It’s official: We are in the midst of a full-on “Keanussance.” Thanks to Keanu Reeves’ resurgence in the John Wick franchise, his appearances in Always Be My Maybe and Cyberpunk 2077, and his status as the world’s best traveling companion, the Canadian actor is seemingly omnipresent. The cherry on top of this sundae is Reeves’ role as Duke Caboom, Canada’s greatest motorcycle stuntman (well, the toy version of him anyway), in the newest chapter on the Toy Story franchise. During the press conference for Toy Story 4, Keanu talked about his latest iconic character turn.
One journalist pointed out to Keanu that Duke Caboom comes across as both a badass and very confident, but that he seems to be “a crybaby.” Without missing a beat, Reeves had the perfect response.
“What’s wrong with that?” Reeves asked. “There’s so many different kinds of people going through different things. Duke Caboom just happened to be a crybaby. And super with a big heart and [a] brave [person] who loved life, and so I think that there’s a bit of Duke Caboom in all of us.”
For the record, Duke was always meant to be Canadian even before Reeves joined the film’s cast. According to director Josh Cooley, Caboom was always meant to represent the Great White North.
“Yes. From day one,” Cooley explained. What made Keanu’s casting even better is that fact that he spent many of his formative years in Toronto, and is a real-life motorcycle enthusiast. It was the part he was born to play. In fact, most of Duke’s sequences were animated by an almost entirely Canadian crew, which Keanu dubbed “The Maple Leaf crew.”
When asked by a member of the audience whether or not we’d see Keanu take on more comedic roles, all Keanu had to say was “I don’t know. I hope so.” (Yes, we hope so too). “Actually, when I was playing Duke Caboom, to get into character, I would go, ‘Kaboom.'”
But Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom wasn’t the only character that seemed tailor-made for the actor portraying it. Mad Men alum Christina Hendricks plays Gabby Gabby, a creepy old baby doll who has been languishing in an antique shop for decades. And she just might be a little bit mad. Gabby Gabby has a set of minions that look like terrifying old-timey ventriloquist dummies, the kind that have scarred the psyches of many a child and adorned many a Goosebumps cover. But in Hendricks’ case, they weren’t so scary. As it turns out, she was the one child who loved those things.
“I thought you guys had done like weird background research on me,” Hendricks said. “Because I actually have a ventriloquist doll in my house that I wanted my entire life.”
Not creepy at all Christina! (But also, a little punk rock too?)