Starting his career in the 80s, Keanu Reeves has become one of the biggest stars in the film industry. He won over the audience with his unmatched charisma and perplexing aura. And it seems like director Jan de Bont also noticed similar things about him when he decided to cast Reeves in the 1994 action thriller Speed. The film features the John Wick star alongside Oscar winner Sandra Bullock.
Speed follows Jack and Annie, who try to save the passengers of a bus that is armed with a bomb. Director of the film Jan de Bont shared that he was impressed with Reeves’ performance in the 1991 film Point Break as he shared the reason he cast him as the lead in the action thriller.
Why Did Jan de Bont Cast Keanu Reeves in Speed?
Jan de Bont’s 1994 film Speed served astars a breakthrough for Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Both the actors were highly appreciated for their incredible performance in the film, and Speed did pretty well at the box office as well. During his interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jan de Bont shared the reason he chose Reeves to take the lead in his film.
He shared that he had worked with some of the biggest stars at the time. But he wanted to introduce someone who could be relatable to the young audience. “But people are ready for a new, younger action hero, especially one young people can relate to,” he said.
And he knew that the Point Break star was perfect for the role after watching his performance in the 1991 film. De Bont shared that Reeves’ appearance at the time was not “threatening to men,” but at the same time, it was something that looked “great to women.”
While the director was excited to have him in the film, Reeves had his concern with its script, which he found similar to another popular action thriller. And he suggested making some changes in the script as he thought that the film could be better than that.
Keanu Reeves Made Certain Changes in Speed
During his interview with Entertainment Weekly, Keanu Reeves shared the things he found odd about the 1994 film that established him as a leading man in Hollywood. Talking about his character in Jan de Bont’s Speed, he said that he found Jack Traven “very flippant.”
“There were situations set up for one-liners, and I felt it was forced — Die Hard mixed with some kind of screwball comedy,” he said. The Constantine star shared that he did not find it interesting how the character was initially written. He believed that the script could have been much better.
Considering his suggestions, the Twister director reworked the script with Joss Whedon and made changes to the lead character as per Reeves’ suggestions. He also shared that he caused panic on the film set by cutting off his hair.
Speed is available on Amazon Prime.
Source: Entertainment Weekly