It's been a year of milestones for Keanu Reeves, or "significant birthdays," as he likes to refer to them with a laugh.
In 2014, his sci-fi action blockbuster The Matrix turned 15, his high-octane crowd-pleaser Speed turned 20, and his 1980s doofus buddy comedy Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure hit the 25-year mark.
Not to mention Reeves's personal birthday – the big 5-0.
"I know, I'm 50! Half a century!" said the Toronto-raised star, whose new action film, John Wick, opened this week.
"I've been around and there have been some pictures that some people have liked, which is really awesome," he added, noting he sometimes watches those films.
"When they come around sometimes I will [watch], because for me it's like opening up a photo album. It's like, 'Oh, I remember those people, I remember the times' … There's a kind of reflection and fondness."
It was on the Matrix movies where Reeves first met Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, movie stunt experts and co-directors of John Wick. The two turned down many scripts but when Reeves gave them Derek Kolstad's screenplay for John Wick, they saw an opportunity "to do something original" with the story of a widower and retired hit man (played by Reeves) who returns to his old underworld job to exact revenge on ruthless Russian mobsters.
Stahelski and Leitch said Reeves was perfect for the part because he had "the hard-soft mix" the character needed. "After 15 years with him, we know his work ethic," Stahelski added.
Keeves trained in martial arts for the role and did a lot of the action sequences himself – sometimes with the filmmakers adjusting choreography on the fly.
"He's absolutely fearless – 'I want to be super vulnerable; I want to do [a fight scene] in boxer shorts,' or 'I'm going to do it at night; I'm going to hang on the back of the car; I want rain; I want to be freezing cold,'" Stahelski said.
Reeves said doing the new film made him want to get back in the director's chair, after his debut 2013 movie, Man of Tai Chi.
"I'd love to direct again, I just have to find the story," he said.
"The past year I've had the chance to make a couple of other films that will hopefully come out next year," he added. "Right now, I'm always kind of working on working."
He has a slew of projects in the works, including a possible TV series based on Barry Eisler's John Rain anti-hero book series, the recently wrapped Eli Roth film Knock Knock, and Courtney Hunt's courtroom drama The Whole Truth.
"You kind of need to keep working on working," Reeves added. "Because to get a movie made, there's a lot of moving pieces that you have to corral and get together."