“It Was Like a Dream!” Family Gets Surprise of a Lifetime from Keanu Reeves
by Bob Larkin
The "breathtaking" moment proved he's the sweetest guy in Hollywood.
We’ve all made handwritten posters for our favorite A-listers, whether ahead of a concert or to stand outside the Total Request Live studio in New York’s Times Square. We’ve dreamt of our idols seeing our words of adoration and giving us a smile in return. But Stacey Hunt, a stay-at-home mother of three in Louisiana, had the kind of encounter every fanatical sign holder could only imagine… with the biggest celebrity of the summer, no less: Keanu Reeves.
“It didn’t feel real,” her son Ethan said when reached. “I still can’t believe it happened.”
The Hunts had heard rumors that the John Wick star was in their hometown of Slidell, a sleepy lakeside city in southeastern Louisiana, 30 miles north of New Orleans. He was reportedly filming scenes for the upcoming Bill and Ted sequel and Stacey had been watching cars drive down her street on the way to the set for days. “Each van and studio car that passed by I wondered if Keanu was there,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
Then, on July 17th, Ethan, 16, gave her the idea to put a sign on the front lawn, just in case Reeves happened to look out and see it from the window of his limo. Maybe it’d give him a laugh—or maybe, if they were lucky, he might even wave. Ethan came up with the perfect sign to catch Reeves’ attention—a mere two words: “You’re breathtaking.”
Why that sentence in particular? It harkens back to earlier this summer, when Reeves made a surprise appearance at a video game convention called E3 in Los Angeles. Right in the middle of his presentation, someone from the audience shouted out, “You’re breathtaking!” Reeves responded by pointing at the crowd and yelling back, “You’re breathtaking! You’re all breathtaking.”
The moment went viral, resulting in some of the most heart-warming memes of the summer. “Ethan watched the E3 live and knew all about the ‘breathtaking’ moment,” Stacey said when reached.
So, the Hunt family put up a sign with the legendary words on their front lawn. Within hours, it started attracting attention. Cars were pulling over and people were stopping just to take photos. That, Stacey assumed, would be the most of it.
Later that afternoon, she wandered over to the street where Bill and Ted was filming to see if she could spot Reeves or any of the other actors. But, she had no luck.
As she returned home, Stacey noticed something peculiar happening outside her house. There were cars parked next to the curb and a gaggle of people on her front lawn—among them was Reeves… The Keanu Reeves.
Bill and Ted screenwriter Ed Solomon just so happened to be along with Reeves for the ride, and he documented the entire surreal scene on Twitter.
When the stunned Stacey walked over to Reeves, he asked if he could sign the poster, and she, of course, said yes. He added his signature to the bottom of the sign, along with the message, “Stacey, you’re breathtaking!”
“Keanu could have done the easy thing and passed the sign up,” said Stacey’s husband, Jonathan. “But he stopped and brought a lot of joy to my wife and kids. For that I am very thankful.”
Before Reeves could leave, Stacey called out for her sons, Ethan and younger brother Noah, 14. (Ethan’s twin brother, Zach, was at work at the time.)
“It felt like a dream,” Ethan added. “I even ran out and told Keanu he was breathtaking!”
They all posed for photos with Reeves and chatted with him about the upcoming Bill and Ted sequel and the Matrix films, because when you have a bona fide action star on your front lawn, you’re not going to talk about the weather.
“I wish I had filmed it,” Stacey said. “It was so awesome.”
She shared the encounter with friends on Facebook and Twitter, and it soon went viral. The Hunts are still gobsmacked by the global reaction.
They have since brought their cherished signed poster from Reeves inside and replaced it with a new one that reads, “Thank you Keanu” with two red hearts.