In Eli Roth’s sexual thriller Knock, Knock, Keanu Reeves plays Evan, a family man with the ideal wife and children, the dream home, the stable job, the adorable dog. Everything a man could ask for and more. Until, one evening, with his family away, two beautiful women arrive at his doorstep, flirtatiously seducing their way into his home and entrapping this otherwise decent man with an impressive set of erotic – and deadly – temptations.
We had the chance to chat with Keanu about his character, about giving up the action-hero control of roles like Neo, and just what the future might hold for the assassin John Wick as he heads into the film’s sequel.
You usually play very strong male characters. Neo, John Wick. These are characters who always have control and Evan definitely does not have control. What was it like being emasculated and vulnerable?
It was really fun! He has a strength in his denial. The girls are trying to hold up this mirror to him and say, “Look, you did this with us. You’ve betrayed your family. You’re bad!” And Even keeps saying, “No, I’m not! I helped you! You did this to me!” Through whole the movie! He just denies and denies and denies. And I just thought that was really funny.
How do you play a character who has to remain sympathetic and balance that against someone who’s made a decidedly immoral choice?
That’s really Eli, isn’t it? I think he’s interested in that. There is something very pathetic about Evan. He’s also very frustruated, isn’t he? He’s trying to get some nookie in the morning with his wife; the kids bring him a Father’s Day cake, but then mush it in his face… He’s not getting his Father’s Day; they’re leaving; he’s left holding the dog. So you kinda root for this guy. He can’t figure out what he’s working on; he’s playing loud music; he’s smoking weed. He’s sort of a mess…But he’s a good guy!
Now you’re doing your John Wick sequel. You’re back in control!
Ah! But John Wick isn’t in control! He’s dealing with circumstances.
What is he dealing with this time around?
There’s something from the John Wick past – that assassin past – that comes back to haunt him. I think of him as John and John Wick. There’s John who loved his wife and got out of it all and then there’s John Wick. And there’s something left over from that John Wick world – as Winston said, right? – “It might come back and reach up and grab you!”
And since Evan is sort another naive, gullible dummy, are we ever gonna get another Bill & Ted? Can you just not get enough of it!?
Bill & Ted at 50, I think, is really ridiculous and could be funny.
I feel like everybody would love it!
I hope so. We’re trying!
When a devoted husband and father is left home alone for the weekend, two stranded young women unexpectedly knock on his door for help. What starts out as a kind gesture results in a dangerous seduction and a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Knock Knock is in theaters and On Demand as of October 9, 2015.