Ask: Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves fields questions from fans, revealing the training and stunt work that makes "Matrix" action look effortless and giving a taste of the bikes and bands that keep him running.
Q: Was it fun to re-team with the cast of "The Matrix" after all this time? — Alisa
Reeves: Absolutely. I love everyone who I worked with. I felt so lucky and grateful to be around so many talented artists — and great people. It's been some of the best days of my life.
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Q: What did you do to get in shape for "The Matrix Reloaded"? What was the training like? — Jaime
Keanu Reeves: It was basically a couple of hours of stretching in the morning and then about an hour and a half of kicking. Then lunch. Then after lunch, warm up, a little more stretching and then work on either weapons or choreography. If there was no choreography, I'd work on weapons and more kicking, maybe punching and that's about it. And just trying to eat right, lift some weights, stuff like that. We started with four months of training before principle photography. If we were filming and there was a fight coming up, I would rehearse or train on the weekends. Sometimes, after filming, we do some weight training or conditioning training, which was basically just running. ... The whole experience of it was about 22 months.
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Q: What was it like doing all that crazy wire work? Was it hard? — Lindsey
Reeves: The funny thing about the wire is that when you don't do it right, it hurts. If you do it right, it's the easiest thing in the world. It's kinda like life, you know? You do it right — easy! You don't do it so well — hard! You have to give so much energy to make it look effortless. ... You got the wire behind, the thing is upside down, you're crashing into trees, you're landing on the ground. But if you have enough focused energy and you do it, then they are really fun and you're there.
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Q: I was wondering if you have an action figure of yourself. Is that weird at all? — Jeana
Reeves: I do, actually. Is it weird? It's funny. My first one was in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." They had some Bill and Ted dolls that were quite hilarious. They also had the Bill and Ted cereal made by Purina, which was even funnier because, I don't know if you recall, but Purina was a famous maker of dog food. For "The Matrix" they have done some figures. Some of them are actually quite extraordinary. There are some that come out of Japan that are really well done. It's funny, but in a cool way, too. When I was in acting school, when I was 16, I didn't think there would be an action figure, but even now at 38 it is still kind of funny. But it's also really fun. I have a friend who collects them so he's like, "When do I get the dolls? Give me the dolls," and I'm like, "OK, man. You can have the dolls."
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Q: When you were shooting "The Matrix," did you think it would be as big as it became? — Renae
Reeves: No, I actually had no expectation. I knew that I really loved the script when I read it and really had a great experience making it and really enjoyed the film. I thought that Larry and Andrew Wachowski, the writers and directors, did an amazing job. And the actors in it and the performances ... I thought it was really a cool film, but I had no idea how people would react to it. It's very exciting right now just having all these films come out, that there is so much excitement about them. My friends are like, "I can't wait to see it." I feel very grateful and lucky to be a part of it. It's a once in a lifetime experience.
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Q: What's the next project you're going to work on after the "Matrix" movies? — Faren
Reeves: Right now I'm working on a film that has no title, directed by Nancy Meyers who did "What Women Want" with Mel Gibson. It's got Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in it. I play a doctor who falls for Diane Keaton. And Jack Nicholson falls for Diane Keaton. It's kind of a romantic comedy. it has been great to work with such extraordinary actors. Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson — pretty fantastic.
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Q: I hear that you have a new band. Can you tell me about that? — Stephanie
Reeves: While Dogstar was in hibernation, the drummer, Robert Mailhouse, started and was part of another group. They were looking for a bass player, so I sat in with them and we meshed really well. We've played a couple of shows. We're making some demos. It's called Becky.
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Q: I hear you're really into motorcycles. What kind of bikes do you have? Can you do any tricks on them? — Jo
Reeves: The trick is trying to stay on. I have a couple of Norton Commandos. I have a '72 Combat Commando and a '73 850. Those are my prides and my joys. No tricks, just, you know, staying on and enjoying the scenery. Going there and coming back — that is, as fast as you can.