Keanu Reeves Snagged ‘The Matrix’ Role In an Office Parking Lot

Many people are excited about the fourth installment of The Matrix. The movie will take place 20 years after the last one, and fans hope the sequel can bring something new. Keanu Reeves will reprise his role as Neo, who rejoins the world of the Matrix. 

The original film became a pop-cultural phenomenon. Even though the sequels were not as well-received, the trilogy had a huge impact on people. It is hard to say if the first film would have succeeded without Reeves, who accepted the role in a parking lot. 

Fans know Keanu Reeves from ‘The Matrix’

The Matrix was a box office success that spawned multiple sequels. The movie takes place in a dystopian future where machines rebelled against humans and began using them as fuel. Everyone is unconscious in a pod, but their minds believe they are in the regular world of 1999. 

Some people have managed to wake up, and they try to fight against the machines. The main character of the film is a computer programmer named Neo. When Matrix agents try to capture him, a couple of freed humans help him escape. Neo then joins their cause. 

Reeves took on the role of Neo and became the face of the franchise. His character always felt that something was wrong with the world, which made him interested in knowing the truth. Fans loved seeing the actor portray the action hero. 

People know Neo for his iconic look, which is the sunglasses and all-black outfit. Reeves managed to take the character’s black coat as a keepsake. It is possible that he still has the memento after all these years. 

Keanu Reeves got the part while in a parking lot

'John Wick 4' star Keanu Reeves at the TCL Chinese Theatre with his hands clasped
Keanu Reeves | VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

It may be hard for a fan of The Matrix to picture anyone else playing Neo. However, the Wachowskis went to other well-known stars before offering Reeves the part. For instance, Will Smith had the chance to be Neo, but he turned it down in favor of another film. 

The creators were even willing to make the protagonist a female in hopes of casting Sandra Bullock. After rejections from a couple of more stars, they turned their sights to Reeves. So, the directors met up with the actor to discuss the film.  

According to Screen Rant, the creators hired the actor right then and there. Most people would imagine the casting decision to occur inside a building. However, Reeve and the Wachowskis hung out in a parking lot by an office. It was there that the filmmakers offered him the role. 

The casting process is not always a straightforward thing. It can lead directors to the right person for the job. The previous rejections and Reeves’ quick hire make it seem as though the world intended him to be Neo. 

What happened during Keanu Reeves’ audition?


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For some actors, the audition process takes weeks to months to complete. A person might receive a callback once or twice to determine if they are a right fit. Reeves did not have to wait so long since he got the part almost immediately. 

After Smith passed on the movie, the Wachowskis contacted Reeves’ agent to schedule a meeting. The actor received the script and felt amazed by the premise. Reeves’ audition process merely involved spending time in the parking lot. 

Reeves and the filmmakers discussed the artwork the Wachowskis made for the comic book. They also talked about the early simulation of “Bullet Time.” When Reeves accepted, they shook hands.  

Then, Reeves had to go and train for about four months. He trained with Yuen Wu-Ping to learn some martial arts prior to filming. The actor became proficient in “movie Kung Fu.”