Keanu Reeves has portrayed a lot of different types of characters in his almost four decades-spanning career.
Be it Neo in The Matrix, John Constantine in Constantine, or the titular hero in John Wick, he has made a name for himself by giving life to some of the most complex, multi-faceted characters over the years.
However, there is one particular type of role, he feels especially attached to. Well, although given the success he has had playing them surely gives a hint as to why that is, the real reason happens to be much deeper. And in fact, painful, for Keanu Reeves.
Keanu Reeves feels connected to tortured characters
Known for his exceptionally kind and humble nature, in an industry filled with a lot of egotistical artists, Keanu Reeves is pretty much admired by everyone. Be it his co-stars like Sandra Bullock, or Halle Berry, all had only nice things to say about him.
Noting, no matter what brutal character he played on screen, in reality, he is one of the most polite people ever. Halle Berry, especially mentioned how she regretted not working with him before, after they met on the set of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
Interestingly, Reeves has claimed before that his character John Wick, is someone he possibly relates to the most, among all his other roles, because he likes, “playing characters who suffer.” He further added, talking about Wick,
“He keeps getting hit by cars, he keeps getting shot, he’s getting beat up, but he keeps trying to fight for what he wants and believes in.”
And this is something that seems to inspire him a lot. Especially, with his own struggles with a similar kind of trauma to John Wick years ago, which he claimed changed him completely. Basically, back in 1998, Keanu Reeves met Jennifer Syme, who was David Lynch’s assistant.
The pair clicked so well, that according to Reeves they fell in love instantly. They conceived a little while later, and about a year after, when Reeves was shooting for The Matrix, Syme gave birth to their daughter Ava Archer Syme-Reeves.
Unfortunately, the baby was stillborn, and not being able to near the strain it put on their relationship, they broke up a few weeks later.
However, that wasn’t the end, as just one and a half years later, on April 2nd, Jennifer Syme, too, passed away in a car accident while she was on her way to a party at Marylin Manson’s house. Obviously, this shattered the actor, as he noted in an interview years later,
“Grief changes shape, but it never ends … people have a misconception that you can deal with it and say, ‘It’s gone, and I’m better.’ They’re wrong. When the people you love are gone, you’re alone.”
However, miraculously, instead of letting his grief control him and turn him into a bitter shell of himself, he allowed it to make him more empathetic and compassionate. This is another aspect where he saw his own reflection in the former assassin, as he explained,
“For me, it was John’s grief that made it personal. It was strong enough to make him want to unearth his past. I thought of it not as revenge but as reclaiming.”
As a result, his affinity and growing attachment to tortured characters, and especially John Wick makes a lot of sense.
Surprising everybody Keanu Reeves is returning with John Wick 5
However attached he was to Wick’s character, it was kind of a given that he was done with the franchise, at least for now, after John Wick: Chapter 4 was released earlier this year. In fact, next year’s Ballerina was expected to feature his character for the final time in the foreseeable future.
As a result, it came as a complete shock to the fans when Chad Stahelski announced that not only a John Wick 5 is already in the pipeline, but it is in fact in its early production stage. This was especially surprising as Reeves himself stated that he would possibly take a break from the franchise.
Not only that, but Stahelski announced that they are in the process of developing 5 different projects based on the John Wick universe that includes Ana De Armas starring Ballerina, and the TV series The Continental, expected to release later this year.
He also claimed that the growth of each project is going to be organic and so when the time comes around for each of its debuts, they wouldn’t seem out of place.
As a result, fans of the franchise seem pretty excited about the idea, especially as it could mean witnessing Keanu Reeves reprising his role again and again.
Source: Jake’s Takes