Keanu Reeves really loves his Toy Story 4 character Duke Caboom
by Kevin Fraser
With TOY STORY 4 just over the horizon, we'll soon be introduced to an entirely new group of toys, including Duke Caboom, a 1970s toy based on Canada's greatest stuntman who comes armed with his Caboom stunt-cycle and a rocking mustache. However, for all his confidence and swagger, Duke has a dark secret: he's never actually been able to do the awesome stunts which were advertised in his own toy commercial.
Keanu Reeves (JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM) has lent his voice to Duke Caboom and seems extremely pumped about the character, apparently even yelling out "Kaboom!" every few minutes during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I wanted to make sure I didn’t do anything that would go into Tim Allen’s space as Buzz Lightyear," Reeves said. "That was one thing I was really paying attention to when I was thinking about the character and how he would talk. So I made Duke a little more gravelly but still tried to give him energy and a big personality.… I just thought that Duke should love what he does. He’s the greatest stuntman in Canada! I wanted him to be constantly doing poses on the bike while he was talking, to have this great extroverted passion." Reeves' passion for Duke Caboom goes back to when he first met with the Pixar team about the role and apparently leapt up on the table to act out the character, something which director Josh Cooley said helped them craft the character.
We always had this character, who was always this bravado Canadian stuntman, and in my head, I had this one [idea] of how it would be performed, but then we met with Keanu and before he even signed on, he wanted to have lunch. And once he came to the table, he started asking all these great questions and doing different voices and actually jumped up on the table in the middle of Pixar to act out the character and his great ideas that we didn’t have in there originally. It was really incredible. Keanu really did help craft that character in a huge, huge way.
Although Keanu Reeves was clearly gung-ho about tackling Duke's over-the-top personality, he was even more intrigued by his tragic backstory. "Every kid has their toy, and Duke let his kid down when he couldn’t do what the commercial said he could," Reeves explained. "So he’s a wounded person! He’s needing to have some, I don’t know, catharsis. Some feeling. I wanted him to have a real sensitivity and a soft heart.… I also saw him as a character that has a really wide dramatic bandwidth in the sense of being so big. ‘Kaboom! Kapow! Let’s go!’ But who can also then share his wounds, like, ‘You have a kid? I had a kid. I let him down!’ And he can get quiet. So it was really a lot to play with on the playground."
Toy Story 4
Toy Story 4