The John Wick: Chapter 4 premiere was held at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood on Monday and was filled with both excitement and grief following the untimely death of the film franchise’s beloved Lance Reddick.
Reddick passed away last Friday from “natural causes” at the young age of 60, per ET. He was known for his roles in HBO’s The Wire and as the hotel concierge Charon in the John Wick movie series.
A number of his colleagues, including John Wick star Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski, shared their memories and griefs over the late actor.
“Lance is a very beautiful person and special artist,” Reeves told ET at the premiere. “His grace and dignity, his shining light of character was just something really special.”
Lance and Keanu worked on all four John Wick movies together. Keanu added, “[I am] really grateful I had the chance to know him and work with him over almost 10 years,” admitting to Deadline, “it f–king sucks he’s not here.”
Reeves shared a similar message when talking with Variety at the premiere about Lance’s reputation as both an actor and a person.
“Lance is a people person, a special artist, a gentleman of grace and dignity,” Reeves said. “It’s just really something special, every time he stepped on set, to watch the passion he had for his work. It’s really easy to work with him.”
Stahelski also talked with Variety about his experience working with Lance for the past decade.
“It’s not just one memory. It’s not just one day. It’s a collective,” Chad said. “I had Lance in my life almost 10 years. Although that was done over the course of four films, we’ve worked together on other things. I just got to be happy and be proud of the fact that I got to spend so much time with him. We’re going to miss him.”
Other people who had the pleasure to work behind the scenes with Lance on the John Wick movies, including series creator Derek Kolstad and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chair Joe Drake, spoke about their grief and how happy they were to have known Lance.
Hiroyuki Sanada, despite having only starred in the latest installment of the movie franchise and having limited screen time with Lance’s character, spoke very fondly of Reddick’s presence on set and his portrayal of his character.
“His role was considered one of my favorite characters,” Sanada admitted. “I could see him at the beginning of this month during the junket. I knew he was a great actor, but I recognized how he was a kind person and a great human being. So I was shocked. I still can’t believe it. Hopefully, people can enjoy his performance in this movie and never forget him.”
With all the major outlets in attendance at the premiere on Monday, Reeves also talked with People about how he and Lance devised how their characters’ relationship would be portrayed throughout the movie series.
“I guess what comes to mind right now is the first time that I met [Lance] and we worked together on John Wick,” Keanu shared, “he had this idea for the way that he wanted the character to speak and just his enthusiasm and passion, and the way that he and I got to work and kind of speak the unspoken, that connection. It’s just really cool.
“I always thought that the connection between John Wick and Charon was special,” he added. “I always said to him that people liked John Wick because he liked John Wick.”
Upon his death, Reeves and Stahelski released a statement on Friday, dedicating the franchise’s concluding film to Reddick’s “loving memory”.
“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken at the loss of our beloved friend and colleague Lance Reddick. He was the consummate professional and a joy to work with,” they said in their statement. “Our love and prayers are with his wife Stephanie, his children, family and friends. We dedicate the film to his loving memory. We will miss him dearly.”
Lance is survived by his wife Stephanie, as well as his two children, Yvonne and Christopher.