There’s a reason why Keanu Reeves can do the John Wick films and still not get tired. He’s immortal. Well, that seems to be what the actor felt like when he was starting his career with the breakthrough movie, The Matrix.
Stating how he had a very grievous neck surgery done just months before filming of the 1999 movie started, Reeves kept it a secret in fear of losing out on the role. Keanu Reeves revealed in an interview that he would stay terrified all the time back in those days because all of it could have gone in an instant if he wasn’t careful!
Keanu Reeves in a still from The Matrix (1999)
Keanu Reeves Hid A Life-Endangering Surgery While Filming The Matrix
Being one of the greats, the actor has starred in several iconic roles throughout his career in Hollywood. Although he found fame by starring alongside Sandra Bullock in Speed, his career began when he took on the role of Neo in The Matrix back in 1999.
Keanu Reeves from the John Wick franchise
After the agreement was done, Reeves started training for the role. Spending four months learning martial arts, Reeves revealed that he had some neck problems that seemed to worsen day by day. While appearing on The Art of Action with Scott Adkins, Reeves talked about the neck injury that he had been trying to hide all these years.
“The only problem is, I was dealing with a neck issue and it was getting worse. I had spent a couple of years fighting it off. I had a bulging disc and a disc that had fractured. I was losing feeling and I was starting to lose my balance.”
He further continued,
“I said yes to The Matrix movies and the four months of training, but it was getting pretty bad so I went to a neck doctor. Before I started the training, I had to have a two-level fusion, they pulled the discs out and put a plate in my neck.”
With his surgery done, the actor had to still star in and complete The Matrix movie. While talking about it, Keanu Reeves admitted that he hid his surgery pretty well on the sets of the movie and was afraid that he would miss out on the role if he informed anyone!
Keanu Reeves Was Afraid That He Would Bleed Out
Keanu Reeves as John Constantine
As the interview progressed, the actor revealed that there was a very logical reason why he had not told the cast and crew of The Matrix about his injury. Stating that his condition was quite critical, Reeves revealed in The Art of Action that he was afraid that his blood could drain at any point and all of this would be over.
“You can see footage where I’m training for The Matrix and I’m wearing a neck brace. I had to protect it. There would be stuff when I was training and I was doing all I could, but there was underneath a little fear. Especially when I would feel it go, my blood would just drain out of me…cause it could all go away.”
Luckily for the world and the actor, no such thing happened and Reeves’ name made it into Hollywood’s elite actors. The Matrix received a rating of 8.7/10 on IMDB and 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and is available to stream on Max in the U.S.
Source: The Art of Action