In today’s cinematic landscape of franchises, crossovers, and shared universes, world-building is king. That’s how a series of ultraviolent action thrillers about a retired hitman who’s been pulled back into the field has managed to flourish amongst gargantuan superhero mash-ups and a nostalgic return to a galaxy far, far away. Well, world-building and Keanu Reeves.
Actually, Keanu Reeves is mostly responsible for the hype surrounding the John Wick franchise. But the world-building is what immerses us in the titular antihero’s world and keeps us coming back. Part of that is the roster of supporting characters around him. So, here are The 10 Best John Wick Supporting Characters, Ranked.
In the past few years, Ian McShane has redefined himself as the guy who shows up in franchises with complex mythology to spout some exposition and explain the plot to the audience. He’s done it in Game of Thrones and American Gods, but it’s arguably his role in the John Wick franchise that is his finest hour as a mythology explainer.
As much as Winston wants to help out John as a friend, he’s bound by the rules of the Continental. When John conducts a little business on Continental grounds, Winston has no choice but to excommunicate him, but he clearly doesn’t want to.
As a professional crime scene cleaner, Charlie is sort of the Mike Ehrmantraut of the John Wick universe. Whenever John has had to take care of some hitmen that have come to his home, all he has to do is give Charlie a call and he’ll come down with a van and some guys to clean up the place. He’ll dispose of the bodies and remove every last trace of evidence.
Depending on how many corpses he has to get rid of, Charlie charges by the gold coin. Nothing sells a well-constructed fictional universe like a vaguely defined fictional currency.
If you’re John Wick’s mechanic, you’re pretty much guaranteed steady work. Nearly every time John leaves the house, he ends up chasing some bad guys around the streets of New York City and getting his car all dinged up. In the breathtaking opening sequence of the second movie, he trashes the car so badly that Aurelio doubts if he’ll even be able to fix it.
But of course, he gives it his best shot. John Leguizamo has always done a great job of playing Aurelio – he’s likable, he’s funny, and he would never sell out his customers, no matter what kind of threat he was facing.
7 Mrs. Wick
We only ever see John Wick’s wife in flashbacks or in framed photos, but she’s most of the reason why we care about him so much. We root for this guy and hate seeing him get hurt during action sequences, purely because we know he’s been through so much pain already.
Another thing that endears fans to Mrs. Wick is the fact that she’s the one who picked out John’s adorable puppy and gave it to him to provide him with a semblance of hope in a world without her, which is both a sweet gesture and film history in the making.
Jimmy is the sole reason why John manages to get away with killing so many people and never going to jail. If someone calls in a noise complaint while he’s dispatching a dozen assassins at a time in his kitchen, Jimmy takes the call, heads up to John’s house, and politely asks him to keep it down.
Jimmy doesn’t vouch for John because he intimidates him or he’s afraid he’ll be his next victim if he turns him in – he vouches for John, simply because John is friendly to him. Plus, while it’s never spoken on-screen, fans have noticed that John never kills cops or civilians, so Jimmy can get behind his moral compass.
It’s not easy to match John Wick’s physicality, but Common’s character Cassian came close. In awesome sequences like their fight in Rome that is interrupted when they smash through a window into the lobby of a Continental location or their firefight in a crowded subway station, we see that John may have finally found his match in Gianna’s bodyguard.
In the end, John did best him in combat, but out of professional courtesy, he decided to spare his life. Cassian didn’t reappear in the recently released third chapter of the series, but hopefully, we haven’t seen the last of him.
4 The Bowery King
The second John Wick movie earned the right to call itself the next “chapter” in the story by expanding on the universe and mythology established in the original. One of the biggest revelations is just how many assassins are out there.
There’s a secret society of homeless people who are actually contracted killers working for “the Bowery King,” a crazy pigeon guy who uses pigeons to keep eyes all around the city and isn’t so crazy after all. Laurence Fishburne plays the Bowery King, marking a reunion with Keanu Reeves, since the two actors worked on The Matrix trilogy together.
Apparently, Halle Berry asked the producers of the John Wick franchise to give her a role in the third movie before the script had even been written. So, the Sofia character was written in for her. She’s the old friend that John calls upon when he’s declared “excommunicado” from the Continental and a $14 million contract is put on his head.
With the responsibility of helping to protect John from every assassin in the world, she had to be pretty powerful. And thanks to her unparalleled aim, fighting skills, and loyal attack dogs, she is. This is the closest Berry has come to playing a superhero since she played Storm in the X-Men movies.
Lance Reddick is fantastic in everything he’s in. He’s one of those actors who everyone recognizes from one role or another, even if they don’t know his name. His character in the John Wick franchise, Charon, the concierge at the New York City location of the Continental, is a pretty great one.
He’s always pleasant to John and even personally took care of his dog, despite the hotel not having the facilities for it. It’s pretty sad when he has to say his farewells to John after Winston tells him he’s been pronounced “excommunicado,” because to him, John wasn’t just a customer – he was a friend.
Ares, played brilliantly by Ruby Rose, is Santino D’Antonio’s most trusted ally. She tangles with John in the second movie, first meeting him in a bar and offering to buy him a drink, and later doing battle with him a few times – putting up a pretty good fight – before being inevitably defeated by Baba Yaga.
Her final words to John were unforgettable, too. As he killed her in that spectacular hall of mirrors sequence, she signed to him, “Be seeing you.” It was a callback to an earlier scene and also a subtle promise that they’ll eventually meet again in Hell.