“My blood would just drain out of me”: Keanu Reeves’ Hid a Scary Injury from Everyone While Filming ‘The Matrix’ for an Absurd Fear Despite Beating Will Smith for the Role

Keanu Reeves' Hid a Scary Injury from Everyone While Filming 'The Matrix' for an Absurd Fear Despite Beating Will Smith for the Role
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There’s a reason why Keanu Reeves can do the John Wick films and still not get tired. He’s immortal. Well, that seems to be what the actor felt like when he was starting his career with the breakthrough movie, The Matrix.

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Stating how he had a very grievous neck surgery done just months before filming of the 1999 movie started, Reeves kept it a secret in fear of losing out on the role. Keanu Reeves revealed in an interview that he would stay terrified all the time back in those days because all of it could have gone in an instant if he wasn’t careful!

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Keanu Reeves in a still from The Matrix (1999)
Keanu Reeves in a still from The Matrix (1999)

Keanu Reeves Hid A Life-Endangering Surgery While Filming The Matrix

Being one of the greats, the actor has starred in several iconic roles throughout his career in Hollywood. Although he found fame by starring alongside Sandra Bullock in Speed, his career began when he took on the role of Neo in The Matrix back in 1999.

Keanu Reeves in a still from the John Wick franchise
Keanu Reeves from the John Wick franchise

Also read: “He had another world happen to him”: Keanu Reeves Is Still Jealous Of Johnny Depp For His One Feature After Inadvertently Changing His Acting Career For Good

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After the agreement was done, Reeves started training for the role. Spending four months learning martial arts, Reeves revealed that he had some neck problems that seemed to worsen day by day. While appearing on The Art of Action with Scott Adkins, Reeves talked about the neck injury that he had been trying to hide all these years.

“The only problem is, I was dealing with a neck issue and it was getting worse. I had spent a couple of years fighting it off. I had a bulging disc and a disc that had fractured. I was losing feeling and I was starting to lose my balance.”

He further continued,

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“I said yes to The Matrix movies and the four months of training, but it was getting pretty bad so I went to a neck doctor. Before I started the training, I had to have a two-level fusion, they pulled the discs out and put a plate in my neck.”

With his surgery done, the actor had to still star in and complete The Matrix movie. While talking about it, Keanu Reeves admitted that he hid his surgery pretty well on the sets of the movie and was afraid that he would miss out on the role if he informed anyone!

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Keanu Reeves Was Afraid That He Would Bleed Out

Keanu Reeves as John Constantine
Keanu Reeves as John Constantine

Related: “I didn’t want to do that”: The Matrix Director Revealed Why She Didn’t Return for $159M Keanu Reeves Sequel With Her Own Sister After a Tragic Experience

As the interview progressed, the actor revealed that there was a very logical reason why he had not told the cast and crew of The Matrix about his injury. Stating that his condition was quite critical, Reeves revealed in The Art of Action that he was afraid that his blood could drain at any point and all of this would be over.

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“You can see footage where I’m training for The Matrix and I’m wearing a neck brace. I had to protect it. There would be stuff when I was training and I was doing all I could, but there was underneath a little fear. Especially when I would feel it go, my blood would just drain out of me…cause it could all go away.” 

Luckily for the world and the actor, no such thing happened and Reeves’ name made it into Hollywood’s elite actors. The Matrix received a rating of 8.7/10 on IMDB and 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and is available to stream on Max in the U.S.

Source: The Art of Action

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Written by Visarg Acharya

Visarg Acharya, Associate Content Writer, has been heavily involved in movies, series, and history. Having an experience of 2 years in the field of content writing, Visarg is a seasoned writer. Having a degree in Physics, Visarg Acharya has published a dissertation alongside a plethora of poems and short stories along the way.