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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

retro ad: 1980s Coca-Cola commercial with Keanu Reeves

Following up on the breaking news of Keanu Reeves’ immortality, here we have what is purported to be one of Reeves’ first paying jobs as an actor… in his Reeves’ persona, that is. He was very likely already aware of the dangers of being seen as not aging, for certainly that would have been an issue with his very public late-19th/early-20th-century persona as French actor Paul Mounet. And so here, he takes pains to hide his visage, knowing full well that once suspicions began to arise — again! — about his apparent eternal youthfulness, it would be to his benefit to minimize the evidence as much as possible.

We may even, perhaps, conclude that Reeves, via the wisdom granted by the ages, had foreseen the rise of cheap home recording devices (VCRs) and YouTube, and knew that sometime in the second decade of the 21st century, questions would begin to surface about him and that some would begin scouring for proof, should we be able to find it, of any sign of aging in him.

Notice how in this ad, Reeves’ face — from which we might be able to discern differences in his appearance then as compared to now — is suspiciously low-res in the only closeups.

Keanu Reeves 1980s Coke ad

In the clearest images in this ad, Reeves evinces seemingly casual poses that nevertheless keep his face turned away from the camera.

Keanu Reeves 1980s Coke ad

Keanu Reeves 1980s Coke ad

Keanu Reeves 1980s Coke ad

I don’t know how Reeves managed this, but we cannot possibly know what knowledge or technology he might have access to. (In fact, on Sunday I speculated that if Reeves is not in fact immortal, he must be a time traveler. But of course there’s nothing to suggest that he can’t be both.) What we do know is that this creates a sort of plausibly deniability. We presume Reeves is young in this ad, but we cannot prove it.

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