Keanu Reeves discusses his ‘love’ for his Asian heritage and his’respectful’ portrayal of martial arts.
During the promotion of The Matrix: Resurrections, Keanu Reeves discussed his love for his Asian identity and the importance of presenting martial arts in a “respectful” manner.
In a recent interview with NBC Asian America, the 57-year-old actor, who reprises his role as Neo in the fourth installment of the film franchise, promoted the film alongside his new co-stars Jessica Henwick, 29, and Priyanka Chopra, 39.
Reeves, whose father is of Chinese Hawaiian ancestry, rarely discusses his Asian heritage.
‘I’ve always had a good and healthy relationship with my Asian identity.’
And I adore it,’ he added, a smile on his face.
‘We grew up together.’
Reeves also addressed recent accusations that he is a “person of color.”
‘I’m not sure I agree with that assertion.
But I disagree,’ he said.
In The Matrix: Resurrections, British Chinese actress Henwick plays Bugs, a character named after Bugs Bunny who goes on a rescue mission to free Neo from the machines that have trapped him once again in the Matrix.
‘It wasn’t a conscious decision to choose an Asian person for Bugs,’ Henwick said.
But I’m sure it means a lot to the community, which is fantastic.’
‘And clearly, Keanu was way ahead of his time and has been a shining pinnacle,’ she added.
Reeves reunited with Tiger Hu Chen, who worked on the previous Matrix films, for the kung fu fights in the new film.
‘On the trilogy, Chen was my teacher, and it was a pleasure to collaborate with him on ”Resurrectrions.”
We’re acquaintances, and he’s a fantastic martial artist.
‘I’m grateful and honored to have the opportunity to spend time with him,’ Reeves said.
A pivotal fight scene in a Japanese dojo-like setting is featured in the film.
‘With the martial arts, [we’re] presenting those art forms in an artistic, respectful manner.’
‘Not in a caricature-like way, but reverently,’ Reeves explained.
Lana Wachowski, 56, was also praised by Henwick for continuing the Matrix trilogy’s diverse casting trend.
‘Lana is a self-confessed martial arts and anime fan.
She’s actually seen more anime than I have.
So I know she’d only do it out of genuine love,’ Henwick said.
The casting for the film aimed to be reflective and respectful of the Asian cultural sources on which the franchise was based.
‘I believe that the films in the ‘Matrix’ franchise respect…
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