Keanu Reeves’ reputation for being a good person surpasses that of his being a good actor. It’s well-known that the star is probably the nicest person in Hollywood. From putting the brakes on his career to help his cancer-afflicted sister, to giving the stunt team of John Wick 4 personalized watches, the man has become a revered personality.
His rise in popularity began with The Matrix, but nowadays it’s well-known that he wasn’t the first choice for the role. Brad Pitt once admitted that he was offered the role of Neo, and even Will Smith had said the same. However, only the latter had expressed regret for turning the offer down and choosing a flop film instead.
Will Smith Has Buyer’s Regret For Starring In Wild Wild West Instead of The Matrix
In the 90s, Will Smith’s career was taking off like nobody else’s. From Men in Black to Bad Boys and more, the actor tasted unprecedented success. Since he was at the top of his game, he was offered the role of Neo in The Matrix. But he declined because he didn’t understand what the movie was trying to do.
Instead, he chose to star in Barry Sonnenfeld’s Wild Wild West. Smith thought the film was going to hit big at the box office. After all, the director was the same who had helmed the Men in Black film and the story involved the usual action film escapades mixed in with humor. But the results were less than stellar.
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The film made only $221 and it is at best a footnote in the actor’s filmography. In 2016, Smith revealed the reason why he had done Wild Wild West and even passed on The Matrix to do it. The Independence Day actor said:
“I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning. I wanted to win and be the biggest movie star, and what happened was there was a lag — around Wild Wild West time — I found myself promoting something because I wanted to win versus promoting something because I believed in it.”
However, Keanu Reeves, who starred in The Matrix films, felt that Smith was being too hard on himself.
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When Keanu Reeves Sincerely Complimented Will Smith’s Flop Film
Keanu Reeves is probably the nicest person in the industry. So when he heard that Will Smith was pretty much expressing regret over doing Wild Wilf West, he jumped in to compliment the movie when he was asked about it in an interview. The John Wick star said:
“Hey, no, Wild Wild West is good … I liked Wild Wild West.”
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The interviewer then said, “I’ll go as far as to say I don’t think it’s as bad as people think it is.” But Reeves wasn’t going to half-a*s the compliment. So he went on to say:
“No, I thought it was good. It’s good. The production design, Ted Levine was the most amazing … Kevin Kline. It was good. I enjoyed it.”
It’s certainly charitable of Keanu Reeves to offer kind words to Smith, who was once offered the role that ultimately made Reeves a star. But, then again, this is why the Speed star is such a beloved public icon.
Wild Wild West is available on Amazon Prime Video.