Written by By Staff Writer
Melissa Arseniuk, CNN
Keanu Reeves has no regrets about turning down a role in the 1987 film “Speed.”
“People ask me whether I was ever tempted to do ‘Speed 2: Cruise Control,'” said the actor, speaking during a Q&A on Tuesday at the Museum of Modern Art.
“I remember turning it down and thinking to myself, it’s a bummer because the time I’m spending was not important in the scheme of things.”
Ultimately, the role went to Dennis Hopper — and despite the rising star’s villainous reputation in later years, Reeves said he was “very fond” of his work.
Dennis Hopper as Dom Bryant in “Speed.” Credit: 20th Century Fox / AP
Following the screening of “Speed” at MoMA’s Photo series: 1980 – 2014 , Reeves, 58, gave an insight into the backstory behind many of his most memorable roles.
He revealed that he didn’t get offered the role of John Wick until he had been fired from the 1986 film “The Big Lebowski,” which he had previously described as “the best film I’ve ever worked on.”
He said that he wasn’t offered another substantial role in “Speed 2: Cruise Control” because of the success of the first film, although it remains his most iconic film.
“I wouldn’t have turned it down,” he said. “I didn’t know how to act in a sequel … When I was 13 years old I didn’t know what acting was or how to perform it, but when I was 17 I knew it was pretty cool stuff … a big part of the reason I ended up doing ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ and all the movies I’ve done in the last 15 years has been because I knew exactly what I was supposed to do by the time I started.
“If I’d known I had to audition for another movie I probably wouldn’t have done it. … I got lucky because I got really lucky with ‘Speed,’ which turned out to be one of the best movies I’ve ever done.”
See more footage from the event in the video above.