Keanu Reeves Told Stephen Colbert What Happens When We Die
by River Donaghey
Keanu is my new religion.
Keanu Reeves is a man of few words—and around half of them are "whoa"—but when he decides to speak, the whole world should listen. On Friday night, Reeves dropped by The Late Show to chat with Stephen Colbert about Bill & Ted 3 and riding horses in the upcoming John Wick 3, but at some point, the conversation took a surprising turn towards philosophy and the nature of our own fragile mortality. And just like that, Reeves let loose a meditation on death so simple and profound that Colbert was at a loss for words for an entire 10 seconds.
Check it out, starting around the nine-minute mark:
The transcendent moment comes right at the tail end of the interview, while Reeves is explaining the plot of the new Bill & Ted movie and how the fate of the world rests on the duo's ability to write one last Wyld Stallyns song. If they don't, "it's the end of the entire universe," Reeves says. "It's the end of the time-space continuum."
"So you're facing your own mortality and the mortality of all existence," Colbert replies. "Wow." And then, without warning, the host lobs an extremely heavy question straight at Reeves. And Keanu Reeves, being Keanu Reeves, belts that baby straight out of the park.
"What do you think happens when we die, Keanu Reeves?"
Keanu takes a beat, considering, then replies: "I know that the ones who love us will miss us."
A simple and elegant answer, somehow both straightforward and sage at the same time, like the man himself. Both Colbert and Reeves have dealt with death in their lives, and Reeves's simple answer about the nature of loss stumps Colbert. He just sits there, grokking it for a while, before breaking into a truly genuine smile and shaking Reeves's hand.
We are not worthy, Keanu. We bow before you, humble peasants quaking in your holy presence. Speak to us your words of wisdom, great one. Bless us with your knowledge. Show us how to stare dead-on into the deep existential dread of life's impermanence and shrug it all off with one single, powerful "whoa." You are the bearded and black-suited beacon of light the world desperately needs right now.