Keanu Reeves on 'John Wick,' 'Bill & Ted 3,' and That 'Point Break' Remake
by Drew Taylor
Keanu Reeves has been many things over the years The One, Ted, sad. But this week he assumes a new role as John Wick in the movie of the same name, a high octane thriller directed by a pair of former stuntmen (David Leitch and Chad Stahelski) and so relentlessly entertaining that it will make you forget about whatever the hell "47 Ronin" was.
In "John Wick," Reeves essays the role of a former hitman who has given up that life for the love of his wife, Helen (Bridget Moynahan). After Helen succumbs to a longtime illness, Wick is left alone and grieving, comforted only by the affection of the small puppy Helen left behind. When some Russian thugs (led by Alfie Allen) break into his home, it sets Wick on a long, bloody path of revenge. And it's really, really cool.
We sat down with Reeves last week and talked about all things "John Wick," the chances of another "Bill & Ted" movie actually happening, whether or not he had any crazy Gary Oldman stories, and what his favorite revenge movies are.
WARNING: MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
There were rumors circulating online that in between the screening at Fantastic Fest and now that there were some things that had been cut. Is there any truth to that rumor?
I haven't heard any of those rumors, but I don't think that that is true. The film they saw is the film that is, is the film that will be.
For whatever that is.
What are some of your favorite revenge movies?
Favorite revenge movies... Hmm... Is "Dirty Harry" a revenge movie? There's some psychological revenge. He's working something out. Maybe that's not revenge. But "Kill Bill" is definitely a classic revenge tale. What are some other ones? Hmmm...
So you didn't feel indebted to this sub-genre then?
It's funny, because I always thought of it as avenge or reclaim, which is kind of what revenge is, right? I need to reclaim what was lost. I mean "Unforgiven" is a good one. So that was a part of it but once I got into "John Wick" I was just about John Wick, in the sense of reclaiming what was taken from him -- his life, his moment to grieve. He's walked away from this dark past for love and then these people come along and fucking kill it. He wants his life back. I think people can relate to that.
Well, hopefully people aren't killing other people.
No, but there's a little bit of the fantasy. That's movies, right? It's catharsis.
But at the same time it's an R-rated movie. It's not a comic book. Is there any interest in doing one of these things on your end?
I mean, I love the graphic novel form. I like how it's been translated. I certainly think it's impactful, with the images translating to cinema. I mean just look at "The Matrix." That was influenced by graphic novels and anime. I like that world. I like action. I like science fiction. I like heightened realism.
They haven't gone to you to play a specific superhero, have they?
No. I think I missed that one. I always wanted to play Wolverine. But I didn't get that. And they have a great Wolverine now. I always wanted to play The Dark Knight. But I didn't get that one. They've had some great Batmans. So now I'm just enjoying them as an audience.
You could direct one.
Yeah, I could do that.
As "John Wick" is approaching, have audience reaction been what you expected it to be?
Well, the only time I've seen it with an audience was back in Austin. So I'm seeing it tonight with an audience. I'm excitedly nervous about that. Hopefully people will like it. Spending some days here with people who have seen the film, it's cool. People have said nice things and enjoyed it.
It's a movie for audiences.
This movie is fun. This movie is a good time. This movie isn't stupid, though. It's got humor, action, the production design, the way the action is depicted, the fun of the characters. This is a go-to-the-movies, hang-out, date-movie. It's like a date movie or just go f*cking watch some action and see John Wick taking care of business. Or just cry when the dog gets stomped.
I heard the dog was here.
Yes. He has grown up to a bigger beagle.
Has there been any more talk about furthering the adventures of John Wick?
I mean, I guess for me personally I would like to see that character again. I loved playing him. I know the writer has thought about that. But amongst ourselves we haven't spoken about a sequel. It's really up to the audience, so we'll see if they enjoy it. It's original content, too, so it's not like, Let's go back to the John Wick graphic novel.
Where do you want to see John Wick go?
There's this impossible mission spoken about. So you could do a prequel about why John got out of the life. Or why did he get into the life? But for me, if it was in the future, what would get him back into the life? And what would he do? I wouldn't want it to be a revenge story again and I wouldn't want him to do it for money. But I'd be interested if there was something that he couldn't help himself. Maybe he takes advantage of it. Maybe he sees something going wrong or someone comes to him. John Wick's got a sister! I don't know. I don't want to do that. Maybe he could get all weird.
What does John Wick getting weird mean?
I don't know. Maybe he could push forward. Maybe there could be characters having dreams of this past life. Yeah...
There has been talk of another of your other movies either being remade or a sequel being done. What do you think about the "Point Break" remake?
Good luck, man. Those people have a challenge and an expectation. I think it's cool that people are updating it or making that story their own. It means that the first film has a lot of affection and a classic legacy, which is cool. So to have another time take that and make it their own is great. But good luck. I wish them well.
Would you go see it?
Sure. Yeah. Let's go have a weird Wednesday and go see "Point Break." Is it still going to be called "Point Break"?
I'm sure it'll be called "Point Break."
You've got to update it. You have to make it your own. I just wonder if they'll call it "Point Break: Extreme."
Well, they still called "Red Dawn" "Red Dawn" even though it was North Korea and not Russia.
You need a good name. But how do you have a "Point Break" without surfing?
Surfing will be part of it. But there'll be other stuff.
Just go on bargain night.
Stop! It's tough to make a movie!
But you already made a great "Point Break."
Yeah, but... You know, they can make another.
You're responsible for stirring the flames of a "Bill & Ted" sequel every once in a while.
Oh yeah that's my fault.
You talk about it a lot.
They ask me!
Is it happening?
I don't know.
Do you want it to happen?
I'm not convinced.
I can't blame you. We're trying to do it. There's a script. We're trying to get the rights. We're trying to raise the money. We're trying to get a director. It's still early days.
You could direct it.
I'm not going to direct it. I need to focus all of my energy into playing Ted Theodore Logan. He will take everything I have.
Every molecule of Keanu is going to go into this performance.
Yes. As they all do.
It's almost Halloween and you have certainly contributed with your performance in "Bram Stoker's Dracula." Looking back on it, what was that whole situation like?
I know that we were struggling to get the hair grey. What else?
What was working with Coppola like?
It was f*cking amazing. We had an amazing experience. There's an opera to it that's amazing. I've seen it a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. I think it holds up. I had an English accent and I know we re-looped it a couple of times. It was an extraordinary time. The whole cast is fantastic.
Do you have any crazy Gary Oldman stories? He was still pretty nuts back then.
He wasn't nuts. That guy is a genius. He's one of the best actors who ever lived; when I met him, and seeing him perform. He's one of the brightest lights, one of the sharpest edges... The guy is a master. Even back then I was inspired.
Yeah, but he was insane.
Insane?! He was playing f*cking Dracula! In a Coppola movie!
Was he in character?
I don't know! He was amazing! He was full of fire and passion! And he cared. He was on fire.
Would you return to the horror genre?
Sure. I worked with Eli Roth recently on "Knock Knock," which was fantastic.
Have you seen it?
I have seen a cut of it. It was fantastic.
Is it scary?
It's a little bit scary. It's a home invasion movie. I'm playing this guy who is a husband, father, architect, alone. It's the weekend and knock, knock, I open the door. It's raining. There's two girls. They're in party clothes. "We're lost, can we come in?" They seduce me. We do it. A lot. Then they don't leave in the morning. Then they start to exact a kind of revenge.
So that's revenge too!
It is. You know, with "John Wick" I was playing the avenging angel and in "Knock, Knock," I'm the victim. But not really... Can I say "f*ck"?
You've already said "f*ck," like, 15 times.
Have I really? Oh well. They're like, "You f*cked us. And we're going to tell your wife you're a pedophile." But they're not underage. They tell me they are and this character is kind of a dope. But yeah... That was fun.
You're about to start your first TV show, "John Rain." What are your favorite TV shows of the moment?
I'm not watching any TV shows at the moment.
Did you watch "True Detective"?
Is that of the moment?
Well, it's this year.
Okay. Yeah. Of course.
Did you have any interest in being in the second season?
I didn't think about it. I wasn't approached. So they weren't thinking about me. But the acting and writing -- and Cary did such an amazing job.
Season 3. John Wick in "True Detective."