John Wick: Chapter 4 Interview: Scott Adkins on fighting with prosthetics and Donnie Yen

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to the John Wick: Chapter 4 star Scott Adkins about the intense action film sequel (watch and read more interviews). John Wick: Chapter 4 is available digitally from time to time 4K, Blu-ray and DVD.

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to the John Wick: Chapter 4 star Scott Adkins about the intense action film sequel (watch and read more interviews). John Wick: Chapter 4 is available digitally from time to time 4K, Blu-ray and DVD.

“As the price on him grows, legendary hitman John Wick takes on his battle against the high tables around the world while seeking out the most powerful players in the underworld, from New York to Paris and Japan to Berlin,” they say the filmSummary.


Tyler Treese: I’m a fan of your work so I knew you were in this film and I loved the film. Walking out of the theater I was like, “Where was Scott?” And then I looked up who your character is and I was like, “Oh my god.” How wild is it to be a lead in this movie, but you don’t you look like yourself?

Scott Adkins: Well, at first it was like, “Oh damn, I’m going to be in John Wick 4 and they won’t notice me.” I had a bit of an appeal at first, but no, I enjoyed being able to create a character. It’s an eye-catching part – a lot of people responded well to the part and it couldn’t have gone better for me. I enjoyed it. Look, I can show that I can act and that I’m not just about kicking and punching – I’m more than that. I can play Killa Harkan! (Laugh).

What you want to say: We get great character work from you in this film. The whole scene where you play cards is awesome. How great was it that you didn’t just do one fight scene?

Yes, that was the biggest attraction because obviously I did all that. I have done all this. I’ve done a lot of action movies and I’m known for martial arts movies and everything else. That was a great opportunity to really show what I can do, you know? And create a character. I think Chad (Stahelski) saw in me that I’ve done character work in the past and that I’m capable of disappearing into a role and that’s what he wanted. So yes, it was a good opportunity.

Tell me about the prosthetics for it because it’s a total transformation. How was it for you to get all this?

Took about three and a half hours every day. The makeup team was great because they were big fans of hong kong movies so we watched hong kong movies meanwhile. They were great fun, Lou (Elsey) and Dave (Elsey). So yeah, we just got ready, got ready, and I had a bucket with a load of ice water and I had this tube that came out the back of the suit and I put it in the ice bucket and it would all the ice water around me feed around and cool the suit. So that helped because to be honest overheating was the biggest issue – especially when you start walking around in the action you get really hot in there.


I was curious about the technical limitations there because despite all of that, you still show incredible movement and range. So what was it like doing the normal kind of choreography but with so much of your own effort?

Well, I’ve worn the bat suit and I can tell you that it’s a lot easier to fight in the killa suit than the bat suit (laughs). Sorry, it actually wasn’t that bad. It was flexible. you can move

The fight itself is fantastic. There’s a great mix of action and some humor. This series is just known for such great fights. What did it mean to you that your event became one of the highlights to get such a positive response from the fans?

Yeah I thought the fight was going to be longer to be honest. (Laugh). The whole sequence is really cool and stylized, the way it goes down to the bottom of the club. All the water is pouring down, the dancers and the music are great, aren’t they? The music, the cinematography in that moment with the fans and the shadows walking through the rain and then there are those walls of water… it was a really interesting and really stylized action sequence. It was great to be a part of it.

The nightclub vibe is just a great place to argue because you two are dueling and everyone is like, “Well, we’re going to party anyway.” How wild it is to look to the left and see people dancing while fighting this life and death struggle?

The wildest part was protecting the dancers in those action sequences. If I missed or someone got too close and I kicked, I would kick someone in the face, right? So they would cast the dancers and the extras with real stuntmen. So there were these stunt performers with these glittery clothes trying to dance (laughs) and they were terrible dancers. To be honest, that was pretty amusing.

Chad and Keanu are so experienced at this point. How was that scene where you go up against an actor as accomplished as Keanu? And then Chad just knows his stuff about action. How much easier does that make it?

Yes, I mean it’s never been easier. It’s usually difficult when done right, but you get there faster. You don’t have to do a lot of takes because Keanu is so good you can do it, like one take, two takes, three takes, done. got it Because everyone knows what they’re doing. They get the point, they know how to fight for the camera.

It gets difficult when you’re fighting someone who doesn’t know how to fight for the camera. You have to do so many more takes and it takes time. You only see one setting. You don’t see how many takes it took to get that take. If you can do 20-30, it’s going to be a long day.

Last time we spoke you talked about Keanu being one of our biggest action stars alongside the likes of Jackie Chan. What struck you most about the approach to the scenes in these films?

He loves the action genre. He’s a very hardworking guy. He does as much as he can himself. He’s the first to say that he doesn’t do his own stunts, but he does his own actions – as much of it as possible – because he wants the audience to see what the character John does Wick does as much as possible alone. So he puts a lot of hard work and effort into it and I really appreciate him for that.


After the movie came out you released this amazing video of you dancing in the role that went viral. How funny it was to see how everyone reacted when you showed off your comedic side that you showed in Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday and stuff like that. How fun was that?

I still have a few videos like this, but I should keep posting them. But yeah, I’ve always had a good sense of humor. I’ve taken a little creative control on a lot of my projects lately, and that humor shows through. I couldn’t help but add humor to this guy. I mean you look like you’re walking around. It makes a lot of fun. You have to enjoy it, and I’m glad that Chad, the director, allowed me to throw in some humor as well, which definitely comes across.

They starred in Day Shift, which also had some great action scenes directed by JJ Perry, who also has a history with the John Wick films. This movie was wild – it had vampires and it was so over the top, but how would you compare JJ’s direction and approach to fighting to Chad?

They come from the same team and are good friends, so everything is similar. JJ… I mean, he honestly didn’t have much time for this film. Since there weren’t many days of shooting, things moved quickly – fast, fast, fast. It was wonderful. The amount of setups he could do in one day was incredible. That was great fun. But they are stunt guys. You made this stuff.

They have pre-visualized action scenes for movies, and many times the action has been shot or edited incorrectly, and now they can do it themselves. You can bring it to the screen the way it’s meant to be. I mean, I’ve watched previews of action sequences for movies for ages and the previews have always been better than the end result. But that’s not the case with these guys. The end result is just as good as the preview because they are the guys who have the final say.

This movie also reunites you with Donnie Yen and you both had some great fights in Ip Man 4. Can you describe him as a martial artist and an actor? His character in it is so much fun, he is blind and steals so many scenes. What impresses you most about Donnie and how he approaches these scenes?

He’s just one of the best to ever do it. He’s been doing this since the 80’s. He is an incredible martial artist at a level that is beyond even comprehension. He’s brilliant, and he’s also an accomplished action director himself. He is an accomplished director. He understands cinema perfectly. So you are dealing with a man who is at his best. To me, it’s just, “Respect, sir.” I’m all ears. I want to know more about his mindset and the way he shoots action. Yes, he is great.

We’ve seen you work with so many great actors and superstars. Is there someone who really stands out that you would like to work with in the future?

I would love to work with Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise, come on! Let’s go!