Halle Berry is an American actress. Berry won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the romantic drama film Monster’s Ball. As of 2019, she is the only woman of African-American descent to have won the award. She is known most famously for her performance as Storm in the X-Men franchise and as Jinx in Die Another Day. She plays newcomer Sophia in the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
Chad Stahelski is an American stuntman and film director. He is known for directing the John Wick (along with David Leitch), John Wick: Chapter 2 and the latest installment John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and doubling for Brandon Lee after the fatal accident involving Lee on the set of The Crow (1994). He has also worked as a stunt coordinator and second unit director on several films.
Screen Rant: First of all, congratulations on the film. I love this franchise and pairing up my favorite actress with one of my favorite franchises, it’s like heaven for me. So I got to ask, what does the character Sophia bring to the John Wick universe?
Chad Stahelski: I think we get a little John Wick backstory. We have world expansion and we get a kick ass female character doing something for I think the right reasons and showing the depth of the emotionality we can have in our world. So it’s not just plugging an actress into an action role. We get a little bit of emotion behind it, I think.
Screen Rant: Absolutely. Now, for you, were you always a fan of John Wick and what was your experience when you first saw it and when did you know you want it to be a part of this universe?
Halle Berry: John Wick One, I watched it when he came out. I saw in the cinema and I loved it the first time I saw it. I love the world. I loved when I saw Keanu doing everything he did. And I mean he’s gone 300 times further now. But the first movie I was just blown away and I thought, wow, we have all this access to CG and we’re seeing all these superhero movies. But here it was just a guy who was doing this for real. And I got really lit up by that. And then so the second one I got more lit up and when I heard they were making a third one, I was like, okay, wait a goddamn minute. Somebody is putting me in this movie. There’s no way I’m not going to be in this movie. So luckily Chad let me do that.
Screen Rant: Chad, I’ve been at 87 11 with you and it’s an intense, intense place. What was one of the hardest sequences in this movie? Cause I can tell you my favorite one right off the bat is that knife, all the knife stuff. Amazing. But what was the hardest a sequence for you?
Chad Stahelski: It’s always when you deal with animals and logistics, I mean, Halle, Keanu, the dogs. Rehearsals that have gone well we did early test to see if we could get the canines to do what we wanted to, how they respond to Keanu and Halle and the stunt team and the camera department, which had to be there as well. It just took a long time. I don’t know if people understand how animals done, but there’s always having an animal do a trick is great, but having an animal do a trick while 30 stunt men are running around with firearms and Halle and Keanu doing these big long takes and the camera right there and you know, you’re overseas, that’s a big deal and it takes a lot of time to get the animals climatized to that kind of environment. And that took, I mean, basically Halle had to be the on camera trainer as well, five months. I’ve trained with the team.
Screen Rant: So with every film I’m sure you learned a new skill set and this one being now you’re like a real dog trainer. Just that you had the full command of that. How was that experience?
Halle Berry: That was great. I love animals. I have two dogs and so everything I learned from there, I’ve been able to parlay that into my real life. Like I have these killer labradoodles now.
Chad Stahelski: They wear a bulletproof vest when they deliver the newspaper.
Halle Berry: Somebody comes to the door. I have all these commands for them now. They really could attack somebody. I mean, I don’t know if they’re going to go for the balls, but they could really attack somebody.
Screen Rant: So don’t mess with, with your dogs is what I’m getting out of that.
Halle Berry: Don’t mess with my doodles. They look nice, but they’re ferocious.
Screen Rant: You’ve revolutionized action movies as it stands right now. And we’ve seen a lot of movies now that are full of CG, bringing it back to this kind of like hand to hand gun fu, is that what we’re calling it? What does it mean to you having these kinds of action movies be such a staple and audience reacting to such a such a large scale.
Chad Stahelski: You know, it’s cool. It’s very cool. I mean on the first week movie we had no money, no time. So my partner Dave Leitch and I decided well we’re going to do long takes, we’re not going to do a lot of cameras cause we didn’t have any money or time. And I had some experience with Keanu from the Matrix’s back when we worked together and I knew that, you know, if anyone is going to pull it off, he had the persistence and the passion to do it. And I think that’s just kind of been our milieu since. I mean I’m always impressed if I I turn on Youtube, I see someone performing or doing an amazing feat that impresses me. I love live performance, I love going to live shows. So we just wanted you to be in that live performance at a live show. We were actually seeing people that you may recognize doing things that you realize as another human is very difficult to do. So when you see Halle, Keanu or any of our stunt team doing things, you go wow, that’s an individual doing a skill set that you can relate to as being very, very difficult. And I think that builds an appreciation and a connection between the performer and audience going, Holy s***. They really did it and they did it for me. All right.
Screen Rant: Well guys, thank you so much for your time and I definitely need a Sophia spinoff now, Chad. So let’s just make it happen. Thank you guys so much for your time.