Keanu Reeves, Chad Stahelski Share Memories of Lance Reddick at ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ Premiere: ‘A Special Artist and a Gentleman of Grace’
The Los Angeles premiere for “John Wick: Chapter 4” on Monday evening was a celebratory, yet somber occasion, as star Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski paid tribute to the late Lance Reddick, who starred as Charon in all four “John Wick” films before dying suddenly on Friday. He was 60.
Upon arriving at the TCL Chinese Theatre, attendees at the Los Angeles premiere were given blue ribbon pins to wear to honor Reddick. Blue was the late actor’s favorite color.
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“Lance is a people person, a special artist, a gentleman of grace and dignity,” Reeves said on the carpet. “It’s just really something special, every time he stepped on set, to watch the passion he had for his work. It’s really easy to work with him.”
“It’s not just one memory. It’s not just one day. It’s a collective. I had Lance in my life almost 10 years,” Stahelski told Variety. “Although that was done over the course of four films, we’ve worked together on other things. I just got to be happy and be proud of the fact that I got to spend so much time with him. We’re going to miss him.”
After an introduction by Reeves and Stahelski, the screening kicked off. Reddick’s first appearance onscreen early in the film earned a huge round of applause from the audience.
Although series newcomer Hiroyuki Sanada shares no scenes with Reddick’s Charon in “Chapter 4,” the Japanese actor has been a fan for nearly a decade, keeping up with prior entries.
“His role was considered one of my favorite characters,” Sanada shared. “I could see him at the beginning of this month during the junket. I knew he was a great actor, but I recognized how he was a kind person and a great human being. So I was shocked. I still can’t believe it. Hopefully, people can enjoy his performance in this movie and never forget him.”
“One of the greatest things about Lance is we became friends after the first film. It’d been about a decade,” series creator Derek Kolstad shared, shedding a few tears. “He’s a great actor, but he’s a better man. He’s a kind man, a gentleman. He just wore his heart on his sleeve.”
“It’s heartbreaking. A couple days ago, we were all in Austin at SXSW and Chad called me,” Joe Drake, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chair said. “He had great humanity. Last year, we talked about how much he enjoyed being part of this. It’s really sad.”
News of Reddick’s death shocked Hollywood, with tributes pouring in from his former co-stars on shows like “The Wire,” as well as his friends and admirers. Reeves, Stahelski and Shamier Anderson were in Toronto for the Canadian premiere of the film when the news broke on Friday afternoon.
“I just want to say something about a great man and a great artist, a good friend, that was part of our family. Lance Reddick passed away today,” Stahelski told the crowd, choking up briefly as Anderson put a hand on his shoulder to comfort him. “So you guys get to meet him up on the screen. He’s a great part of the family and hopefully you enjoy the performance.”
Stahelski and Reeves also released a joint statement dedicating “John Wick: Chapter 4” to Reddick’s “loving memory,” writing, “We are deeply saddened and heartbroken at the loss of our beloved friend and colleague Lance Reddick. He was the consummate professional and a joy to work with. Our love and prayers are with his wife Stephanie, his children, family and friends… We will miss him dearly.”
Reddick was also expected to appear in the upcoming “John Wick” spinoff, “Ballerina,” starring Ana de Armas and Ian McShane.
McShane also released a statement to Variety after Reddick’s death, writing that he was in, “Total shock and disbelief. Lance was a wonderful human being and a wonderful colleague. My deepest condolences, peace and love to his wife, Stephanie, and all his family.”
“John Wick: Chapter 4” releases in theaters this Friday.
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