16 Behind-The-Scenes Stories About Keanu Reeves Movies
Keanu Reeves has starred in so many great films that if 100 people were to rank Keanu Reeves's best movies, there would be 100 totally different lists. The actor is as beloved as he is versatile, starring in everything from sci-fi to action to straight comedy. He's a legend on and off the screen, so the making of Keanu Reeves movies always come with plenty of Keanu Reeves stories from the cast and crew.
Whether he's passing out money or performing death-defying stunts, there's always something to say about Reeves. From the smallest task to the way he views life and his career, Reeves seems to do everything a little differently. He's one of the last remaining true superstars in the sense that he's just not someone you want to look away from. And as these stories prove, if you keep your eyes on Reeves, you're going to be rewarded with something interesting.
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Reeves Signed Away Millions In 'Matrix' Residuals To Give The Crew More MoneyPhoto: The Matrix / Warner Bros.
Wage inequality and poor actor behavior are both rampant in Hollywood, but Reeves seems to be doing his part to fix all that. After The Matrix became an international mega-hit, Reeves suddenly found himself with more money than he knew what to do with. But, instead of hoarding it or spending it extravagantly, Reeves decided to pay it back to the below-the-line crew that made it all possible. He reportedly gave away a chance to share in the sequels' profits (which would have been worth millions) to give more money to the special effects and costume teams. To make it even better, Reeves not only didn't do it for the attention - he actively avoided any attention from the incident. Reeves was quoted saying, "I’d rather people didn’t know that. It was a private transaction. It was something I could afford to do, a worthwhile thing to do.”
That's not the end of Reeves's generosity, though. One Redditor told a story of a friend of his that worked on set with Reeves, writing that, "A family friend builds movie sets, doesn’t design, is one of the poor dudes that just builds. Anyways, he worked on the set for The Matrix, and Keanu heard about the family trouble he was having and gave him a $20,000 Christmas bonus to help him out."
- 242 VOTES
Reeves Refused The Director's Request To Bully Winona Ryder While Making 'Bram Stoker's Dracula'Photo: Columbia Pictures
Crying on command is one of the most talked-about tricks in an actor's toolbox. While there are many methods to pull off the tears, apparently a lesser-known method is to have one's co-star whisper insults into their ear during the scene. At least, that's what Winona Ryder explained to the Sunday Times that the director of Bram Stoker's Dracula asked Reeves to do to her.
According to Ryder, she was having trouble crying on set that day, so the director, Francis Ford Coppola, began to yell insults at her to hopefully get those tear ducts moving. After that didn't work, Coppola tried to get the male actors on set to join in. Ryder said, "Francis was trying to get all of them to yell things that would make me cry. But Keanu wouldn’t; Anthony wouldn’t. It just didn’t work. I was like, really? It kind of did the opposite.”
- 331 VOTES
Reeves Trained With The 'Surf Doctor Of Hollywood' To Make His Surfing Look Legit In 'Point Break'Photo: 20th Century Fox
Learning how to surf is no easy task, especially when preparing under a tight deadline to portray expert surfers. Luckily for Reeves and company, they had the self-proclaimed Surf Doctor of Hollywood to show them the ropes.
Dennis Jarvis, the 31-year-old surf instructor in question, enjoyed his time with the cast immensely, saying, "It was like a big surf party every day. The cast would report to my house in Hermosa Beach at the crack of dawn to try to absorb the soulful lifestyle of a surfer." Although he may have felt it was a big party, the cast trained with him for two full months, so it wasn't exactly an easy task.
Although it was less important for Reeves's character to look good on the surfboard (Patrick Swayze was the one who had to play the expert), Reeves was the one who took to surfing the most. The Surf Doctor himself even built Reeves a custom board so he could continue pursuing his new hobby post-filming.
- 431 VOTES
Reeves Took His Prop Guns Home To Train Around His House For 'John Wick: Chapter 2'Photo: Lionsgate
Cool movies feature cool actors interacting with cool props - and sometimes, it's hard for those cool things to part ways. Take Ryan Reynolds, for example, who, after struggling for years to get Deadpool made, absolutely refused to leave without his costume. Or, there's Reeves, who seemed to love his guns as much as his character John Wick.
John Wick, the titular protagonist of John Wick, is an assassin whose very name strikes fear into the hearts of his homicidal peers. For Reeves to convincingly portray such a highly trained killer, he spent three months in action-star boot camp. Apparently, the training didn't stay at camp, though, as Reeves continued to hone his skills while at home.
Unlike Reynolds, Reeves didn't bring his props home for fun. Instead, he brought an arm back to his home to continue his training. Reeves elaborated on that, saying, “Basically just take the gun home, start walking around, practice spying rooms, practice your draws. And with John Wick, it’s practice your reloads, transitions from weapon to weapon, footwork, and then kind of coming up with the John Wick style.”
- 531 VOTES
Reeves Spent Weeks Learning How To Properly Pick Up A Diamond For 'Siberia'Photo: Saban Films
While being questioned on his favorite Reeves stories, the director of Siberia spoke on a deceptively simple task Reeves had to perform in Siberia that he took to with an impressive amount of skill. That task? Picking up a diamond with tweezers.
Apparently, to expertly hold the diamond as his character would have been able to do, Reeves had to spend weeks practicing. The director said, "I would challenge anyone to do that properly after a month. It’s one of these deceptively, unbelievably difficult things to do. Keanu spent weeks practicing." He went on to say, "People spend years perfecting that craft. Keanu had to figure it out in three weeks, but he doesn’t take shortcuts."
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'John Wick' Was Originally Titled 'Scorn,' But Reeves Kept Forgetting To Call It That In InterviewsPhoto: Lionsgate
John Wick originally wasn't named after its homicidal lead and was instead set to be called "Scorn." According to the screenwriter of John Wick, "The only reason it's called John Wick is that Keanu kept referring to it as John Wick." Apparently, the studio's marketing contacted the writer and told him they needed to change the name thanks to the "$5 million in free marketing" that Keanu had been giving the film in interviews by calling it by the wrong title.
No one is mad at Reeves over the misnaming, though, as even the writer now admits John Wick is a better name for the film and franchise.