If the “John Wick” franchise is any indication, Keanu Reeves has long been keen on doing as much of his own stuntwork as possible, whether fist fighting on a PATH train or dodging bullets in a swimming pool. That same commitment to on-camera physicality, it seems, applied to the upcoming “The Matrix Resurrections,” the fourth film in the “Matrix” franchise and the first since 2003’s “The Matrix Revolutions.”
Speaking on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to promote the movie, Reeves detailed one especially harrowing stunt in the new film that involved tumbling down a 46-story-high building with Carrie-Anne Moss, who reprises her role as Trinity alongside Reeves’ Neo.
Reeves said the craziest thing he had to do was “jump off a building… I’m going to guess around 46 stories.” When asked by Colbert why the filmmakers didn’t simply resort to post-production VFX, Reeves said, “Because it’s Lana Wachowski and it’s ‘The Matrix’ and you need natural light and you want to do it real. I mean, there’s wires. Carrie-Anne and I grabbed hands and leapt off the building.”
When asked how many times they performed the stunt, Reeves said, “We wanted to do it in the perfect light in the morning, so we did it around 19, 20 times.”
As for how they got into the mindset and swallowed their fears to take that plunge, Reeves said, “To prepare for something like that, she speaks a lot about preparing mentally for it, I was doing that too. By the time you get there, my heart rate was a little raised, but after the first time, you can’t think of the fear. You have to block that, or nor block it, but deal with it, absorb it, and just be there, and do.”
Finally, Reeves said, “It was awesome. Can you imagine just leaping off a building with wires?” When asked by Colbert if he’s ever bungee-jumped, Reeves said, “Never, because I’m scared of that.”
Reeves admits that, at age 57, he can’t do what he used to do, but adds, “I still do what I do. With experience comes efficiency, so you’re more efficient. But you want to dance, you want to play, you want to sing.”
“The Matrix Resurrections” hits theaters and HBO Max on December 22.