According to People, renowned actor Keanu Reeves couldn’t contain his excitement when he had the opportunity to collaborate with filmmaker Sofia Coppola on a new project. The partnership came about as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of The House of Suntory, a Japanese whisky-maker. The brand commissioned Coppola and Reeves to create a tribute film titled “Suntory Time,” which commemorates the influence of Suntory in popular culture. The dynamic duo made a grand appearance together on the red carpet at an event in New York City to promote the film.
The connection between Coppola and Suntory runs deep, as her critically acclaimed 2003 film “Lost in Translation” took place in Tokyo and featured the memorable line “For relaxing times, make it Suntory Time.” This line helped elevate Suntory to a household name at the time. Furthermore, Reeves himself had previously starred in a Suntory advertisement in the 1990s.
“It was,” he says. “It was cool [to get] a chance to work with Sofia Coppola and to work with [her brother] Roman Coppola on a kind of short commercial and then a docu-series. It was a really special opportunity.”
Reeves, who had a romantic relationship with Coppola in the early ’90s after meeting on the set of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” directed by her father Francis Ford Coppola, expressed his eagerness to work with the talented filmmaker once again. He revealed that when approached for the project, it was an easy decision for him to say yes, emphasizing the special opportunity it presented to collaborate with Sofia Coppola and her brother Roman Coppola on a short commercial and a docu-series.
Filming the tribute film in Japan proved to be an extraordinary experience for Reeves. He described it as wonderful and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to spend time with the people behind Suntory. The actor had the chance to visit the founding distillery Yamazaki, meet master blenders, and interact with various artisans, including Kabuki actors and calligraphists. Reeves cherished the conversations he had with these passionate individuals and felt privileged to gain insights into their craft and their unwavering dedication to their art forms.
It was wonderful, really wonderful. It was extraordinary to have the opportunity to spend time with people from Suntory, in terms of going to the founding distillery Yamazaki, then going and just meeting master blenders and all the craftspeople.”
“I got to meet some of the artisans, Kabuki actors, calligraphists, being an outsider and getting to spend time with people and talk about their passion and their craft,” he says.
Earlier this year, Reeves also spoke about his deep appreciation for Japanese culture and its influence on his work, particularly evident in his recent film “John Wick: Chapter 4.” He expressed his love for Japanese anime and filmmaking, highlighting the impact they have had on him. He noted that the concept of bushido, the samurai code of honor, resonated strongly with the themes explored in the “John Wick” franchise, making it a perfect fit. Reeves’ connection to Japanese culture and his genuine admiration for its traditions further enhance his collaboration with Sofia Coppola and The House of Suntory, creating a meaningful and memorable tribute to the brand’s century-long legacy.