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How Old Was Keanu Reeves In The First Matrix?

How old was Keanu Reeves in the first Matrix movie?


Depending on how seriously you take your movies, you either view Keanu Reeves as a joke or as an acting superstar.

The actor has been in many movies across his glittering career, with his breakthrough coming in 1989 when he was in the Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure movie.

Since then, he managed to gain fame and started to become more prominent in the action-hero genre.

Movies like 1991’s Point Break and 1994’s Speed helped to establish Reeves as an acting titan of the 1990s and beyond.

Few movies in his career, though, had an impact quite like 1999’s The Matrix.

Most interestingly, though, was Reeve’s penchant for starring in box office bombs.

His mid-90s acting career was up and down, with several failures having him typecast as an actor to be avoided due to always being involved in expensive failures.

When The Matrix came out, though, he became a star and established himself as an acting juggernaut for the rest of his career.

keanu reeves age in matrix

Keanu Reeves and Carrie Ann Moss – @Getty

How old was Keanu Reeves in the first Matrix? Older than you think

So, how old was Keanu Reeves in the first Matrix?

When you watch The Matrix now, it is easy to think, ‘wow, look how young Keanu looks here!’ – the reality is quite different, though.

Despite looking so fresh-faced during the shooting of The Matrix, Reeves was 33 years old – and 34 by the time it hit the big screen.

If someone told you he was 25 during the shooting, you would believe them, right?

Even more impressively, though, is that Reeves would be 36 to 37 during the shooting of the first two sequels to arrive.

He looks at the oldest, 30 years of age.

So, it is pretty clear that Keanu Reeves has done a fine job keeping himself looking younger than he is.

The 2022 release of the fourth Matrix movie saw a 20-year gap between releases.

This meant he was 57 by the time the fourth movie came out.

Even with all of the stunts and the long hair and beard, Reeves still does not look like a man who is charging headlong into his 60s!

How did Keanu Reeves land the role of Neo in The Matrix?

how old was keanu reeves in 1999

Charlize Theron, Al Pacino, and Keanu Reeves – @Getty

With his big break coming in the late 1980s, Reeves was a bit of an acting name by the mid-90s.

The roles we mentioned saw him become very popular, but the mid-90s saw him ripped apart by the media community.

He was seen as a guy who seemed to star in failures after his role in Speed, and he was frequently panned for poor movie choices and continued playing the same person despite massive disparity in the kind of characters he would play.

In 1997, he took part in The Devil’s Advocate, a popular law firm where Reeves literally finds himself working for the devil himself.

The film was a success, well received, and Reeve’s acting chops were once again lionized by the media community.

If The Matrix launched Reeves to more or less eternal stardom, it was The Devil’s Advocate that got his career back up off the canvas and back into the realms of success.

When the role for The Matrix came along, though, Reeves needed essential skills.

For one, he and his colleagues lacked the natural martial arts training needed to take part in a movie where martial arts was such a crucial part of the subject matter.

This led to Reeves and co. going through extensive training to the point where they carried out many of the fighting scenes on their own.

Given the movie’s incredible success, Reeves saw himself return to the top of the acting pile.

Keeping in mind that Keanu was in his mid-30s by the time The Matrix concluded, the fact he still looks so fresh during the movies is a testament to what is a healthy lifestyle.

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What about Neo himself? How old is Keanu Reeve’s character in The Matrix?

How old was Keanu Reeves in the first Matrix movie


How often do you watch something where a ‘high school student’ looks like they should be a faculty member?

Many assumed this would be the case when Reeves was cast as Neo.

Here was supposed to be a young guy being played by a dude in his 30s.

Would this work?

Or would Reeves look far too old for the role he was about to play?

The Matrix, though, is host to one of cinema’s most convoluted and confusing timelines.

It is not a franchise where time can be easily explored, and thus it is hard to know what year it is supposed to be – or what year the sequels are based within.

The approximate start date of the movies is around 2199.

However, what is confusing is the fact that The Matrix takes place both in a real-world setting (in the late 2190s) as well as a virtual reality setting.

Within the virtual reality setting, his passport claims that he was born on September 13th, 1971 – this would mean that he is around 28 years of age if the first Matrix movie’s virtual reality took place in 1999.

However, during interrogation by the Agents, the movie’s antagonists, it appears that Neo – Mr. Anderson – is 37 years old.

This means Reeves was either playing a character he was either several years older than or a few years younger.

It is extremely hard to understand how much this even matters within the reality of The Matrix, anyway.

In truth, the age of the characters is probably an afterthought.

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how old was keanu in the matrix

Carrie-Anne, Moss Laurence Fishburne, and Keanu Reeves – @Getty

In Conclusion

So, how old was Keanu Reeves in the first Matrix? He would have been in his early-to-mid 30s. Again, it is remarkable how young and fresh-faced he looks in the movies, given the fact he was already such an accomplished actor by this time.

Even taking into account the conditions of the world within The Matrix, Reeves still manages to look fresh-faced and eternally youthful.


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