Almost twenty years after the arrival of The Matrix, there isn’t any doubt that Keanu Reeves was the only best match for the role of the main protagonist, Neo. The 1999 science fiction action film, The Matrix was written and directed by the Wachowskis. The action scenes of the movies are influenced by Japanese animation and martial arts films, and the film also introduced a visual effect known as Bullet time.

The 1999 film’s success led to the production of two subsequent sequels, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions. The Matrix franchise has expanded with time and produced comic books, video games, inspired books and theories, expanded the philosophical ideas incorporated in the films, and produced an animated anthology film, The Animatrix. The franchise’s fourth film, The Matrix Resurrections, was released in theatres in December 2021.

Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves

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About Keanu Reeves’s Role in The Matrix and Experience While Shooting

The Matrix had gravity-defying fight scenes that required extensive effort from the actors. Keanu Reeves plays the role of the main protagonist, Neo, a fictional character created by the Wachowskis. Reeves was portrayed as a cyber criminal and computer programmer in the film.

Keanu Reeves made his comeback as Neo in The Matrix franchise with the release of the fourth installment. Despite the shutdown due to the pandemic, Reeves shared that he strictly followed his training schedule to meet the demands of his character in the film. He maintained his fitness and shape as the character was in shape in the previous three installments. Reeves was thrilled to make his comeback as Neo after a long gap of 17 years.

Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves in The Matrix as Neo

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Keanu Reeves Had to Hide His Illness On The Sets of The Matrix

Keanu Reeves might have had to say goodbye to his role as Neo in The Matrix even before beginning his successful journey with the franchise due to his high-risk lie involving his well-being too. In one of his podcasts, Keanu Reeves revealed that during the shoot of Speed and They Call Him Bodhi the star suffered some neck injuries which only worsened with time and they almost made him quit The Matrix.

Reeves’ illness worsened to such a great extent during the shooting of The Matrix that he started to experience paralysis in his legs and lose his balance. One might have noticed that Reeves does not throw a lot of kicks in the first The Matrix. 

Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves as the main protagonist in The Matrix

The actor shared that, “I had a bulging disc and a ruptured disc, and I started losing sensation and balance.” Despite his health challenges, Reeves underwent martial arts training in Hong Kong as the film demanded it from his role.

Keanu Reeves explained further that, “I said yes to The Matrix and began training for four months, but the situation worsened, so I consulted a neck specialist. I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, essentially the mutilation of my spine.” He trained for The Matrix wearing a neck brace and chose not to disclose his secret about the surgery as he did not want to give up on the film.

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Source: The Times Hub 

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