Keanu Reeves: Man of Tai Chi is my story
Keanu Reeves has been thinking about directing a movie for around five years.
Keanu Reeves decided to direct Man of Tai Chi because he didn't want anyone else to "tell the story".
The Hollywood star is attending the Cannes Film Festival to promote his directorial debut. Keanu is deeply passionate about the martial arts movie, which follows the story of a young man who becomes involved in Beijing's underground fighting circuit.
"About four or five years ago I started to think about directing," he told Total Film. "My dictum was I would only direct if I had a story to tell and, having developed the script over this length of time, it became a story I wanted to tell and one I didn't want anybody else to tell."
Stuntman-turned-actor Tiger Chen stars in the film. Keanu has known Tiger for some time because he was involved in fight scenes for the Matrix series. The filmmaker-and-actor remains impressed by Tiger's enthusiasm and experience.
"He would tell me these extraordinary stories about his master, like he would stand outside with birdseed in the palm of his hand and the bird would land there, but when the bird would try to fly away he would take its chi and the bird couldn't fly... And I'd be like, 'No way! Tell me another master story!'" Keanu recalled.
"Tiger has over 11 action sequences in the film and he was pretty heroic. All these [stunt actors] would come in strong and by the end of the day they were like, 'Oh my god, Man Of Tai Chi has broken me!' And Tiger would be like, 'Come on!'"