Movies | May 19, 2019 11:28 am

Getting Philosophical and Culinary With the Stars of “John Wick”

What do you do when you’re not redefining the modern action movie?

John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum
Keanu Reeves stars in "John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum"
Niko Tavernise/Lionsgate

This weekend, John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum opened at a movie theater near you. And for devotees of stylish action filmmaking and beloved character actors, it might as well be a holiday. The John Wick films have done a fine job of showcasing action scenes that are beautifully conceived yet also visceral; they’ve also allowed a murderers’ row of talented actors to play, well, a murderers’ row of actual murderers. (Assassins, technically, but still.)

In a recent interview with Hadley Freeman for the Guardian, star Keanu Reeves discussed questions of grief, loss and aging as he reflected on his own life and career. Freeman neatly encapsulates both Reeves’s penchant for privacy and his warmth and charm. For some, this might come off as contradictory, but in Freeman’s telling, it has to do more with complexity. There’s also some information on the forthcoming Bill & Ted Face The Music, a fantastic mental image of Reeves’s Much Ado About Nothing director Kenneth Branagh and some bittersweet memories of the late River Phoenix.

It’s worth mentioning that Reeves’s extracurricular activities include both a motorcycle company, ARCH Motorcycle, and an art book publisher, X Artists’ Books — the latter of which recently published a new edition of legendary Beat poet Diane di Prima’s Haiku. Side gigs abound when it comes to the cast of  John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum: one of the film’s antagonists, a chef and assassin, is played by Mark Dacascos, who may be most familiar to viewers as the Chairman on Iron Chef America.

Dacascos talked food and acting with Eater in an interview abounding with tips for anyone looking to prepare for their next epic fight scene. “I haven’t done hand-to-hand combat in a while,” Dacascos recalled, “so to get into the zone I have my special little drink that I do: it’s hot water with lemon, ginger, and honey.”

What emerges from reading both interviews is a sense of idiosyncrasy alongside a penchant for deep personal history. Perhaps that’s part of the secret weapon that’s made the John Wick films so compelling: actors whose lives are as complex as the characters they play.

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