The Flu Couldn’t Stop Keanu Reeves From Filming John Wick’s Most Brutal Scene

These days, Keanu Reeves could easily claim to be one of the most committed action stars, thanks in large part to the “John Wick” franchise. The man has battled his way across the globe as the beleaguered assassin, performing almost all the gun-fu combat himself. He did, however, stop short of throwing himself down the Sacré-Cœr staircase in Paris for “John Wick: Chapter 4” (that treat was left for John Wick double Vincent Bouillon, who fell down the giant set of steps an incredible four times).

But since the series kicked off in 2014, Reeves has been unusually driven. His committed performance as Baba Yaga revitalized his career and cemented his standing as one of the great action heroes. But it wasn’t just that Reeves was performing most of the action and combat himself. The actor was so committed he even fought his way through the flu to keep production rolling. 

In the director’s commentary for the film, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski recalled how Reeves shot the nightclub scene, in which John Wick fights his way through a club to get to Alfie Allen’s Iosef, while sick. Stahelski said, “We were pretty dialed in that it was gonna be Keanu [performing the action]. He actually had the flu and about a 103-degree fever. He had it rough, all the days to be ill.”

Leitch added that Reeves was “really sick during this whole sequence,” but apparently, you’d never have known it even if you were on the set. As Stahelski said, “You couldn’t even get him to sit down. He just did take after take,” adding: “You can’t film sequences like this unless you’ve got a cast member that goes through so much training, and that’s Keanu. Best guy in the business for that.”

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