As the ruthless assassin in the “John Wick” series, Keanu Reeves has fought on a motorcycle, killed three men in a bar with just a pencil and used a Ford Mustang as a deadly weapon.
Now, in the third installment of the cult favorite action film, out May 17, Reeves is taking his over-the-top action prowess to a horse, of course.
In this month’s GQ magazine cover profile of the 54-year-old action movie icon, Reeves and the film’s co-director, Chad Stahelski, explain one of the most highly anticipated sequences. In it, the actor races down a New York City street on horseback, dressed to kill, as usual.
Fans went nuts when photos of the stunt leaked last summer. But the scene probably wouldn’t have happened without Stahelski, who worked as Reeves’ stunt double in 1999’s “The Matrix” and its two sequels.
Stahelski knew the actor had several skills that could be used in the film: driving, motorcycle riding, martial arts — but when Reeves told him he also could saddle up, Stahelski knew he had a standout moment.
“No matter what, I was putting Keanu on a horse in this movie,” he tells GQ. “If you’ve got an actor who can ride horses, ride motorcycles, do fight scenes, why not?”
Convincing the studio, on the other hand, would require some convincing: “Nobody wanted the horses,” Stahelski says. “I had to fight for that one. People thought it was too weird.”