When it comes to Hollywood’s jaw-dropping spectacles, stunt performers have been putting their bodies on the line. However, some actors are also interested in participating in the action as well, just like Keanu Reeves, who is constantly challenging himself for the sake of cinema. Known for his roles in Speed, The Matrix, and John Wick, Keanu has successfully executed some of the most iconic stunts in Hollywood history.
Surfing in Point Break
Keanu started his stunt career humbly with a small swell off the coast of Hermosa Beach in the 1991 classic Point Break. Even though he left the actual skydiving to his co-star Patrick Swayze, Johnny Utah, Keanu’s character, was an avid surfer both on and off the screen. Keanu learned how to surf for the film, and people were amazed that he wasn’t already a pro.
Riding Under a Moving Bus in Speed
In 1994, Keanu starred in Speed, where he was slowly fed under a moving bus like someone was fishing for devil’s concubines. Keanu’s stunts in Speed, such as the bus chase and jumping from car to car, helped make the movie a massive success.
Martial Arts in the Matrix Movies
The Matrix gave Keanu the opportunity to show off his martial arts skills. Keanu and his castmates trained for months to master Kung Fu and perform the action scenes themselves. Keanu also learned Jiu-Jitsu, Wushu, Boxing, Aikido, and Krav Maga to improve his performance in the classic dojo sparring scene between Neo and Morpheus.
Wire Fu in the Matrix Movies
After getting a taste of dangling in Point Break and Speed, it was time for Keanu to graduate to Wire Fu, which he’s been using in all four Matrix films. He’s shown this skill by going around and round with Agent Smith and cartwheeling over his enemies in the chateau.
Bullet Time in the Matrix Movies
In The Matrix, the game-changing “bullet time” visual effect was introduced, and Keanu bent over backward for it. Although he didn’t need weeks of training to achieve this, he was physically there for the process.
Jumping Off a Building in The Matrix Resurrections
In Matrix Resurrections, Keanu had to jump off a skyscraper with his co-star Carrie-Anne Moss. Reportedly, he did it 19 times, which is more than anyone should jump off a building.
Sword Work in 47 Ronin
Even though John Wick takes up most of the action demands, Keanu shone for his role in 47 Ronin. He learned the way of the blade for this role and used his experience working with the stunt department on the Matrix to enhance it.
More Martial Arts in the John Wick Movies
Wild Wild Wick took everything Keanu knew about martial arts and perfected it by learning Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. Over the past decade, he has even become a black belt in Judo, all while playing the role of John Wick.
Gun Fu in the John Wick Movies
Furthermore, Keanu has also undergone firearms training and close-quarters tactics to embody the character of John Wick. In the movies, John Wick’s gun becomes a seamless extension of his body.
Horse (and Car) Mastery in the John Wick Movies
In John Wick: Chapter 3, Keanu took horsing around to a new level as he galloped through Manhattan and then used Glamorous Glue as a human equine shield. In Chapter 4, Keanu has done a lot of his stunt driving, all taking place around Paris’ Arc de Triomphe.
Keanu is also a huge advocate for stuntmen and women who create all the awesome thrills. He has actively called for a new Oscars category for Best Stunt, and with each John Wick movie, he has come closer to nabbing that hypothetical award himself.
At nearly 60, Keanu Reeves is still gifting us with glorious action, and there’s still more on the horizon. The Canadian killbot is set to star in the live-action Netflix adaptation of his own Boom! Studios comic, BRZRKR, which promises to be just as intense as his previous roles.