Keanu talks Neo Philosophy

By Paul Martin July 15th, 2002, in Symbolism

Mr.bojangles posted this in our forums:
Keanu Reeves talked to The Sunday Times about the philosophy behind his character, Neo:

Reeves winces and often tugs at his hair, clearly pained by having to explain Neo’s motivation — a messiah by default which, in many ways, echoes his own awkward approach to celebrity.

The actor read the per-existentialist philosophy of Nietzsche, the willpower theories of Arthur Schopenhauer and the empiricist teachings of David Hume to create Neo’s mindframe.

“All of this is synthesized into ‘how to be’ and the kind of character Neo is in terms of how he views the world — in terms of how he asks questions,” Reeves said.

“He is always saying ‘What is truth?’ and he is searching for his life. He rejects fate and he doesn’t want someone else’s destiny.

“In terms of an academic discussion, I don’t have the facilities to do that. In terms of a contrast and compare — the Nietzsche in Superman, or Neo as reluctant hero or messiah — I can’t do that. Larry Wachowski could do that. I can’t do that.”

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