Fact Check: Posts Claim Keanu Reeves Ran Off with Stolen Paparazzi Camera. Here's What Really Happened

Facebook user Christian Delgrosso
Facebook user Christian Delgrosso


Photographs authentically show actor Keanu Reeves running away after stealing a paparazzi camera.


Rating: Miscaptioned
Rating: Miscaptioned


The photographs show Reeves running on a set in 2010, while shooting the 2012 movie "Generation Um." Reeves was "stealing" the camera for a scene in the film.


In May 2024, a viral Facebook post showing photographs of actor Keanu Reeves running while holding a video camera. The post claimed, "Keanu Reeves running away with a camera he stole from a paparazzi."


The same photographs of Reeves have circulated for years with similar claims on X (formerly Twitter) YouTube (which showed a clip of the actor running with a camera) and as memes.

However, while the photographs and clips of Reeves running with a video camera in his hand were real, the claim that he had stolen it from paparazzi was not. The photographs actually show Reeves shooting a scene for his movie "Generation Um" in 2010. As such, we rate this claim as "Miscaptioned."

We found the same photographs in an October 2010 article in the tabloid Daily Mail. The article described the scene he was filming:

The 46-year-old actor was seen today on location in New York's East Village, filming his Indie flick Generation Um.

In the scene he is running away [from] cowboys after he steals their camcorder.

But the happy show did last for long, with the actor covering his face with his hand as he drew closer to the paparazzi.

The Daily Mail credited Splash News, a celebrity photography agency. We found similar photographs from different angles published on Imago Images, a German photography agency. The photographs all confirmed that Reeves was on the movie set for "Generation Um" acting out a scene in 2010.

In a longer clip (available on a YouTube video also incorrectly claiming in its caption that Keanu was stealing from the paparazzi) from the movie, a man in a yellow shirt, cowboy boots and hat can be seen chasing Reeves through the train station at the 46-second mark. That same man is visible in the background of the photograph from the May 2024 Facebook post.

The moments in question captured a scene where Reeves' character appears to be sneaking up on a group of people dressed as cowboys, picking up their camera from the ground and running away as they chase him through the streets. The scene can be seen at the 27-second mark in the trailer for the film.

We confirmed the scene was actually in the movie, which is available on Amazon's streaming platform.

The movie was released in 2012, and, according to IMDb, follows a single day "filled with sex, drugs, and indecision" by three adults in New York City.


"Generation Um..." Directed by Mark Mann, Voltage Pictures, Company Films, Generation Um, 2013.

"Happy Keanu Strikes AGAIN: Things Are Looking up as Reeves Keeps on Smiling." Mail Online, 7 Oct. 2010, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1318418/Keanu-Reeves-keeps-smiling.html. Accessed 22 May 2024.

IMAGO. https://www.imago-images.de/st/0447962870. Accessed 22 May 2024.

"Generation Um... Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Keanu Reeves, Adelaide Clemens Movie HD. 2013." Rotten Tomatoes Trailers. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqZqtwpkwww.