Since Keanu Reeves is most known for his role in action movies like The Matrix series and the John Wick series, fans have been wondering if he uses a stunt double. There are many detailed and intense fight scenes in both series and in some of the John Wick movies, Keanu was over 50 years old. This led fans to believe he was not actually fighting in these movies.
Keanu Reeves does not use a stunt double, he can actually fight. He has practiced and mastered many different types of martial arts to make his fighting be more authentic in his acting. He does not use a stunt double as he prefers to maintain a connection with his audience and do the fight scenes himself.
Continue reading to find out more about Keanu Reeves’ martial arts training.
Training For The Matrix
In the series, Keanu plays a starring role as the character Neo who is trying to free humanity from a virtual reality system called The Matrix.
As there are people, like the character Agent Smith played by Hugo Weaving, who are trying to stop Neo, there are many fight scenes.
Due to this, the entire main cast had to prepare by taking on months of training with a martial arts choreograph named Yuen Woo-Ping.
Reeves and the cast had to train in Jiu-Jitsu, Wushu, Boxing, Krav Maga, Judo and Karate. They had to learn so many different types of martial arts because the director wanted to be able to change things as they went along.
Having Keanu Reeves be a trained fighter made filming easier the director said because they didn’t have to worry about hiding the face of a stunt double and were thus able to do longer, clean takes.
Keanu did have to use a stunt double for some of the scenes as, during filming, he had to have neck surgery to separate two of his vertebrae that had fused. This left him in a neck brace with a limited range of movement while he was healing.
Keanu’s stunt double, Chad Stahelski, said he was surprised at how many of the stunts Keanu still did, even with a neck brace. He apparently still did 95% of the martial arts choreography.
Fighting in John Wick
The Matrix was not the only film series Keanu Reeves received extensive training for, his more recent role in the John Wick series required it as well.
The John Wick series also contains three films: John Wick (2014), John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019).
In the film, Keanu Reeves’ character John Wick is seeking revenge for the people who broke into his house and killed his dog.
His training for this film was more focused on weapons (guns and knives) and driving training rather than martial arts. There was still fight training and choreography necessary as well.
Keanu’s training focused more on the martial art Akido this time around as he was often fighting multiple people in the film.
Akido is a Japanese martial art that focuses on defense rather than offense. This was good for the film as Keanu used a lot of circular movements and footwork to get around rather than focusing on striking.
Keanu said he did 90% of the action in the film. There were still stuntmen and women for the film though that did stunts like motorcycle sequences.
So, Keanu Reeves is often not just acting in his action films, he can actually fight and knows various different martial arts.