×

Keanu Reeves Was ‘Blown Away’ By Fan Reaction to E3 Appearance

Keanu Reeves clearly didn’t know what he was getting himself into.

Plans for the star of “John Wick 3” to make a guest appearance in the middle of Microsoft’s Xbox press conference during the annual E3 show in LA this week was a closely held secret. Xbox head Phil Spencer told Variety that a stand-in delivered his lines during rehearsals and a codename was used to reference him in conversations. His first time at the Microsoft Theater was the morning of his surprise appearance. Reeves green room was right next to Spencer’s.

“I was talking to him before he went out and I was trying to explain that this isn’t going to be like another corporate gig,” Spencer told Variety. “I said, ‘You’re going to go out there and the fans are going to go crazy.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’”

Spencer said Reeves spent his time in the green room checking out “Cyberpunk 2077.” Reeves appears in the game as one of the title’s main characters.

“He was in there with CD Projekt Red looking at the build of the game and stuff and then he just went out.”

It was immediately obvious that the reaction to his appearance on stage sort of startled Reeves. Fans jumped to their feet screaming.

“I think he was kind of blown away by the response,” Spencer said. “And I loved how we just wallowed in it. and then when he came back off he was just like, ‘wow.’”

RELATED VIDEO: 

At one moment during his short time on stage, Reeves clearly struggling to get through his lines over the tumult was interrupted by someone in the audience.

When Reeves said that the feeling of playing the game was “breathtaking,” the fan shouted back. “You’re breathtaking.”

A few moments later, sort of laughing, Reeves asked the crowd to let him get through his lines. “Alright, alright, alright, I got to finish this!” It seemed a genuine moment for Reeves and the audience.

“They were so nice to him and everything, he was really blown away, which I thought was cool,” Spencer said.

In a press conference packed with news of new games, new technology, new hardware at a show designed to celebrate technology, it was the off-kilter, slightly taken aback appearance of Reeves that stole the show.

And Spencer said he doesn’t mind that a bit.

“I loved it,” Spencer said. “When I think about it, at the root of all of it, when we’re here we want to entertain people, right? I think it’s easy for us to get too much strategery in our heads. And to start thinking about what was our ratio of video to talking heads to PC games, Xbox games. Is this going to force somebody to buy a Scarlet or sign up for blah, blah, blah. But in the end, I want to put on an entertaining show where there’s great content.

“I didn’t know how it was going to go. It was actually CD Projekt Red’s that wanted us to go do this and we have a great relationship with those guys. But you know, I’ve seen my fair share of celebrity endorsements on stage at E3 not actually land that well. Obviously, when we saw how he was portrayed in the game, it was like, OK, it’s very authentic.”

More Gaming

  • Joyride

    With Joyride, Everyone Can Host Their Own HQ Trivia

    When mobile game developer Kiwi first released Joyride, the app looked familiar: Similar to wildly popular HQ Trivia, Joyride offered players the ability to win quiz shows in live broadcasts. The key difference: Joyride’s app wasn’t home to just one trivia show, but multiple shows around topics like music, dating, fandom, and yes, trivia, all [...]

  • Etika-Desmond-Amofah

    Gaming YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah Found Dead, NYPD Says

    Desmond Amofah, a YouTube gaming vlogger known online as “Etika,” was found dead by New York police on Tuesday after he was reported missing last week. He was 29. Amofah posted YouTube videos and live-streams focused on Nintendo games and other titles. A body later confirmed to be Amofah’s was found in the East River on [...]

  • harry potter wizards unite

    'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' Off to Slower Start Than 'Pokemon Go'

    Niantic’s new location-based augmented reality game “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is off to a solid start — but it doesn’t seem to have quite the same momentum as “Pokemon Go” did when it launched 3 years ago. That’s according to initial estimates from app analytics specialist Sensor Tower. “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” first became available [...]

  • survios at the linq

    Not Just Gambling: Las Vegas Is Becoming a Virtual Reality Hub

    Walk into the Linq on the Las Vegas strip these days, and you might not immediately realize you just stepped into a casino. Instead, you’ll stumble across a series of living-room-like lounge setups, complete with leather couches, big-screen TVs, Xbox Ones and Oculus Go VR headsets. There’s also a bar with a massive wrap-around touch [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Netflix Engineers Developed a Rumble Pack Feature During Latest Hack Day

    A duo of Netflix employees had a unique idea for making the service’s shows even more stirring: They added a rumble pack option to the Netflix app as part of the company’s latest hack day. When watching shows like “Voltron,” the feature makes phones vibrate in sync with the action on the screen, similar to [...]

  • Niantic's Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Game

    ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ to Launch This Week

    “Pokemon Go” maker Niantic is getting ready to launch its next big game: “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is set to launch in June 21, the company revealed in a tweet this week. The worldwide launch of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite begins this Friday, June 21! Keep your eyes peeled and wand ready for more information [...]

  • Sarah Iooss - Twitch

    Twitch Hires Sarah Iooss, Former Mic and Viacom Exec, as Head of North America Sales

    Twitch has tapped Sarah Iooss, most recently EVP of revenue at millennial-news startup Mic, to lead the advertising sales team in North America for the Amazon-owned live-streaming video platform focused on video gaming. Iooss will be based in New York, reporting to chief revenue officer Walker Jacobs, who joined Twitch last fall after serving as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content