"Matrix" Actor Talks about His Director Debut with Movie "Man of Tai Chi"
May 27, 2013 -
He's played a science-fiction hero,
policeman and even Hamlet. But now actor Keanu Reeves is taking on a new role -
as director of a contemporary martial arts movie aimed at both Chinese and
Reeves has stepped behind the camera to make his directorial
debut with "Man of Tai Chi", a trilingual film loosely based on the life of a
stuntman, Tiger Chen, whom he befriended while working on the sci-fi "The
Matrix" trilogy. At the Cannes film festival to promote his new movie, due out
later this year, Reeves said he knew he had always wanted to try directing and
spent five years developing the script. "It was also tied to getting older,"
Reeves, 48, who was long one of Hollywood's most glamorous
action stars, told Reuters Television in an interview at a hotel on Cannes
palm-lined waterfront. He said the main character of the film, in which he also
acts, is a stuntman and martial arts expert, struggling to maintain his
traditional values and beliefs against the pressures of modern society. This
character is played by Chen. Reeves plays the villain who lures him into
underground fighting and the promises of money, glamour and power. The film,
made in English, Cantonese and Mandarin and filmed in China and Hong Kong, is
meant to appeal to both the huge market in China, where Reeves won fans with
"Matrix" and for having a Chinese great-grandparent, and in Western countries.
"Man of Tai Chi" was co-produced by the China Film Group,
Wanda Media, Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and Universal Pictures and will be
distributed internationally by Universal, owned by Comcast through its
"I loved the responsibility of telling a story," said the
Canadian-born Reeves. "I hope I get the chance to do it again."