Keanu Reeves can play just about any character he wants, but it’s becoming pretty clear that he really likes beating up the bad guys. Or everyone, for that matter! While he is certainly not the first action star to exist, he is one of the most hands-on ones, according to John Wick 4 director Chad Stahleski.
Stahleski, who first met Reeves on the set of The Matrix, is certain that the actor is one of the best in the game right now, and maybe even neck-and-neck with everybody’s favorite rogue airplane pilot, Tom Cruise.
The director detailed some of the work it takes to prepare for a role like Wick, telling Deadline, “Whether you are learning medical terms to play a physician or physical fight moves to have a good action sequence, they should all be commended for their effort,” Stahelski said before explaining that action films take it to the next level. “Then there’s next level of that, doing action-specific shows where you need really specific skill sets, like driving,” he added. There’s a reason there are so many Fast and Furious movies after all. You just don’t see that kind of transportation action everywhere these days, unless you live close to Medieval Times.
Stahleski admitted that there is one other long-haired Hollywood legend besides Reeves who might be just as dedicated, though. You can probably guess who he is going to say. Let’s see…
“Tom Cruise in the Mission: Impossible films, the amount running and driving and fighting…that’s all Tom. Far above even the high expectations in our industry. He’s one of two that stand apart. I haven’t worked with Mr. Cruise but from what I hear from the stunt teams, he’s that guy. There is no limit to how far we will go.
“My experience is Keanu, and that’s what I’d say about him. There’s a love of what he does, a love of the suffering to get to what he does there. There’s a love of the journey, the craft and this personal conviction to just…I’m gonna do the best I can. And that’s all there is to it. That will power and commitment, that’s Keanu and that’s not normal. It’s a Keanu thing, just who he is.”
While training for John Wick Chapter 4, Reeves became really good at car stunts, which is something that Cruise still struggles with. Hey, Cruise has got his planes, so between him and Reeves, they have all the modes of international travel covered. Even buses.