- Stanley Kubrick is notoriously remembered for the number of takes he would take to shoot just a simple scene.
- Keanu Reeves admitted that he would have broken the esteemed director by asking for multiple re-takes.
- Kubrick’s habit of taking takes after takes made Tom Cruise miserable.
Stanley Kubrick albeit a great director, was infamous for his perfectionism. Known to take multiple, even hundreds of takes, the director thus made many of his actors miserable with this habit. While many actors chose not to work with him, those who worked with him admitted to having a looming sense of anxiety and fear.
Keanu Reeves, who unfortunately never got the chance to work with Kubrick, admitted once that he would have broken the esteemed director by asking for multiple re-takes, a feat that once made Tom Cruise very miserable.
Keanu Reeves Claims He Could Have Broken Stanley Kubrick
Keanu Reeves is one actor known for being a perfectionist. When he is in front of the camera that is all he thinks about, doing his best to bring the characters to life with the utmost authenticity. And that was what made him love working on his blockbuster franchise, The Matrix, as he stated during a talk with The Guardian.
“Those films afforded me the chance to do, like, 40 takes, and you don’t oftentimes get to do that.”
So when asked how it was a shame that he never got to work with Stanley Kubrick, he had an amusing answer to give.
“I would’ve been his wet dream! After take 400, Kubrick would’ve been, ‘All right, cut!’ and I’d be, like, ‘Stanley, can I do one more?’ ‘Whaaat?’ ‘Look, I know I’m just drinking this glass of water, but I think I can find another side to this. Let’s just do one more, OK?’ ‘Arrrgh, OK, Reeves.’ You know what? I would’ve broken Kubrick. ‘Please, sir, can I have some more?’ ‘Take 600. All you gotta do is walk across the road.’ ‘Come on, Stanley, one more!’”
If that were the case, and if Reeves had gotten to make a movie with Kubrick, they might have never finished it, for Kubrick is known to take his own sweet time with his movies, something he did with Tom Cruise’s Eyes Wide Shut.
How Stanley Kubrick Made Tom Cruise Miserable
Kubrick is notoriously remembered for the number of takes he would take to shoot just a simple scene. Even in Eyes Wide Shut, Tom Cruise had to walk through a door 95 times thanks to Kubrick’s perfectionism. The movie thus, holds the Guinness world record for the longest constant shoot of 15 months, even though it was supposed to wrap up after 6 months.
As for Cruise, his director’s habit of taking takes after takes made him miserable for just like his director he was a perfectionist as well, holding himself responsible each time he couldn’t satisfy Kubrick (via Vanity Fair),
“In times when we couldn’t get it, it was just like, ‘F*ck!’ I’d bring it upon myself because I demand a lot of myself.”
It was an uncanny and almost ill-fated combination, a perfectionist actor trying to impress and satisfy an equally perfectionist director. Still, Cruise defended Kubrick,
“He was not indulgent. You know you are not going to leave that shot until it’s right.”
While Cruise held on till the end, persistent and dedicated, his co-star Venessa Shaw revealed that compared to his enthusiasm during the first months of the shoot, the actor looked defeated,
“He was still into it, but not as energetic.”
Well, this makes one wonder how Reeves and Kubrick’s pairing would have fared if they had ever gotten a chance to work together.
Eyes Wide Shut can be streamed on Paramount+.