Keanu Reeves held on to a memento to remind him to keep going deeper into the rabbit hole.
The “Matrix” icon revealed in a Reddit AMA thread that he still has the red pill from the original 1999 film written and directed by Lilly and Lana Wachowski. When asked if he has ever “stolen” anything from sets, Reeves wrote, “Not stolen…the watch and wedding ring from ‘John Wick,’ a sword from ’47 Ronin,’ and the first red pill that the Wachowskis ever gave me.”
Reeves acted alongside “John Wick” franchise co-star Laurence Fishburne in the pivotal scene where Morpheus (Fishburne) gives Neo (Reeves) two choices: either take the blue pill to stay complicit in the Matrix or the red pill to learn the truth of his life.
Reeves recently reflected on the legacy of “The Matrix” in a 2021 interview with Entertainment Tonight, saying, “It was influential. I think the influences that went into ‘The Matrix’ brought those influences to other filmmakers in terms of anime, camera angels, action. [It] started training actors and actresses to try and do more physical acting.”
He continued, “I think the humor, the style and maybe, well, I don’t know about the ambition. It’s tough to make such an entertaining kind of science fiction film that’s also about philosophy and big ideals.”
The “Matrix” was so influential that Reeves is still thinking about the fighting and stunt training he mastered for the film more than 20 years ago.
“Nothing can ever compare to the kung fu training from ‘The Matrix’ because it was so unique and my first time,” Reeves shared on the Reddit thread. “But the jiu jitsu in ‘John Wick’ being integrated with judo and gunfights can never be touched in its own way.”
The stunt training for “John Wick: Chapter 4” took 12 weeks, with tasks including how to reverse a car 180 degrees while loading a prop gun.
“‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ has the most action of any of the [‘John Wick’] films, which is saying a lot,” Reeves told Total Film. “And it’s more by a good margin. It’s a big show. ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ was the hardest physical role I’ve ever had in my career so far. They really trained me up to be able to have what we call the toolbox.”