Keanu Reeves Was His Own Stunt Driver in ‘John Wick 4’
Despite Tanner Foust being on speed dial for four-wheeled stunts in John Wick: Chapter 4, Keanu Reeves did all of his own.
It's hard to nail realistic scenes in movies. Everyone has become an armchair Roger Ebert, dissecting how unrealistic a movie's interpretation of some stunt could be on a frame-by-frame basis. Many even scoff at actors that don't perform their stunts. If that sounds like you, be happy to know that isn't the case in the latest installment of the John Wick action franchise.
To make things more realistic, legendary drifter and rallycross driver Tanner Foust was tapped to help with the car scenes in John Wick: Chapter 4. Recently, Foust spoke with TopGear to discuss his time on set. And, perhaps to no one's surprise, it was revealed that beloved actor and all-around-car-guy Keanu Reeves performed all of his own driving stunts.
“The whole goal of my job, essentially, was not to drive,” said Foust in an interview with TopGear. “I had to put the wig and the beard on and do the stunts, at least once, so it was in the can. But I spent four months in Berlin training Keanu on his days off from fighting. And he’d already learned quite a lot about driving from previous movies. Plus, he rides motorcycles, and I find people who ride motorcycles generally learn driving skills quicker.”
In the latest installment of the John Wick series, Keanu can be seen behind the wheel of a beautiful 1971 Plymouth Barracuda romping around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The scene, which director Chad Stahelski admits was one of the hardest to film, required Keanu to drive against four lanes of traffic at 40 mph while never checking his blind spots and merging aggressively.
And all the while, the 30 other stunt drivers from the scene are shouting in "three or four different languages" across the teams' radios to coordinate their efforts. To have a lead actor perform this stunt had Stahelski's heart pumping.
Keep in mind that this isn't Keanu's first time being a DIY stuntman. In fact, he has been performing the majority of his own stunts since the original John Wick film debuted—whether it be behind the wheel of a car, handling a gun, or landing a mean punch.
And it turns out that even the renowned Tanner Foust thinks that he did a pretty damn good job at it.
“[H]e was awesome,” said Foust, recollecting Keanu's driving skills during filming. “He had to do it all one-handed while holding a gun and sometimes reloading it mid-drift. That gave the film guys the opportunity to rip the doors and windscreen off so you could see it was him doing it all.”
Foust also gave Keanu a solid eight out of 10 rating on his drifting skills, noting that Reeves was "definitely the best of any actor" he's worked with in the past.
It's almost certainly Keanu's real-life experience of auto and motor enthusiasm that helped him with filming—and, of course, was bolstered by training. By knowing how not to push himself too far, Reeves made the entire team of stunt actors and the members of his film crew feel safe.
"Like I said, what really helps is he comes from motorcycles, where you learn not to slide the front tire," said Foust. "With cars, if you’ve already learned that, you’re good.”
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