Halle Berry, 'John Wick 3' Director on 'Theater of Pain,' and What's Different This Time Around
Director Chad Stahelski also provided an update on the 'John Wick' TV series that's currently in development.
Just like it was in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Brooklyn's One Hanson Place was transformed into the fictional Continental Hotel for the film's world premiere Thursday.
For much of the cast, the completion of the third John Wick installment also brought an end to months of intense physical training. Halle Berry, for example, told The Hollywood Reporter that she practiced different types of martial arts for eight hours a day, six months in a row.
"[I did] aikido, jiujitsu, tae kwon do, judo, and then I had firearms training that I never had done before in my life," Berry said, adding that she also had a hand in training the dogs in the film.
Director Chad Stahelski described the grueling filmmaking process as "the theater of pain."
"The audience responds to the pain and suffering that they’re going through," he said. "You feel more empathy toward the character."
Derek Kolstad, who helped pen the screenplay, echoed Stahelski's sentiment, saying that the physical demands pay off in the end.
"It’s easy as a writer to just throw in, ‘It’s raining. It’s dusk,’ and all these other elements, but a lot of times, and especially meeting and working with Keanu and Chad, and saying to ourselves, ‘Is it worth it?’ And for a guy like Chad and a guy like Keanu, it is," Kolstad told THR. "It makes their job three to five times harder and the shooting process a lot more difficult, but when you see a good shot — and let’s be honest, look at the shots from The Matrix especially, that took days to set up for a couple seconds of screen time. It’s worth it. That’s the kind of shit we want to watch."
Leading man Keanu Reeves put it simply, "Sure, there are some long days but I love that."
According to Lance Reddick, who's been with the franchise since the start, there's more action in John Wick 3 than ever before.
"It sounds kind of cliche, but I think it’s true — it’s bigger and better. And by that I mean, in terms of the action, if you can believe it — John Wick 2, sometimes it felt like an hour-and-a-half fight scene — but it’s actually more action and it’s actually more intricate and it’s more exciting," he said. "And there are actually more fight scenes. And in terms of the story, you find out so much more about the world."
Stahelski explained that he tries to make each film "unique in its own way," while still maintaining thematic threads and staying true to Reeves' character. This time around, Berry was among the many additions to the cast, all of whom Stahelski said were not only familiar with the John Wick universe, but also fans of it.
"And I'm a fan of theirs," Stahelski said. "So when you have that kind of respect and passion toward one another, working together becomes a very, very fun experience."
Mark Dacascos was particularly excited to join the film, calling the entire experience "surreal."
"I would 100 percent hands-down, without even having to read the script, work with Chad or Keanu again," he said. "It was an honor."
There's no official word on a fourth John Wick, but there is a spinoff TV series in the works called The Continental.
"It’s still in development for Starz through Lionsgate. Keanu and myself are involved," Stahelski told THR. "We’re still in the development process, but I feel the ideas that have been put forward and the thread that they’re carrying is going to be something very, very different yet tied to our universe that’ll be very fun."
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum hits theaters May 17.