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INTERVIEW: Chad Stahelski on the Power of Keanu Reeves and Lance Reddick in ‘John Wick 4’

Keanu Reeves as John Wick reloading a gun in John Wick 4

There are few movies that work in the way that John Wick 4 does to keep audiences on the edge of their seats and entertained. Bringing Keanu Reeves back as John Wick for the fourth time means pulling out all the stops so fans are excited and ready for what John has to face next. And this movie really did throw a lot on his plate. But whenever the movie wasn’t action-packed, it had heart and new how to balance out the action and violence with a bit of humor.

And it was all thanks to director Chad Stahelski’s vision. I was lucky enough to talk to Stahelski at both the premiere for John Wick 4 here in New York City as well as the following day in an interview. And we really talked about the film as a whole, finding that balance between action and humor, and how to bring his characters to life so quickly and beautifully. But the one thing that ties them all together is Keanu.

Keanu Reeves as John Wick is something that fans love to see and that’s because we love Keanu as a performer. So we talked a lot about his work with Reeves and how the two of them function together. But now, with so much riding on the fourth installment, I asked Stahelski about the franchise and what was his favorite thing that he got to do with Reeves throughout the films.

“It’s always the little things that are unexpected. When you write ’em, you see it in your head and you never know,” he said. Then Stahelski went on to talk about how his love of silent movies helps inform his work. “I’m a big silent movie fan. So you study Buster Keaton or you study Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin or any of the big silent stars, they got so much across because it was so human.”

Lance Reddick as Charon

I spoke with Stahelski right after the New York premiere which was the day before Lance Reddick’s passing. So Stahelski’s answer about Reddick was while the actor was still alive but he did talk about making Charon’s death in John Wick 4 something that was important to the overall story and not just something that was done for the sake of doing it.

“I’s always weird when you have to kill a character. You know? Cause you gotta tell the actor, so we didn’t want killing Lance Reddick’s character to be a gag. We just didn’t wanna kill somebody to kill somebody. It had a mean something. And if you think about it, the whole friendship thread starts off with Lance Reddick’s character dying. And that triggers Winston to initiate this whole series of events. But it also starts with the plaque for Charon. And then it leads into the tombstone for John and it leads into what is friendship?”

You can see our full interview here:


John Wick 4 is theaters now!

(Featured image: Lionsgate)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.