The Matrix star Keanu Reeves opened up about his views on being a lover or a fighter in an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show. Barrymore and Reeves banter back and forth, prompting her to ask the actor.
“If you’re a lover, you’ve gotta be a fighter,” said Reeves. “Because if you don’t fight for your love, what kind of love do you have?” The actor then added “no, I’m kidding,” stood up and paced around the stage laughing.
Before the humorous exchange, Reeves and Barrymore played a game called “what Reeves believes.” In the game, they debate how to handle situations such as line-cutting. The actor stressed the importance of reading the room. He said maybe the person needs your place in line more. They then get derailed talking about the merits of rebellion. Reeves declared that it matters less if your bark than it does “what you do with your bite.”
Additionally, Reeves discussed his latest film The Matrix Resurrections. Calling it a “love story,” the actor reiterates the importance of the bond between lead characters Trinity and Neo. Their “fight against the machines” for the sake of themselves and their relationship is something he said we can all relate to. At the end of the day, it comes back to love.
“If it’s not [about love], we’re in trouble,” said Reeves. “Better get that love on or we’re not gonna make it. We can say that interpersonally, we can say that as a species, we could say it as a planet.”
Keanu Reeves Talks Asian Identity and Martial Arts
While promoting Resurrections, Reeves shared his thoughts on his Chinese Hawaiian heritage as well as on the Asian influences in The Matrix. As for his feelings on being called a person of color, he said “I don’t know if I agree with that statement, but I don’t not agree.”
“My relationship to my Asian identity, it’s always been good and healthy,” explained Reeves. “And I love it. We’ve been growing up together.”
Additionally, Reeves reunited with past teacher and current friend, Tiger Hu Chen, for Resurrections. Chen is a martial artist and stunt double who trained Reeves for the original Matrix trilogy. The martial artist also cameos in two of Reeves’s films, The Matrix Reloaded and John Wick: Chapter Three–Parabellum.
“Chen was my teacher on the trilogy, and it was wonderful to work with him on Resurrections,” said Reeves. “He’s a wonderful martial artist, so I feel really grateful and honored to be able to spend time with him.”
Because of its influence from Asian cultures, the original film and Resurrections both feature fights taking place in a dojo setting. Reeves believes that The Matrix pays tribute to those influences instead of appropriating them.
“With the martial arts, [we’re] presenting those art forms in an artful way, in a respectful way,” explained the actor. “Not in a way where it’s experienced as a caricature, but from a place of reverence.”