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Featured Image Credit: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Keanu Reeves is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, but while he is best known for his acting chops, starring in some of the most successful films in history, from John Wick and Bill and Ted to The Matrix and Speed, he's also found a way into the cultural consciousness through a meme.
I am, of course, talking about 'Sad Keanu'.
The image of the pretty morose-looking 57-year-old sitting alone on a bench while tucking into a sandwich caught the hearts and minds of his fans around the world, with many using it to illustrate the darkest moments in their lives.
Well, Keanu has finally had his say on it, and given us a little insight into what was going on when it was taken.
Speaking on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the actor was discussing his new comic, 'BRZRKR', when the host pointed out that there was an image in it which reminded him of the meme.
Presented with the photo, Keanu said: "I’m just eating a sandwich, man!"
And when asked if he was actually feeling a bit down in the dumps, he admitted: "I had some stuff going on."
Hear what he has to say during the interview below:
Last year, the meme even managed to make its way into a Ukrainian textbook in a photo dating back to 1932.
The discovery was shared on Twitter by user @jigsawdeaad who wrote a post which roughly translates as: "In the Ukrainian textbook on world history accidentally stuck a photo with Keanu Reeves haha."
As you can probably imagine, the post quickly went viral and has racked up hundreds of comments.
Most people saw the funny side of the 'Sad Keanu' meme ending up inside the book, but some slammed the creators for not checking sources properly before printing.
Ihor Shchupak, the author of the textbook and director of Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies, took to Facebook to explain how the mix up happened.
аааааааааа в украинский учебник по всемирной истории случайно засунули фотожабу с киану ривзом ахахахахахахахх pic.twitter.com/cI9cPja59A— тремба (@thetremba) February 3, 2020
He said the edited photo was accidentally chosen by one of the designers from the book, which was published in 2018, and he decided to keep it in. Bold move.
In the post he reportedly wrote: "When the designer who worked with me on the book's illustrations showed me that photo with Keanu Reeves, I didn't notice that small detail at first. But when I understood the meme, I decided to keep it."
According to the Kyiv Post, Shchupak wanted to 'check how carefully students read textbooks'... or at the very least how carefully they look at the pictures, eh mate?
Ukrainian Minister of Education, Hanna Novosad posted on Facebook to say: "Sadly, I have not seen a single textbook without errors, where the copyright is respected, and the approach to information is logical and helps to learn better."