench eating, pointing out that a similar panel appears in the 2020 comic book drawn by Reeves, BRZRKR.

"I'm just eating a sandwich, man!" Reeves said with a laugh. "I was thinking! I had some stuff going on! I was hungry!" 

He said that BRZRKR artist Ron Garney did the homage art without notifying Reeves, adding, "So I think it's kinda meta."

Reeves stars in The Matrix Resurrections, which comes to theaters and streaming this month.