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Its first-time director was Chad Stahelski who had been Reeves' stunt double in The Matrix trilogy. Once again, Reeves was required to say little, do lots of shooting and kung-fu and wear a tailored black suit, which is how he looks best. "I didn't experience it like that."You must have at least been aware of it. (In Britain, Sky magazine devoted 15 pages to him in various stages of undress. "I mean: I think I still have that now."You can't think that. I ran down, put my hand out and she gave me back the dagger. What the director Lewis Baumander remembers, though, is his actor's dedication to the part. Even his character's name appeared to come straight out of a graphic novel ("Don't Set Him Off" advised the posters). gave away a neon green Keanu keyring.) "I don't know. "Yeah, I think so."There's a few more roles you're famous for now. Showing up not just with his own 1,476 lines memorised — The Bard's biggest part — but everyone else's, too. Kenneth Branagh, who directed him in his 1991 film of and someone who's presumably used to a degree of dedication from his actors, recalled his commitment: "He practised some speeches while doing press-ups. It's about what level of commitment an actor or an actress is willing to make for a project. He's willing to give up six months of his time to train for a role. You're, like, I'm showing up in Bhutan a few weeks early to kind of get my Siddhārtha on and spend some time and walk around in the woods and do some thinking and some reading and some sitting. For sure."For all his closely-guarded privacy, a few personal stories concerning Reeves have leaked out.
Last year, the hipster London bookshop Idea produced a range of popular "KEANU" totes and sweatshirts. Rob Lowe had a good run of it as did Charlie Sheen, as did Robert Downey Jr before being rescued by Iron Man, but none has endured the same way as Reeves. Reeves recalls meeting Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton. In 1994, Reeves' father was arrested in Hawaii trying to sell large quantities of heroin and cocaine, and later sentenced to 10 years in jail (released in '96). "It's my preferred mode of transportation," he explains. Often it is merely the easiest means of getting from one appointment to another. In 1988, he took a hairpin bend too fast and lay on the pavement for half an hour thinking he was going to die. After the accidents the adrenalin kicks in, so it's not really painful. "That was pretty uncomfortable."We are talking at the Arch Motorcyle Company, the custom superbike builders Reeves co-founded with his friend Gard Hollinger, a well-known designer in the bike world, in Hawthorne, an industrial suburb south of Los Angeles. I don't pretend to know anything about him and I worked with him for a long time. I don't know what he's doing when we're not together. "."Our old friend the amateur psychologist might say you were overcompensating. The accident left a thick scar up his abdomen and necessitated the removal of his spleen. Reeves had already logged tens of thousands of miles on Nortons, Suzukis, a 1974 BMW 750, a 1984 Harley Shovelhead and a Moto Guzzi racer, all from his personal collection, before he approached Hollinger to make a modification to his Harley-Davidson. It's an innocence, actually."A script for the third Bill & Ted film has been around since 2009. "I think a lot of people's responses to the first film were: 'You know, once you kill a dog you can just do whatever you want'. '"As fellow hitman Marcus [Willem Dafoe] puts it: "There's no rhyme nor reason to this life." John Wick also borrowed two tropes familiar to any student of the director John Woo: "gun-fu" and "car-fu"."It really means just having some kind of multi-purpose with something," Reeves explains.
"So, something like hitting people with a car, that's 'car-fu'. "I don't know."Talking to Reeves isn't straightforward. It was also the crossroads for the narcotics trade of the Middle East. 'Let's go to the 'memory screen'…'"He was going to night school doing Uta Hagen's famous Respect for Acting class, at the same time taking improv classes at Second City, the sketch and comedy troupe in Toronto. '""But I loved to go to the movies as a kid and I loved watching movies. Even the act of going outside to the movies for me, and watching them in a room. On one hand he is unfailingly polite, courteous, engaged and charming. But his answers tend towards vagaries that peter out in a single sentence, or else he'll deflect questions with a quip or a funny voice. His Essex-born mother, Patricia, met his Chinese-Hawaiian father, Samuel, there. "I think my Mercutio was pretty good."It's still talked about today, I tease. By 16, he was driving eight hours to New York to sit in on acting classes at HB Studio, alma mater of Robert De Niro and Jack Lemmon. John Wick wastes little time on anything as tedious as a backstory. On a shooting range in Los Angeles, alternating between a rifle, a pistol and a shotgun and using live rounds, he spends a thrilling 37 seconds obliterating every target. And it kind of gives a truthful feeling to the film."It's not something actors tend to bother with. That You Tube footage is four months' worth of three-gun training. I think he would have done it even if I hadn't."There wasn't a pact? I know so many people miss him dearly."In the Nineties, Reeves worked with heavy-duty European directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Stephen Frears and Kenneth Branagh, as well as Americans Francis Ford Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow and Gus Van Sant. "Emilio [Estevez] and I sit around and just scratch our heads thinking, 'How did this guy get in? "How does Keanu work with Coppola and Bertolucci and I don't get a shot at that? Working with Stephen Frears [on director] Bernardo Bertolucci… A thread started on Reddit is devoted to these stories — it runs to thousands of comments. We trained every day for seven hours for three weeks going through all the motions. Wick is a loner who's lost his wife to an unspecified illness — there are flashbacks — and inherits a puppy to help him cope with her death, spending his days moping about in a 1969 Mustang Mach1 Coupé, having retired from his previous job, which happened to be the world's greatest hitman. 'Holy fucking shit,' reads a typical comment."You know, [that footage] it's OK," he says. "For me it's part of the pleasure of it."The preparation? In a non-movie way, what Keanu is doing in that video is competitively impressive. If you told him to go learn how to crochet, he'd go and be an expert in that. "I remember there was a kind of conversation had on Crescent Heights, south of Sunset. There are stories of Reeves taking out stage hands for lunches, of giving a set-builder ,000 to prevent him from being evicted, of stopping to help a woman jump-start her car. "Oh, I did that for the gentlemen who were involved in this really big fight in The Matrix, in the second one, the Agent Smith fight [the set-piece sees Neo fighting dozens of clones of his nemesis]. It was cool."You must have been the envy of friends."No, no, we were all doing that," Reeves says. We were in the park, playing street hockey, basketball…