John Wick: Chapter 2 was the ideal framework for Laurence Fishburne to reunite with Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski once more. The trio were key cogs in The Matrix franchise, as 55-year old Fishburne sat down to talk about signing up for the project, how the filmmaker goes about his art and the connection between Wick and his character The Bowery King.
"It was so cool man," started Fishburne. "I mean I saw the first movie and I thought, 'That's really hip, I wanna be a part of that.' So then I saw Keanu and I was like, 'Dude! You gotta like.... So he called Chad (Stahelski director) and they put it together and I wound up playing this Bowery King character. The movie is a graphic novel and a video game come to life. What's not fun about that? (laughs) How is that not cool?"
Director Always Thinking Story First
Stepping away from co-directing duties to go solo, David Leitch's choice to head off with Ryan Reynolds for Deadpool 2 allowed Stahelski to work his magic. And Fishburne could not be happier.
"Chad is great to work with," replied the actor. "He loves movies. His work as a stuntman was amazing obviously. People who have seen The Matrix are thrilled with his work all the time. He brought that to his stunt coordinating work and to his directing. It's all about storytelling, so even in a fight, even in a simple 18 to 50 second fight, he's trying to tell you a story."
While the rest of the cast in Reeves, Common and Ruby Rose are getting down and dirty with the action sequences, Fishburne was working in a less physical capacity? But was the actor disappointed to play such a mellow role?
"It was fine," he remarked. "Just to be part of that world was enough for me. I don't need to be fighting. If they got something for me to do fight-wise, I would have been happy to do that too, but just to be part of that world and to also be a character that reveals another layer to the world - that's like gold."
Complete Wick-Bowery Relationship Not Explored
Although the introduction of a number of characters will add spice to the story, Fishburne explained that some of the details of the exposition will be left up to the audiences. Nevermind the fact that it could open up more possibilities for future installments, or the television prequel series just announced.
"No, no. It was pretty much as it was on the script. The history between the two of them, like there's some sort of thing that happened where John Wick gives The Bowery King this scar. That doesn't get fully explained. That was the only real question mark we had that we talked around like, 'Do we talk about it, do we go deeper into it, do we give any details about what is should be?' We just decided to leave it alone."
Did the actor find the experience strenuous or was it a fun ride?
"I really wasn't there very much. I was there for maybe two, three days. It was lovely. In my hometown you know, it was great to be doing it in New York with my beloved Brooklyn behind me. It was fabulous."