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Does Keanu Reeves Really Do His Own Stunts?

The use of stunt doubles is common in Hollywood, simply because talented actors do not always possess the abilities of professional athletes. Actors who refuse to do their own stunts include such action stars as Dwayne Johnson, Liam Neeson, and Samuel L. Jackson, who said, "If you want a long career you don't do all that stuff."

Performing one's own stunts is certainly dangerous. Ryan Reynolds, who portrays the comic lead in action-packed films like "Deadpool," is one of several actors who used to enjoy doing his own stunts. However, he had to stop performing action sequences after the 2012 film "Safe House" because he fractured the vertebrae in his neck while filming, and his doctor said no more stunts. Drew Barrymore also had to quit doing her own stunts after an accident during a scene in "Santa Clarita Diet" where she jumps onto a man's back to kill and eat him, but she ended up falling six feet and hitting her head on concrete.

However, there are still plenty of actors who perform their own stunts, which gives them certain advantages. For one thing, there's no chance that the visual continuity of the film will be disturbed by a character briefly changing appearance. Second, it may help actors embody their (highly athletic) characters. A-list stars who do their own stunts include Harrison Ford, Angelina Jolie, and famously, Tom Cruise — but is Keanu Reeves among them?

Yes, Keanu Reeves does his own stunts

Keanu Reeves, whose action roles include Neo in the "Matrix" films and John Wick in the film series of the same name, actually does his own stunts. In an interview on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Reeves revealed that, while filming "The Matrix: Resurrections," he jumped off a building "around 19, 20 times" in order to get the stunt right. He estimated that the building was around 46 stories high.

Many of the action scenes in the "Matrix" films require characters to move in ways that are impossible for humans and are thus created using computer graphics. However, Reeves noted that the filmmakers wanted some scenes to feel real and have perfect lighting. In order to stay safe in stunt scenarios, the actors have wires attached to them when performing such daredevil actions.

For Reeves, one benefit of doing his own stunts is that it's fun. He told Colbert, "It was awesome. Can you imagine just leaping off of a building with wires?" Indeed, for certain actors, performing stunts may sound like a blast.

In an interview with "Today" regarding his stunts in the "John Wick" fight scenes, Reeves said, "I'm 90% of what's happening there." Another benefit to doing his own stunts? "I'm maintaining the connection with the audience and with the story." For Reeves, it seems that sticking with a character even through the stunts allows him to more deeply inhabit his roles.