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Keanu Reeves Meeting His Hero Sonny Chiba is Heartwarming AF

Keanu Reeves Meeting His Hero Sonny Chiba is Heartwarming AF

Keanu Reeves has been in some dope-ass action movies, including three out-and-out masterpieces, Speed, The Matrix, and John Wick, but he’s also a huge geek about martial arts films. Look at his directorial debut, 2013’s Man of Tai Chi, and you can plainly see someone who not only has devotion and reverence to martial arts, but to the tradition of martial arts movies that go way, way back. And just like most any of us, he has heroes in the industry he looked up to. A clip has surfaced showing Reeves meeting one of his heroes and it is endlessly endearing.

During an interview promoting John Wick 2 for a Japanese talk show, Reeves began speaking about his love for the work of Shin’ichi “Sonny” Chiba, one of the most successful actors, producers, and directors of martial arts cinema since the 1970s. Specifically movies like Shadow Warriors, The Executioner, and The Street Fighter series gave rise to him as a performer who brought passion and heart to every aspect of his films (even the weird ones like Message from Space and Wolf Guy.)

Reeves is then surprised on the live broadcast by Chiba himself stepping out and joining the conversation. Chiba clearly respects Reeves’ physicality and technique in the Wick movies, but Reeves can’t help but heap all of the adulation back on Chiba and proceeds to break down various moves and techniques from Chiba’s various movies. He even goes so far as to call Chiba “Number 1.”

The unadulterated joy and nervousness on Reeves’ face upon meeting such a hero is really heartwarming, and leave it to Japan to make a show like this. “Surprise! Here’s your hero.” At the very least, we get to see two badass film stars geek out over each other.

Images: TWC

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. He is the writer of 200 reviews of weird or obscure films in Schlock & Awe. Follow him on Twitter!

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