My Celebrity Life

John Wick 4 actress Rina Sawayama praises ‘gorgeous’ Keanu Reeves as she makes acting debut in franchise

Rina Sawayama is among the lucky mortals to have shared the same air as Hollywood legend Keanu Reeves and, of course, she found him to be ‘the most gorgeous’ person. 

The Brit Award-nominated singer is set to make her acting debut in the anticipated sequel John Wick 4, which will see Keanu reprise his role as the ruthless hitman.

She’ll be entering the blockbuster franchise as a mystery new character called Akira and said filming the action thriller was the experience of a lifetime.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk around her partnership with Grey Goose to launch a pop-up martini cocktail bar – very in keeping with John Wick’s stylish vibes – Rina said of her character: ‘She’s called Akira – I guess that’s all I can say! As the name implies she’s Japanese and so in the movie I do speak Japanese and English.

‘It was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done physically, mentally, everything. John Wick obviously is filmed in a nighttime world so everything is shot at nighttime. I was only there for five weeks but doing five weeks of night shoots does something crazy to your body so it was really challenging also I’ve never done that much physical exercise in my life. It was crazy, every day was filled with training five days a week.

‘But it was incredible and I’ve come back from it like a different person. I feel like I can do so much more now and like there’s no limits. It’s pretty awesome.’

Rina recalled how fast she was cast for the role – she received the call on a Monday and flew out four days later for the two and a half month shoot.

My Celebrity Life –
Keanu made Rina feel special (Picture: Lionsgate)

Heaping praise on her breathtaking co-star, the singer revealed: ‘Keanu is as lovely as everyone thinks he is. He’s just the most gorgeous, humble [person]. So sweet, super lovely, just looks after everyone around him.

‘I really loved working on that set. He’s always really conscious of what’s happening around him. I think people just love working with him and he’s a really great presence. Not just a great film presence but just a nice person to be around.’

She continued: ‘He’s also one of the executive producers on the film so the fact that he brought me on-board is so cool. He’s always so sweet when we’re training together. We were training together for five weeks – we were in the same room for that time training – and we just glanced over at each other like “we’re both dying”. Just sharing in that feeling of dying but having a good time.’

‘It’s really, really crazy but I’m in a movie,’ Rina said, clearly still in shock.

The 31-year-old rose to fame with the release of her debut album, Sawayama, in 2020 and landed at number five in the UK. However, the record’s success was later overshadowed by controversy when Rina was originally snubbed from the Brit Award nominations due to eligibility rules.

My Celebrity Life –
Rina has partnered with chef Luke Selby for Grey Goose’s new pop-up bar (Picture: Grey Goose)
My Celebrity Life –
Dirty martinis are a hit with Rina (Picture: Grey Goose)

Rina was born in Japan but has lived in the UK for 27 years. Initially, she wasn’t eligible for a Brit nomination as she doesn’t have a British passport and isn’t a citizen – Japanese citizens are not permitted to have dual citizenship.

After learning this, the singer raised awareness about the discriminatory rule and the BPI – which runs the Brits and Mercury Prize awards – announced there would be a review. The board then overhauled their terms and announced that their criteria had changed to allow nominations for artists who are either born in the UK, hold a UK passport, or have been a permanent resident in the UK for more than five years.

Rina was then shortlisted for the Brits’ Rising Star Award, which was eventually won by Griff.

Addressing the controversy, the musician said: ‘I wouldn’t have really said anything if it wasn’t for the people kind enough to speak up about it when they thought it wasn’t right. Lots of different publications were putting me on the snub list so I just wanted to tell my story and then it trended.

‘All I wanted to have was a conversation… It’s crazy that it got changed.’

She added: ‘It felt like a familiar feeling in a way… it was ridiculous but it wasn’t a huge surprise because I’ve had this visa for a long time, it meant that I can’t vote in this country and I studied politics so it was one of those things already.

‘UK culture – especially music – represents diversity and for that to be such a strong part of the eligibility was just really stupid and it didn’t sit right with me.’

Rina has partnered with Grey Goose for their new pop-up bar in London and said the vodka brand is ‘always on [her] rider’.

‘I wanted to create a martini bar that feels more like drinking at home with friends. A place where people can connect and relax while enjoying some unique flavours – some inspired by my travels in Japan and all delivered with French style and elegance,’ she said.

Rina Sawayama has partnered with GREY GOOSE® alongside chef, Luke Selby, to create Duet – an effortlessly stylish pop-up martini cocktail bar. Duet is open to the public on November 26 and 27, and December 3 and 4 at 154-158 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6HU.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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