JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM, coming to AMC on May 17, sees Keanu Reeves return to the role of the dog-loving super-assassin John Wick. The second film in the series ended with him on the run and “excommunicado” after breaking one of the cardinal rules of his profession.
With a multimillion dollar price on his head and just about every bounty hunter in the world after him, Wick needs some help … and he gets it from Halle Berry, playing franchise newcomer Sofia.
Berry put in an appearance at star-studded CinemaCon on Thursday, April 4, with director Chad Stahelski. They introduced a clip from JOHN WICK 3 and talked about how you’d really, really better not mess with her now.
“I was a big fan of JOHN WICK 1 and 2,” Berry recalled. As with many people who saw the first movie, she was drawn in by the surprisingly emotional story of a retired assassin called back to a life of butt-kicking in order to avenge a beloved dog.
Once Berry was part of the series, “I saw some of the most amazing, badass, real fight sequences — ones that I had never seen before. I started to read about what Keanu went through — all the training and that he was really doing all of this himself. There were no stunt doubles. I had mad respect for Keanu.”
“I Don’t Care. I’m Her.”
Hearing from her agent about a role in JOHN WICK 3 that might be a good fit for her, Berry recalled her meeting with Stahelski: “‘Hi, Chad. I’m here to talk about this character. I don’t think she has a name right now … well, she’s me. I’m her.’ He said, ‘But we don’t have a script yet!’ I said, ‘I don’t care. I’m her.’ He said he didn’t have anything to show me yet. I said, ‘Too bad. I’m her. When do I start training?’”
Though she has her Oscar® and her Emmy for dramatic roles — 2002’s MONSTER’S BALL and 1999’s “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” respectively — Berry is no stranger to action. She has thrown punches in the James Bond film DIE ANOTHER DAY, in multiple X-MEN films and even in the much-maligned CATWOMAN.
Still, Stahelski had a warning: The training she’d have to do for a JOHN WICK movie isn’t like anything else. Stahelski himself started out in stunts, after all. He was a stunt double for Keanu Reeves in the MATRIX movies before going on to become a stunt coordinator on films including THE EXPENDABLES and THE HUNGER GAMES.
Halle in Action
“I’m here to tell you, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life,” Berry said of the training to play Sofia. “I got to train with some of the best martial artists in the world. I trained for five months for my little part in this movie. It changed my life, in the sense that I’ve been in the best shape of my life. But I also really learned skills that I can use in my everyday life. I feel like, if someone attacked me on the street, god bless them. Because I know some s— now that will f— them up!”
The clip introduced by Berry and Stahelski sure makes it look like all of that action training was put to good use. Wick and Sofia, outnumbered, take out a whole score of bad guys — not just with guns, but, in Sofia’s case, with trained, bulletproof vest-wearing Belgian Malinois, one of which runs up a wall to take down an attacker. See the carnage and the canines (“There are beautiful dogs in this movie,” Berry said) later this spring.
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM comes to AMC on May 17.