Reddick should have been celebrating this week. The 60-year-old was enjoying another surge in a career that had taken him from TV success in The Wire, Fringe and Bosch to late-life film stardom in the John Wick franchise. He had been on the road recently promoting the imminent release of the fourth film in a whirlwind of red carpets and media interviews, but suddenly pulled out of last week’s New York premiere. His body was found at home on Friday and preliminary reports cite natural causes for his death.
Reddick played the enigmatic Charon in the cult action thrillers. The concierge at the Continental Hotel (the New York home for assassins on the move) was naturally handy in a fight but was also infamously economical with his words, delivering each one with such gravitas and grace that they spoke a thousand more.
So it was a joy to hear him, in his own voice (and not that smooth on-screen Kenyan purr) talking of his time on the franchise and his special love for Keanu Reeves – another star who famously avoids the limelight and rarely wastes words and gestures.
Reeves himself has said he is “heartbroken” over the loss of his friend and colleague.
In his final interview with Vulture, Reddick told a moving tale about Reeves’ kindness: “I’m a journeyman character actor. And whenever I work with a big movie star for the first time, I keep my guard up to protect my work from an ego. And if there’s any big movie star who’s not that person, it’s Keanu.
“My experience with him after that continues to be one with someone who’s very generous as an actor and then all about the work. He’s also very shy. This is going to sound really weird, but — he seems simple, but spiritually he’s very advanced.”
On the set of the most recent film, Reeves actually reduced Reddick to tears.
Reddick added: “During John Wick: Chapter Four, my first day of filming happened to be Keanu’s birthday. But he wasn’t in the scene. He came to the set anyway at nine o’clock at night with his girlfriend…
“And she told me that she asked Keanu what he wanted to do for his birthday and he said, ‘I want to go see Lance.’
“He’d never done this before but he wrote me a note thanking me for what I brought to the character in these movies. And he wanted to give the note to me. I’ll never forget it. I’m going to cry now.”
Reddick said of Reeves: “I just adore that guy. He’s such a wonderful human being.”
His cast mates and crew have been mourning the sudden and shocking loss over the past couple of days. John Wick director Chad Stahelski has also announced that the film will now be dedicated to the memory of the Charon actor.
The film is rumoured to be the final in the franchise but Reddick and his iconic character will live on. He had already filmed scenes for a spin-off TV show, Ballerina, and there are still plans in motion for a Charon origin story.
FULL INTERVIEW IN VULTURE HERE
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER FOUR IS OUT ON MARCH 24
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