Keanu Reeves

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You play a pretty vulnerable guy in John Wick despite being an action hero.

Yeah, the directors did a really good job with the script to take the time to show this character being in a vulnerable situation and going into the myth of this guy. We get to know John's house so when they invade his house and beat him up and steal the car and put a baseball bat through the wife's car, you feel the outrage.

Everyone works with you says you're the first one on set and the last one off. What's driving you after all these years?

That's the pleasure of it for me. If I'm going to say yes to something there's nothing I'm more interested in. And with John Wick I loved the intensity of the project, having to get this action we were doing in a tight timeframe, the amount of shooting days we had.

Also the directors are like brothers to me, they're guys I've known for over 15 years and in a way grown up with them in our action movies. They raised the bar in the action because they come from the action world and this is their first film.

We're pretty familiar with a former killer dragged back in to the violent life against his will. How do you stand out from the rest?

Text-wise you're in that genre, you're in that particular archetype. So I think it's the type of person. John's ambivalence is talked about. He denies it for a little bit but not the meaning of the movie. It's about his will and using the dark side to reclaim something. We all have our darker side and that we want to react with violence when we get angry. John Wick is kind of this fantasy because he's just takes care of business.

I think the directors have differentiated themselves with the characters that inhabit the world and the way of the world looks. It's the vision, it's the architecture, it's the cameras, it's the colours, it's the costume. You might have seen this story but you haven't seen it told like this.

What do we love about that archetype?

For me it goes back to Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns or The Unforgiven. Then there are guys like Steve McQueen, even Bruce Lee in a way.

What's it like being an action star and being older now you're over 50?

There's like a kind of grace to him but a grit. You see him eating cereal and he's kind of like schlumpy. And then when he takes that shower and you see the tattoo and he just looks fit. Not like a weight lifting guy but just a guy who's done judo or jujitsu. I asked the directors if they wanted me to have more muscle and they just said 'no, we just want you to look capable.'

It's harder with being older but I also have more experience dealing with the choreography faster. We didn't have weeks of training like I did on the Matrix. It was more like 'here's the set, here's 12 people you're going to kill, we're going to walk you through it'. So we figure it out on the day.

The fight scenes look like they'd need much more preparation than that.

I was surrounded by great people. It's all timing co-operation, with the camera and the actors.

But all your action movie experience made it easier too?

I haven't done that many action films. I mean I've done Point Break , Speed, the Matrix Trilogy, a little action in Constantine. Did some running in Chain Reaction. I guess Street Kings a little bit. But definitely with these guys we all knew the way to train. They knew what I could do and what I was good at and what I was bad at.

Any injuries?

No. I've got still got some rug burns from the fight that Adrienne Palicki because I decided to do that in shorts. When I said yes to it I didn't know we'd be doing this front flip into a grapple onto a couch and then onto a front roll. So if you see the movie you'll probably see some rug burns but that's it.

How has the action movies changed since the days of Point Break and Speed?

The biggest change is probably the amount of wire work. When we did The Matrix there wasn't a lot of kung-fu in Hollywood movies. I started to feel the technologies when I did Point Break but mostly in Speed, the way they could hide wires and harnesses and put me in places they weren't normally putting actors.

If John Wick does well would you be interested in doing a sequel?

Yeah I liked playing the guy. I know the writer has stories for it but I don't know. There's potential for another one but not to this particular story.

Speaking of sequels, any more news about Bill and Ted 3?

There's a script waiting for maybe another draft. They're trying to get money to put together to make it. We need the rights from MGM to let us go make it, so it's in the business part of show business.

How much input have you had?

The writers Chris Matheson and Ed Sullivan have been really cool about collaborating with Alex Winter and I. But they have their own thing going so they've worked really hard in the past few years to try and get the script to a good place. Right now it's a place where it needs to take the next step.

In Mexico John Wick was retitled Another Day To Die. What do you think about that?

Sounds like a James Bond movie. I think that's true. I think that's probably true for the character. There's something to do with death about him. People who get to know him tend to die. That was always part of the backstory for me, that people who get involved with him die, even the ones he loves.

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