John Wick 3 director Chad Stahelski: We tried to open up the universe

Published: May 17, 2019, 20:41 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

Ahead of the release of John Wick 3, director Chad Stahelski and star Halle Berry spoke in length about the project

First of all, congratulations on the film. I love this franchise and pairing up my favorite actress with one of my favorite franchises, it's like heaven for me. So I got to ask, what does the character Sophia bring to the John Wick universe?

I think we get a little John Wick backstory. We have world expansion and we get a kick ass female character doing something for I think the right reasons and showing the depth of the emotionality we can have in our world. So it's not just plugging an actress into an action role. We get a little bit of emotion behind it, I think.

Absolutely. Now, for you, were you always a fan of John Wick and what was your experience when you first saw it and when did you know you want it to be a part of this universe?

John Wick One, I watched it when he came out. I saw in the cinema and I loved it the first time I saw it. I love the world. I loved when I saw Keanu doing everything he did. And I mean he's gone 300 times further now. But the first movie I was just blown away and I thought, wow, we have all this access to CG and we're seeing all these superhero movies. But here it was just a guy who was doing this for real. And I got really lit up by that. And then so the second one I got more lit up and when I heard they were making a third one, I was like, okay, wait a goddamn minute. Somebody is putting me in this movie. There's no way I'm not going to be in this movie. So luckily Chad let me do that.

On writing Sofia's character only for Halle Berry

Chad Stahelski - Absolutely! Well put it this way the character, the character's name was there before we met Halle Berry and after we met Halle Berry we rewrote the entire character so the character on screen was written for her nervously so that was after. I get nervous writing a character. Every time that I've written that thing. Oh My God.

Halle Berry on what she had heard about Keanu before getting to work with him

Halle Berry- What I have heard and what a lot of people heard is that he is the nicest man in the whole wide world.

Director Chad Stahelski on how the franchise continues to attract such high quality cast and crew

Chad Stahelski- It's a complete mystery to me. Actually I have no idea but I am happy for it. You know hopefully it has something to do with the look that we give it. We try to make action look very pretty like the aesthetic. The fact that we try to bend the rules of filmmaking a little bit. And we tried to open up the universe. I'd like to think that I offered an environment that is collaborative and creatively open to express a lot of ideas to take it somewhere else.

Halle Berry on working with her dogs in the film

I loved these dogs. I really did. I spent five months with them. 3-4 days a week going over training with them, learning them and learning me and really getting to understand how they are and they work. And how we can best work with them.

On Filming in Morocco

Halle Berry- I thought it was beautiful. It was a nice change far away, far from the world. It was colourful. I could smell it through the screen you know it's palpable.

Chad Stahelski- Same you know with juxtaposition to New York city an Arabic environment that had such a rich and colourful palette.

On how the John Wick series redefines action films

Halle Berry- I think you know this John Wick series has brought a revolution in action genre and it is something different from what we are offered today. It's real life action and it is beautiful. Its story telling in a way which is kind of different for an action movie but it has got an amazing cast. It won't disappoint it has got Keanu Reeves who I think single-handedly who is one of the only guys in this generation that can really get away with. Not talking in a film but still being present and is interesting to watch. I know that's what I watch for whenever I watch these movies. I love to watch them do that

So with every film I'm sure you learned a new skill set and this one being now you're like a real dog trainer. Just that you had the full command of that. How was that experience?

Halle Berry: That was great. I love animals. I have two dogs and so everything I learned from there, I've been able to parlay that into my real life. Like I have these killer labradoodles now.

Chad Stahelski: They wear a bulletproof vest when they deliver the newspaper.

Halle Berry: Somebody comes to the door. I have all these commands for them now. They really could attack somebody. I mean, I don't know if they're going to go for the balls, but they could really attack somebody.

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