From The Matrix to John Wick: “I love action movies,” says Keanu Reeves

From The Matrix to John Wick: «I like action movies» , says Keanu Reeves


Before the release of the fourth film in the “John Wick” series on March 24 in Quebec, actor Keanu Reeves recalls his love for action cinema, which he sees almost “like a ballet classic”, in an interview with AFP. 

“I like good action movies,” explains the star, who carries the success of this saga on his shoulders, whose screenplays have more corpses than lines of dialogue.

At 58, Keanu Reeves, long hair and slender figure, impeccable black suit, considers John Wick to be one of the two most significant roles of his career. With Neo, the “chosen one” of the Matrix saga, whose first opus marked science fiction at the turn of the 21st century.

The actor was then 35 years old and had stood out younger in My Own Private Idaho with his accomplice River Phoenix, who died shortly after, or in the action film Speedwith Sandra Bullock.

“Being in Matrix was a wonderful, life-changing experience growing up. John Wick is also at a more advanced age, in my fifties”, summarizes Keanu Reeves, who shot this fourth opus with Chad Stahelski, his stuntman and former understudy, who became a director.

After years triumph of Marvel and superhero movies, Keanu Reeves still wants to believe in “old-school” action movies on the big screen.

John Wick, which tells the story of a widowed killer who comes out of retirement to avenge the death of his dog, is imbued with “a darker influence. We use digital technologies but I think we prefer things in the flesh, the visceral celebration of body movement and violence, almost like a ballet,” he says.

Shooting in Paris

“What we are doing is not easy. I need to practice months before shooting. You need whole teams for the stunts and a director who has the necessary vision to create the image, the design, the music, the costumes…”, says this Hong Kong cinema and martial arts lover. /p>

For this fourth opus, Keanu Reeves returned to shoot in Paris, a city where he had already visited the sets, 35 years ago, for Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Stephen Frears.

From the City of Light, the man in the dark suit travels without saving the cartridges of postcard landscapes, from the Trocadéro to the roundabout of the Star, for a long scene of fight against the flow of traffic furiously reminiscent of the performance by Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 6. Not to mention a scene on the Porte des Lilas metro platform.

“Coming back to play in Paris has always been a dream for me . To be back is amazing,” says Keanu Reeves. “To be able to go, for John Wick: Chapter 4, to film in front of the Sacré-Coeur, on the steps of Montmartre, in the canals under the city, in the streets, shooting at night, all that was very special”.

Defenestration, nunchaku fighting, falling down countless stairs… Keanu Reeves, known for playing a large part of the action scenes himself, imagines he soon reach the age where he will no longer be able to shoot this kind of film?

“I'm getting close to it!”, he jokes before adding: “are we reaching a limit ? I don't know.”