Keanu Reeves is telling the real story behind the “Sad Keanu” meme.
The Matrix Resurrections star, 57, set the record straight on Monday’s episode of The Late Show after host Stephen Colbert compared the iconic photo to an illustration in the comic book series created by Reeves called BRZRKR.
Many will recall when Reeves went viral in 2010 shortly after he was pictured looking somber while sitting on a bench and munching on some food.
“I’m just eating a sandwich, man!” Reeves exclaimed as Colbert, 57, showed the photo to the camera.
Then, Colbert asked the million-dollar question: “So, you’re not actually sad in ‘Sad Keanu’?”
“I was thinking,” Reeves replied. “I had some stuff going on. I was hungry.”
As Reeves explained, BRZRKR illustrator Ron Garney slipped the meme reference into Volume 1 of the comic book without his knowledge.
In the comic book image, the character is pictured hunched over on a bench as rain pours down on him. Reeves believes Garney’s drawing was inspired by his 11-year-old meme.
“I didn’t know he was going to do that,” Reeves confessed to Colbert. “But that’s what he did. So, I think it’s kind of meta.”
After a big shrug, the John Wick star said, “That’s life in art.”
Reeves is the subject of many a meme, though he’s not entirely sure why. When asked by Colbert why he is so “meme-able,” the actor said, “I have no clue, sir. … Really.”
In March, Variety reported that Reeves is set to act in and produce a live-action film and anime series based on the BRZRKR comic book series with Netflix.
The Matrix Resurrections is in theaters and on HBO Max starting Dec. 22.