On Oct. 13, Keanu Reeves discussed his directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, at the Apple SoHo Store in NYC as part of their Meet The Filmmaker series. Set in modern Beijing, the film, also starring Reeves, follows the spiritual journey of a young martial artist (played by Tiger Chen) whose unparalleled Tai Chi skills land him in a highly lucrative underworld fight club. As the fights intensify, so does his will to survive.
During the talk Keanu said he wanted the fight scenes in this film to not just be about action, but to also be dramatic sequences and for the fights to have emotion. He described it as a “postmodern meta feast.” He wanted the film to be about power and control, but also meditation and thoughtfulness.
He told the audience that the big fight scene on the movie took 8 days to shoot and he couldn’t train in the same way he used to because his neck was spasming and he lost some toenails in the process!
Keanu added that he loved playing a villain in this movie and said there’s something “pure” about being a villain. It’s very uncomplicated and passionate. He said villains always get the best lines, too.
He was asked about all the great directors he’s worked with over the years and who may have inspired him the most. Keanu said Bernardo Bertolucci, who directed him in Little Buddha, was an inspiration. He said Bernardo directs “practically, is a great collaborator, is philosophical and abstract, is present on the day of filming, and very in the moment.”
An audience member asked him about doing another Matrix and he said he would love to direct again, but not a Matrix movie. He added that he would love to work with The Wachowski’s again, but there has been no word of continuing the saga. He joked that Neo has already done so much, what else can he do? Adding, “maybe Neo can organize a dinner party.”
For the past couple of weeks Keanu has been filming the movie John Wick is filming at a private residence on Locust Valley, NY. In the film a hitman (Willem Dafoe) is hired to take out Reeves’ character, who is a former contract killer himself.
One of our contributors, Denise, was there and shared the following photos with us, too. Check them out: