In John Wick: Chapter 4, Keanu Reeves’ character faces off against a group of people trying to kill him as he climbs the famous 220 stairs at the Sacré Coeur in Paris, France. The action scene is intense and near the end, John Wick gets thrown down the stairs after almost making it to the top. Director Chad Stahelski says they had to finish filming this tough scene in just five days.
Making movies in touristy places is tough because the crew has to leave quickly so as not to disruption to the local economy. It was even more difficult for director Stahelski since he only had a few days for the action scene. However, being an experienced stunts professional, he created a special stunt team that could work faster than other teams and still make it look great.
Recently, the filmmaker talked to our Editor-in-Chief Steve Weintraub about how they were able to get a certain scene completed in only a few days. During the interview with FilmSweep, they shared which resources helped them do this quickly and effectively.
“We practice a lot compared to other stunt teams. We have the help of Keanu, which means we can be much faster in our rehearsals. We don’t have to split up roles like doubles, wires or safety–we are able to do it on an actual location. If you have good crews and great plans with Keanu’s involvement doing 98%, then the rehearsal process will move quickly.”
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John Wick’s Incredible 220 Step Stair Fall in One Take
When he says his stunt team was special, Stahelski isn’t just saying it – there’s an awesome proof of it. In one scene, John Wick falls down multiple flights of stairs. The second time Reeves’ stunt performer Vincent Bouillon tried it, he took the surprise impact like a champ! That’s what the director reports.
“He had to do it twice and the second time, which is the same one you see in the movie, was fully real. We stopped filming when he stopped and there were no special effects apart from erasing the camera that was following him on a cable cam. He walked down around 220 stairs – all in one go – in just his second take. Amazing!”
The Sacré Coeur scene is the end of a quick trip that starts in the Paris streets, then to the Arc de Triomphe, through a building for one take shot, and lastly to the stairs. John Wick does this so he can get to his duel with a High Table member just in time.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is now playing at theaters. You can watch our interview with Stahelski and Keanu Reeves down below!