In the May issue of GQ magazine, the 54-year-old actor opens up about being a movie star for more than three decades, revealing that his choice of jobs led to him being placed in "movie jail."
After the success of Speed, Reeves says he turned down starring in Speed 2 to play Hamlet in Canada. The 1997 film role ultimately went to Jason Patric.
"I didn't work with [Fox] again until The Day the Earth Stood Still,"he tells the magazine. The Day the Earth Stood Still was released in December 2008, more than 14 years after his starring role in Speed.
GQ points out that Reeves has not done a studio film since 47 Ronin, but he no longer sees himself as being in "movie jail."
"I haven’t really thought about my career future, or what was going to happen, until really recently," he admits. "Probably my mid-40s."
As for returning to action films with the popularity of the John Wick franchise, Reeves says he's not opposed to making more sequels. "As far as my legs can take me,” he says of continuing to portray John Wick. “As far as the audience wants to go."
Reeves says what really put things in perspective for him was when he worked with Anthony Quinn on 1995's A Walk in the Clouds. At the time, Quinn was 80 years old. “Still hustling,” he says of his co-star. “I was like, 'Whoa.'"
Recalling a moment on set with Quinn, Reeves says he asked him if "it was always going to be like this," to which Quinn responded, "Yes."
“There's this idea that, like, at some point you're going to be set,” Reeves ponders to GQ. “And then maybe there won't be so much working on working. It just struck me that this gentleman, this legend, at 80…”
PHOTOS: Keanu Reeves through the years
Keanu Reeves through the years
Keanu Reeves through the years
Actor Keanu Reeves poses while attending the Screen Director's Guild screening of the made-for-TV film, 'Under the Influence,' 1986. (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA -1987: A young Keanu Reeves, star of 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure,' poses during a 1987 West Hollywood, California, studio portrait session promoting the film. Reeves later went on to star in such Hollywood blockbusters as 'The Matrix' and 'Speed.' (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Keanu Reeves at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1990: Photo of Keanu Reeves (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - Keanu Reeves at the Hollywood premiere of the film 'Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey', 11th July 1991. (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Keanu Reeves (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Keanu Reeves during 2nd Annual MTV Movie Awards at Disney Studios in Burbank, California, United States. (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
Keanu Reeves (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
Canadian actor Keanu Reeves on the set of A Walk in the Clouds directed by Mexican Alfonso Arau. (Photo by Murray Close/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
Keanu Reeves of Dogstar during Dogstar in Concert - 1995 File Photo's in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
Hollywood film star Keanu Reeves at the 1999 Glastonbury Festival, where he performed on stage with his band Dogstar. (Photo by James Arnold - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Glastonbury Festival , Britain - 1999, Keanu Reeves (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)
Actress Charlize Theron and actor Keanu Reeves attend the 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 21, 2001 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
BURBANK, CA - DECEMBER 11: Actor Keanu Reeves appears on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios on December 11, 2003 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 18: Actor Keanu Reeves presents the Make-Up Artist of the Year award on stage at The Hollywood Awards Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel October 18, 2004 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 4: Keanu Reeves meets his fans during the 'Lights, Camera, Fashion 2' show, on June 4, 2004 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jana Birchum/Getty Images)
Keanu reeves (Photo by John Sciulli/WireImage)
TOKYO - DECEMBER 18: Actor Keanu Reeves attends the 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' Japan Premiere at Roppongi Hills on December 18, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan. The film will open on December 19. (Photo by Jun Sato/ WireImage)
TOKYO - DECEMBER 17: Actor Keanu Reeves attends the 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' press conference at Grand Hyatt Tokyo on December 17, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan. The film will open on December 19 in Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/ WireImage)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15: Actor Keanu Reeves attends a screening of 'The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee' hosted by the Cinema Society and A Diamond Is Forever at the AMC Loews 19th Street on November 15, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 910 -- Pictured: Actor Keanu Reeves during an interview on October 11, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Keanu Reeves attends a book signing at Waterstone's, Piccadilly. (Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 24: Actor Keanu Reeves arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere 'Cloud Atlas' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on October 24, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/FilmMagic)
NARITA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 17: Actor Keanu Reeves is seen upon arrival at Narita International Airport on November 17, 2013 in Narita, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Actor Keanu Reeves on the set of 'John Wick 2' on November 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/GC Images)
PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 22: Actor Keanu Reeves walks through the back of the pits during qualifying for the 2016 MotoGP of Australia at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on October 22, 2016 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 08: Keanu Reeves attends Arch press conference at EICMA 2017, the International Motorcycle Fair, on November 8, 2017 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 18: Keanu Reeves attends a photo call for Regatta's 'Destination Wedding' at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on August 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
US actor Keanu Reeves (L) and Sao Paulo's governor Joao Doria pose for photographers during a meeting at Bandeirantes Palace, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 3, 2019. - Reeves is visiting Sao Paulo to scout locations for a movie to be released next year. (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP) (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)