Keanu Reeves Remembers Lance Reddick at John Wick: Chapter 4 Premiere: 'He Was a Special Person'
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Keanu Reeves is mourning the loss of his longtime costar and friend Lance Reddick.
Reddick died of natural causes at 60 years old on Friday morning — just one week before the release of his film with Reeves, John Wick: Chapter 4, in which he reprises his role in the franchise of Charon.
While out at the film's premiere on Monday, an emotional Reeves shared memories of the late star exclusively with PEOPLE.
"We worked together on four films over ten years," Reeves, 58, tells PEOPLE on the carpet of the TCL Theatre in Los Angeles. "He was a remarkable artist and a special person with grace and dignity."
"I guess what comes to mind right now is the first time that I met him and we worked together on John Wick, he had this idea for the way that he wanted the character to speak and just his enthusiasm and passion," Reeves recalls of Reddick, "and the way that he and I got to work and kind of speak the unspoken, that connection. It's just really cool."
Adds Reeves of their characters' bond on screen: "I always thought that the connection between John Wick and Charon was special. I always said to him that people liked John Wick because he liked John Wick."
RELATED: Keanu Reeves Mourns 'Beloved' John Wick Costar Lance Reddick: 'Deeply Saddened and Heartbroken'
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In a joint statement on Friday, Reeves and the film's director Chad Stahelski revealed they were dedicating the latest sequel to Reddick.
"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. "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."
Inside the theatre on Monday, Lionsgate head Joe Drake led a tribute to the actor, which included a standing ovation ahead of the screening. Guests were also asked to wear blue ribbons in Reddick's honor.
"There have been a lot of tears," Drake said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "There have been a lot of moments of quiet reflection. Tonight what I would like you to do, however, is make a loud, honoring, grateful applause for a man who was an absolutely extraordinary human being, extraordinary actor and a big part of this franchise."
RELATED: John Wick, The Wire Stars and Other Celebrities Pay Tribute to Lance Reddick After His Death at 60
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The fourth installment of the film follows John Wick's journey toward defeating organized crime organization The High Table and new villain Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgard), whom Wick must battle in order to take his final revenge against the organization.
Reeves and Skarsgard, along with the late Reddick, are joined by Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Donnie Yen, Hiroyuki Sanada (Bullet Train), Shamier Anderson, pop musician Rina Sawayama and more in the upcoming film.
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Reddick's reps confirmed the actor's death in a statement to PEOPLE on Friday, saying, the actor — best known for his roles in The Wire, Bosch and Netflix's Resident Evil in addition to the John Wick films — died "suddenly this morning from natural causes."
"He is survived by his wife Stephanie Reddick and children Yvonne Nicole Reddick and Christopher Reddick," the statement added. "Lance will be greatly missed. Please respect his family's privacy at this time."
The late actor once praised his working relationship with Reeves in a December 2021 interview with Vulture, in which he described the star as "someone who's very generous as an actor and then all about the work."
John Wick: Chapter 4 premieres in theaters on March 24.