Jack Traven

Speed (1994)

Pop quiz, hot shot

Occupation:SWAT officer
Distinguishing Feature:Speeding bus. (Sandra Bullock sold separately)
What He Taught Us:Don't go under 50.

Keanu Reeves

I wanted to give my character of Jack Traven some sort of Everyman quality. I wanted him to be good, altruistic, imaginative, experienced in special weapons and tactics. I was more interested in those qualities than in just being another artificial hero. I wanted the SWAT guy I played to be "every-guy," not this hunkster studly, but sort of sensitive.

I dealt with the LAPD before on Point Break, and the thing that came off is their concern for human life: 'We get the bad guys, and we get to save the good guys'. And with that basic tenet I began with Jack.

I like him, because he likes to save lives. I don't know where that impulse comes from. I mean, it's not like being a doctor -- the aspect of being a hero, taking it on, it's not like it's thrust upon you. This guy decided to become a police officer, and I'm sure it started when he was a little boy. He saw a policeman, thought it was such a good thing and he wanted to be a good man. And there's a part of him that enjoys the weapons and enjoys the military tactics. So it is a mixture of his altruism and his desire to be a warrior, wanting to blow things up and come through walls. There's a saying that the good guys get all the best weapons, but in this one he's using his mind and his courage rather than James Bond-devices.

This character lived through peril, [but] he didn't quite have the skills to know himself - to experience life. So Sandra's character pulled that out in him. You saw him smile.

Anakin McFly

Jack's a quiet jock prone to sudden explosions of temper, and someone with good intentions but not much ability to properly execute them. He's got a very simple, straightforward mind that serves him well enough in his job. He wants to help people and do the right thing, which to him is an uncomplicated matter.


With his heart in the right place, brawn, most certainly in the accurate place but the brain sometimes in the wrong place, our Mr.Traven showed the world which was dying slow and hard, choked by ripping muscles and machismo that there is beauty in being a gentlemanly giant.

He also showed the world that, relationships that start under intense circumstances never last, one has to base it on.... Oops, that research has been burried under the ocean floor, thanks to tons of steel.. Bad for Jack, bad for Annie, bad for Sandra and good for Keanu.

Ps. Time for some STH, apparently it's good to be tall.