Keanu Reeves hid injury so he could star in The Matrix

Keanu Reeves hid a spinal injury so he could keep his role in 'The Matrix', even though he had to train for the blockbuster in a neck brace.



Keanu Reeves hid an injury to keep his role in 'The Matrix'
Keanu Reeves hid an injury to keep his role in 'The Matrix'

Keanu Reeves hid a spinal injury so he could star in 'The Matrix'.

The 58-year-old actor accepted the role of Thomas Anderson/Neo in the 1999 sci-fi action film and recalled how he had to keep the problem secret through four months of training so he didn't lose the part.

Speaking on The Art of Action podcast, Keanu said: "I met with the Wachowskis and I loved the script, and they showed me pre-vis for bullet time which was extraordinary, and one of the things they talked about in the meeting was training in Hong Kong-style martial arts and asked if I was okay with that, and that it was over four months and I was like, 'Yeah, that sounds okay.'

"The only problem – I was dealing with a neck issue which was getting worse, I'd spent a couple of years fighting it off, I was getting tingling.

"I had done a film called 'Chain Reaction' in Chicago and had a couple of epidurals put in, shot up in the spine. I had a bulging disc and I had a fractured disc too, and I started losing feeling and balance."

Keanu explained how he had to train in a neck brace for the demanding fight scenes in the blockbuster.

The 'John Wick' star said: "My spinal column was being sausaged basically, so I had to have a two level fusion on my spine before training, and they put a plate in my neck.

"But I never actually told anyone because I didn't want to tell anyone I wouldn't be able to do the film. What was cool though was at the time the way to recover from spinal surgery was different. They put the plate in my neck and told me to start moving right away. I had to train for the 'The Matrix' in a neck brace."