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‘It was like click, that was it’: The unending praise for Keanu Reeves even brings Joss Whedon out from the rock he’s been hiding under

The power of Keanu shows no signs of dimming.

via 20th Century Fox

Since watching his entire career go up in smoke in the face of misconduct and abuse allegations dating back to his time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon has almost entirely receded from the public eye.

These days, he’s no longer known as the creator behind a string of cult classic TV shows that punctured the zeitgeist, or even the director of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first two Avengers crossovers, but the dude who ruined Justice League and then got sent packing from the mainstream after countless collaborators came forward and stated the case that he was an ironclad assh*le.

Long before that, Whedon also served as a script doctor on undisputed action classic Speed, and he made a rare journey out from the rock he’s been hiding on to appear on the 50MPH podcast, where he revealed a key characteristic of leading man Jack Traven came directly from Keanu Reeves himself.

Image via 20th Century Fox

“[Reeves] talked about [doing research for the role by hanging out] with the SWAT guys and how they were unfailingly polite. [He said that] they’re only about defusing the situation, they call everybody ‘sir or ‘ma’am.’ It was like click — that was it. I understand this character now. My take on it was: He wasn’t a hot shot, he was a lateral thinker.

He was going to do what felt right and have an odd approach to it, but generally speaking, it would work out. That ‘sir or ma’am’ gave me so much, because bluster [in action movie heroes] was the order of the day and this was the opposite. He also said, ‘I don’t want to pull my gun.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t want you to either, but you kind of have to … [the studio is] not going to let you not pull your gun.’” 

Speed rules as hard now as it did almost 30 years ago, admittedly partly down to Whedon’s polishing of the dialogue and character beats. Underlining what we’ve all known for the longest time, then, it turns out that even people who’ve seen their reputations blown to smithereens have nothing but nice things to say about Keanu Reeves.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.