The Story Behind Keanu Reeves Portraying Himself in ‘Always Be My Maybe’

Ali Wong and Randall Park open up about their Netflix rom-com, featuring Reeves in a sexy supporting role.

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BY RODIN ECKENROTH/FILMMAGIC.

In Ali Wong’s new Netflix rom-com, Always Be My Maybe, Keanu Reeves gives a bold, surprising performance—playing a sexy, philosophical, pretentiously heightened version of himself.

His amusing, over-the-top portrayal as Wong’s love interest has been winning over fans since the trailer for Always Be My Maybe dropped.

The movie—opening in select theaters on May 29 and streaming May 31 on Netflix—centers on Sasha Tran (Wong), a renowned celebrity chef who heads back to her hometown of San Francisco to open a new restaurant.

There, she unexpectedly reunites with Marcus Kim (Fresh Off the Boat’s Randall Park), her childhood best friend, whom she hasn’t spoken to in over 15 years.

She and Marcus rekindle their friendship—but once her engagement to her fiancé (Daniel Dae Kim) ends, Sasha starts a new relationship with Reeves, which makes Marcus jealous. “We had the most insane, freaky-ass sex,” she tells Marcus at one point.

As seen in the film’s teaser trailer, Marcus first meets Reeves cheerfully strutting into a restaurant. The Matrix star is dressed in a black suit with designer glasses that are missing lenses. He soon sweeps Sasha into an embrace and purrs, “Hi, baby. I missed your thighs.”

“Keanu had no problem making fun of himself,” said Wong, who co-wrote the movie’s screenplay with Park, at the premiere. “He has a great sense of humor, and got the jokes right away.

Nothing was really off-limits. He’s a great comic with good instincts. We didn’t think we’d get him—and to have him fulfill the role of playing himself in our movie still surprises me.”

Wong and Park always wanted Reeves to be featured in their movie, writing him into its screenplay early on. They sent the script to his agent, and learned that Reeves was eager to meet them.

“We sat down with him, and we talked about his character. He had great thoughts that added even more humor to his character,” said Always Be My Maybe director Nahnatchka Khan.

 “So we did rewrites and sent it back to him, and he said he’d love to be in the movie. He was our first choice, and we got lucky to get him during his John Wick window.”

At the time, the 54-year-old star had just finished shooting portions of John Wick 3 in New York, and had a few days off before traveling to Morocco to resume filming. During his brief downtime, he flew to Vancouver to film his scenes for Always Be My Maybe.

“We got him for four days. I mean, if I were him, I would want to sleep, but he was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll come and do the movie,’” said Khan. “He’s such a great person to carve out time for us.”

Keanu Reeves wanted John Wick to be killed at the end of Chapter 4:  Producer | Hollywood News - The Indian Express

Wong’s first impression of Reeves indicated that the star was everything she thought he would be—nice, genuine, and friendly. What she marveled at most was his incredible work ethic.

“When I first met him, he was so warm, thoughtful, and funny,” said the stand-up comedian. “In our meeting, I remember him referencing specific things.

He was like, ‘Now on page 80 of the script’—and I was like, I’ve gone through so many drafts with Randall, and I can’t even remember what happened on page 80. He’s so prepared, and his work ethic is hard core.”

“There’s a reason why he’s Keanu Reeves, and one of the most successful actors. Not just because he’s tall and good-looking—he’s such a professional,” added Park.

Khan, the former show-runner of ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, raved about Reeves’s comedic instincts and his execution in delivering improvised material.

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“I like to do alts on set, so I’ll have alt sides and do improv. But then Keanu was like, ‘I have a couple of alts. Do you want to try them?’ And I was like, Great,” recalled Khan.

“A couple of his improvised jokes are in the movie. There’s a joke about him not being able to go to prom since he dropped out of school to follow his dream—that was his joke. That was funny.”

Another memorable scene involves Marcus getting into a brawl with Reeves. “Keanu knows how to do action scenes, and we thought it was funny that Randall, who has never fought before, would go up against Keanu, who clearly knows how to fight,” said Khan.

“So Randall was flaring his body, and Keanu was very controlled. It’s one of the movie’s funniest moments. Keanu was a good sport about it.”

“Punching Keanu Reeves was a dream come true,” joked Park. “Honestly, it was like a real bonding moment between Keanu and me.

He’s like a stunt guy. He loves stunts. He just came off of John Wick 3 to do our movie and showed me some moves. He really can do everything.”

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