The Matrix Resurrections actress Ellen Hollman explained what working with Keanu Reeves was like. She also comments on whether he measures up to his reputation for kindness.
“Keanu Reeves is not someone who desires attention, does not desire the limelight, he does not desire acknowledgment nor does he desire accolades,” Hollman told Looper. “He is by far the most humble artist that I have ever had the honor of meeting. As a fellow performer, who’s been in the industry for over 20 years, I can say that his heart and his kindness are what have allowed him to become the megastar that he is today.”
Additionally, the actress told the story of how Reeves quietly solved a big problem on set. Apparently, this is usual for Reeves. Hollman said that anytime “there is some kind of discrepancy, which happens in production, he was the first one to solve the problem.”
Apparently, during part of the filming in Berlin, the caterers didn’t show up. Hollman suggested that the language barrier caused the issues. However, Reeves solved the problem by providing a food truck for everyone.
Hollman isn’t the only costar who praised Reeves. Actress Jessica Henwick also praised Reeves for a variety of reasons. One of the chief reasons she is proud of her costar is because he raised the bar for Asian representation. Reeves, who is of Chinese Hawaiian descent on his father’s side, was “way ahead of the game,” according to Henwick.
Keanu Reeves on His Asian Heritage and The Matrix
Additionally, The Matrix franchise often draws on Asian influences. One of the chief ways the film does this is through utilizing martial arts for its fight scenes. The original film and Resurrections also both feature fights taking place in a dojo. Reeves feels that the films do a good job of paying tribute to her influences as opposed to 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.”
While Reeves doesn’t often discuss his heritage, he is proud of it. When asked if he identified as a person of color, the Matrix star answered “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,” Reeves explained. “And I love it. We’ve been growing up together.”
In addition to Reeves, Henwick said that The Matrix is born out of an appreciation for eastern cultures.
“Lana [Wachowski] is a self-confessed, huge fan of martial arts cinema, of anime,” Henwick said. “She’s seen more anime than I have, actually. So I know that she would only ever come at it from a place of real love.”