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Keanu Reeves kept big injury secret so he could make The Matrix movies

Keanu Reeves recently revealed to his John Wick co-star Scott Adkins that he had neck surgery shortly before starting The Matrix and didn't tell anyone.

Keanu Reeves The Matrix

Keanu Reeves recently appeared on Scott Adkins’ series The Art of Action. Scott Adkins is a martial artist, stuntman and actor who recently co-starred with Reeves in John Wick 4. Reeves discussed the 90s movies that turned him into a huge action movie star with Adkins – including Point Break, Speed, and of course – The Matrix.

Reeves discussed with Adkins the fact that he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to do the movie due to a neck injury. He entered four months of martial arts training before shooting, and had to wear a neck brace for a lot of it. “The only problem is, I was dealing with a neck issue and it was getting worse. I had spent a couple of years fighting it off. I had a bulging disc and a disc that had fractured. I was losing feeling and I was starting to lose my balance.”

“I said yes to The Matrix movies and the four months of training, but it was getting pretty bad so I went to a neck doctor. Before I started the training, I had to have a two-level fusion, they pulled the discs out and put a plate in my neck.”

Reeves continued; “I was like; ‘I have to make this movie, I wanna have surgery’ and I didn’t tell anyone [the studio, the producers etc of The Matrix].” Adkins asked if it was because he didn’t want to lose out on the role, and Reeves nodded. Reeves said that he was told by the surgeon that luckily movement was part of the recovery; “I’m going to put this plate in your neck and then you need to start moving.”

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Reeves talked about the fear of doing the training after having just had surgery; “You can see footage where I’m training for The Matrix and I’m wearing a neck brace. I had to protect it. There would be stuff when I was training and I was doing all I could, but there was underneath a little fear. Especially when I would feel it go, my blood would just drain out of me…cause it could all go away.”

Check out our guide to the best science fiction movies and the best thriller movies.