Keanu Reeves – John Wick Chapter 2

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INTERVIEW WITH Keanu Reeves

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Revenge still plays a huge part in the plots that have dominated our box offices over the past few years. It was revenge for people coming after his family that started Dom’s (Vin Diesel) crusade in The Fast And The Furious franchise and it was people kidnapping his daughter that caused Bryan (Liam Neeson) to show the world his special set of skills in Taken.

Then there was John Wick (Keanu Reeves), a man who started his deadly rampage because somebody stole his car and killed his dog… fair enough when you really think about it. As a film, John Wick not only thrilled film fans but also once again put leading man Keanu Reeves back on the big screen after his career seemed to go into free-fall after the disaster that was The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Now Reeves is back in John Wick Chapter 2 and says Wick is a character that he really enjoys playing. “I really enjoy playing John Wick,” he says matter-of-factly. “I love making the film. I love the training. I love the process, and it is a very satisfying role for me. It’s a pleasure to play the role, so I feel very lucky going to work every day.”

In the finale of the original John Wick, we saw Wick get revenge on the men who killed his dog but he still wasn’t in ownership of his car, and that is where Reeves says the story starts up for John Wick Chapter 2. “We were asking where does this story start,” explains Reeves. “And then we were like, ‘Okay, let’s get his car back.’ So the film opens with John getting his car back. And in the terms of exploring the mythology, we’re kind of going deeper and exploring it. Chad (Stahelski – the film’s director) has a lot of – what are the connections, what is the continental? We go international with the continental and we bring in this concept of the High Table. We go beyond the continental – there is the High Table. I think what we are doing in this second film is we are exploring the difference – the line between – John and John Wick. It’s really made a point in the story and we investigate that. It’s about the suit and it’s about the life that in this story he re-buries. HE does that because he wants to protect John – John the man who is a civilian – John the man who is a husband – you know, that life that is outside the John Wick world… the assassin.”

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After watching John Wick Chapter 2, you know that Reeves put his body through hell for this film. From start-to-finish the film is constant action: action that sees Reeves hit many cars, involved in full-on hand-to-hand combat, and seemingly a lot of fights that result in him falling down stairs. So just how much pressure was he under during production on the film? “You have to do longer takes, the expectation is longer takes,” he says, laughing. “And it is demanding; it is really, really demanding. As far as fights go – movie fights – there are always longer takes and it always adds to the complexity and all the footwork. There’s been a lot of comprehension and it was cool that I got a lot of time to train with Ruby to get that dance working. Chad brings such experience to actually shooting physical action. He was a stuntman at a very high level so he understands the cinema of action and what it takes to put that on the screen. He loves action fims and he loves myth and mythology so it’s great to have such a literate cinephile involved.”

One of the more interesting characters that appears in John Wick Chapter 2 is Bowery King, a character that means you will never look at homeless people the same way again. Reeves says there was never any doubt that Laurence Fishburne was perfect for the role. “Yeah, we had this role—the Bowery King—and Chad was, like, right away: Laurence Fishburne. And as soon as I heard that I was like: ‘YEAH!’ He’s such an amazing actor and he and I have been friends ever since we worked together on The Matrix. So to get the chance to work with him was special… it was just amazing.”

John Wick Chapter 2 hits cinemas on the 18th May but you can head over to heavymag.com.au and read our review for it.

Written by Dave Griffiths

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