Keanu Reeves

“He was a lateral thinker”: Keanu Reeves’ Experience With SWAT Team Saved $350M Movie That Catapulted Sandra Bullock to Stardom

The 1994 action-thriller film Speed, was a blockbuster hit, featuring iconic actors including Keanu Reeves and Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock. While Reeves did an impeccable job in the film, his contribution to the 1994 release was not only limited to acting; he also made a major contribution to the script of the film.

Since Reeves played the role of a SWAT officer in the film, he researched the SWAT teams by hanging out with them so that he could observe them closely. Reeves’ creative insight helped the film’s writer to write his character better. 

Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves made a major contribution to the 1994 film Speed

Keanu Reeves has delivered many incredible films throughout his career. Among them is the 1994 action thriller film Speed in which he played the role of a SWAT officer. While his performance in the film was well acclaimed by the audience, little do they know that his contribution to the film goes beyond acting. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, during a podcast, the writer of the film, Joss Whedon revealed that Reeves’ suggestion helped him to write his character of Jack Traven, a Los Angeles SWAT officer.

Whedon said that Reeves conducted research by spending time with the SWAT team, to understand them closely. Reeves told Whedon that by hanging out with real-life officers he could understand his character more. Whedon recalled replying to Reeves by saying,

 “My take on it was: He wasn’t a hot shot, he was a lateral thinker. He was going to do what felt right and have an odd approach to it, but generally speaking, it would work out. That ‘sir or ma’am’ gave me so much, because bluster [in action movie heroes] was the order of the day and this was the opposite.”

However, Reeves wasn’t convinced by Whedon’s idea of choosing a violent approach for his character, rather he was adamant with his notion of giving his character a polite touch to his character. During the conversation with Whedon, Reeves emphasized that he was really impressed by the officers’ behavior who were very polite and called “everybody ‘sir or ‘ma’am.’”

However, later both Reeves and Whedon reached a middle ground where they decided that Reeves’ character would take the out only when required as the studios wouldn’t allow Reeves to not take out his gun at all. 

Keanu Reeves left a lasting impact in the film Speed

Speed

The 1994 Speed focuses on the story of a Los Angeles SWAT officer named Jack Traven (played by Keanu Reeves) who rescues the passengers present in the city bus which has a bomb planted in it.

Traven is helped by Annie (played by Sandra Bullock), a passenger on the bus. Directed by Jan de Bont, the film was a blockbuster hit, which gave a meteoric rise to both Bullock and Reeves’ career. 

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