It’s Sunday, which means that if you haven’t already watched Ali Wong and Randall Park’s highly anticipated romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe on Netflix, then it’s probably in your queue right now. (If not, it should be.) The film premiered in select theaters on Wednesday and started streaming on Friday, and aside from the fact that most people seem to be enjoying it, everyone has been gushing about the same thing: Keanu Reeves‘ cameo as an exaggerated version of himself. And guess what? He improvised some of it.
As Wong explained to Rolling Stone, most of the film’s comedic content came from herself, Park and co-writer Michael Golamco, but they gave plenty of pitching room to Reeves — and he delivered:
At the Chateau Marmont he pitched a couple of things that made it in. Like wearing glasses that had no lens. And the part in the game night scene where he lists all of these Chinese dignitaries, that was all his idea. And when he says, “I don’t have a problem, Sasha. What’s your problem?” and starts air-fighting. It’s hard to describe just how shockingly funny he is.
If you’ve seen the film, then you know exactly what Wong is referring to here. If not, then you’ve seen at least a hint of Reeves’ performance in the trailer (and his GIF-ed introduction from it). The whole film is fantastic, but the John Wick franchise star definitely steals the show during the short amount of time he’s on screen.
Of course, that’s just what Reeves does that made the final cut. As Wong and director Nahnatchka Khan recalled of their meeting in an interview with Vulture, not only was the actor fully committed to playing a goofy version of himself, but he also came prepared to play:
Khan remembers Reeves as humble, funny, well-prepared, and a big fan of Wong’s stand-up. “He loved that she was just so ballsy. He was like, ‘You take no prisoners, and I love it,’” said Khan. “He was like, ‘I would be honored to be part of this love story.’”
“[Reeves] had read the whole script and was referencing very specific parts like, ‘Well, I have a question about page 80,’” said Wong. “We’re like, page 80? I had looked at this draft so many times, I don’t even remember what happens on page 80.”
“And then he was getting into the character already. He took my hand in his hand and just stared at me like, Hi. Kind of like he does in the movie and held my hand for an awkwardly long comedic time. It was unbelievable how much he committed to it already in that moment.”