Keanu Reeves Reloaded
He who plays Neo — Keanu Reeves — gives the inside scoop on "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions." The hotly-anticipated sequels are both set for 2003 release.
MTV: What was it like shooting "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions" together?
Reeves: It was great. There was a nice continuity between the two films. It didn't really feel like two films, it kind of felt like one film.
MTV: What can people expect from "Reloaded" and "Revolutions"?
Reeves: Our hope, our ambition is to create something that is extraordinary. It's not just about novelty or spectacle; for the directors and everyone involved it's really about telling this story.
[They have] a virtual camera, so it's [using] the camera and moving the camera in ways that a physical camera can't, just changes of perspectives, etc. It's exciting to be a part of that. Hopefully, people will enjoy everyone trying to create. It's been an extraordinary experience to be a part of something [in which] so many creative people are having the opportunity to go as far as they can. The [Wachowski] brothers (the directors) have written scripts as dense, if not more dense, in terms of ideas and emotions, than the first "Matrix." Hopefully, people will like it.
MTV: How much stunt work is actually you?
Reeves: [Stunts are] important to the piece in terms of how you relate to the characters. I know it was one of the hopes of the directors that the actors would be doing as much as they could so they don't have to cut away, so you're really watching these people do what they're doing. For me, it's important to try to do as much [of my own stunts] as I could. There's some things that were beyond my skill, so that was a little dangerous, but I got to do as much as I could. It was quite thrilling to try and do some of the wires, some of the fighting combinations and stuff. My character, Neo, gets to use some weapons, so I got to taste using weapons. That's even a little more intense, because a punch is one thing, but a sword, if you don't duck in time, it's not good.
MTV: How intense was your training for "The Matrix" sequels?
Reeves: It's pretty intense. Basic training was about four months and then I worked with 12 stunt men on one fight every day for about three weeks.
MTV: What happens in that fight scene?
Reeves: It's a fight between Neo and Smith. It takes place in the second film, "Reloaded," and it's basically Neo multi-fighting a bunch of different Smiths. It took about 27 shooting days for a camera, first unit and there was a bunch of other days we call motion capture, which will be integrated with some of the virtual camera stuff that they are doing. When you're watching it, you're seeing people on wires, you're seeing some of the choreography, and folks just trying to put a good fight together, a good fun fight.
MTV: The sequels also have a dance sequence. Describe that process.
Reeves: That was a remarkable few days. We shot that out in Oakland, California with, I think it was like 900 or 1,200 kids, people out dancing. ... There was a wonderful feeling coming from the people who were participating in it, just an excitement. There was drum circles and people doing impromptu concerts and singing. I'm sure a couple people are getting married after those couple of days. It was really quite a rave aspect to it, which was great. I know the brothers were really excited by the enthusiasm shown by the people involved, so it was cool.
MTV: What can we expect from Neo in "The Matrix: Reloaded" and "The Matrix: Revolutions"?
Reeves: Neo's journey is a journey continuing on discovery and his responsibilities as The One. [There will be] a little bit more romance. Love, lots of love.
MTV: What is it like to have the two sequels coming out the same year?
Reeves: I haven't seen them yet, but I was there for a lot of what was being done and it's very exciting. It's neat to be a part of something where my friends and peers and people that I know are excited about going to the movies to see these films. I feel very fortunate and lucky to be a part of something like that and something that I'm excited about as well.
MTV: How does it feel to be a part of the trilogy, something people will look back on?
Reeves: I'm going to look back on the experience of making these films as some of my greatest days, I'm sure.