Keanu Reeves does not hold back when he takes on a roll, no matter how big or how small a part it may be.
The Destination Wedding star, 53, hilariously opened up about his commitment to the acting process, revealing that for one of his earliest roles — a 1983 Coca-Cola commercial in which he played a cyclist — he went full method.
“So, I had to play a cyclist, who’s a young kid, my father is my coach, it’s a big race,” he said while on The Late Late Show with James Corden Monday night.
“It’s about me and my dad — it was a three-day shoot,” he explained. “But for me, it was a great experience because you’re going from school to study to the real world, to practical. It was hitting marks, we had to improv some scenes. It was a real-world experience.”
Reeves, who has been known to fully inhabit his characters for film roles, even admitted he used the rather extreme acting technique known as “method” acting to get into character for the small part.
“I shaved my legs,” he said.
Corden looked shocked, and asked, “You shaved your legs for this commercial?” to which Reeves replied, “Yeah! Because I’m playing a cyclist.”
After Corden showed the audience a few seconds of the commercial, Reeves said, “I had to drink so many Coca-Colas!”
“It was pretty funny,” he added.
The actor has moved on from Coca-Cola commercials to box office hits such as The Matrix trilogy to John Wick.
Method acting is a popular technique where actors immerse themselves into their part so they become the character, and live and feel emotions as the character does during filming, even when the cameras are not rolling.
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Reeves’ latest work is the upcoming comedy Destination Wedding in which he reunites with Winona Ryder. The film follows two people who meet on their way to a wedding while realizing neither of them wants to be there.
The stars first acted together in 1992’s Dracula and have remained good friends.
“Winona is a lovely person and a talented actress,” Reeves previously said. “I think we make a good couple, and I liked that it’s a two-hander. To them, nobody else matters anyway, right? We did something like five eight-minute scenes, which you don’t often get a chance to do in films.”
Destination Wedding hits theaters August 31.