Film sets and studios
by Gabrielle Jaffe and Yuan Ren
(snipped for Keanu content)
Out of the 19th-century shop and back into 21st-century Huairou, we kept our eyes peeled. By Lot Eight, a sign showed promise: ‘No mobile phones on set. 50RMB fine’. A moment later, we had to double take: walking past a slightly ajar door, we glimpsed none other than Keanu Reeves in jeans and sweatshirt, lifting an enormous pair of dumbbells. Giggling girlishly, we resolved to go back and speak to him. But on returning, we found Reeves mid-benchpress, legs spread and crotch pointed in our direction. It felt wrong to approach a man in such a vulnerable state.
Instead we caught up with Jeremy Marinas, a stuntman in films such as The Green Hornet and Sherlock Holmes, who was here alongside Reeves. ‘Yeah, I wouldn’t go in there. Keanu is kind of a private guy,’ Marinas warned us, explaining they were shooting Reeves’s directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, a martial arts movie out next year. They’d been refilming the same fight scene for four days. No wonder Reeves needed to let off a little steam between takes.