Reeves recently opened up to Entertainment Weekly about Sawayama’s performance as Akira, the daughter of hotel manager and Wick’s friend Shimazu Koji (played by Hiroyuki Sanada) in the upcoming thriller.
“She was great,” Reeves said of Sawayama, who is known for her critically acclaimed pop projects in recent years. “I think she’s amazing in the film, and she came to ‘John Wick’ training camp, and just threw herself into it, was so enthusiastic.”
He added: “She has a dance background, so she was really great with moving through space, and it was really great to see how she excelled, and also brought her character a flavor [to] how she fought. It was great.”
Sawayama, during an interview on “The Tonight Show” last week, discussed her “John Wick” training camp experience that included five weeks of training before five weeks of shooting the film.
She told Jimmy Fallon that the five weeks of training camp wasn’t enough for the film and, in the first week, one of her drills went wrong.
“I did a move [where] you just dodge underneath, you’re in a squat position and you just dodge... I threw my back out, first day,” said Sawayama, who added that she tried to push through the injury.
Sawayama recently praised Reeves as “so sweet” in an interview with “Good Morning America” and remarked on how he understood it was her film debut.
“He’s not a showy person. He does things a lot behind the scenes to make sure everyone is feeling OK,” Sawayama said.
“Honestly, he can turn off the celebrity, which is a weird thing to say. You think someone like Keanu walking around the set has an air of celebrity constantly, but he’s there just to work. I didn’t feel intimidated at all.”