It’s very important for actors to be able to find some sort of connection with the character they will play as. This is what happened with Duke Caboom and Keanu Reeves.
Reeves was the quest star surprise for Toy Story 4. He voiced the entirely new character to the franchise – Duke Caboom.
The crazy stunt guy action figure was an instant fan favorite. And Duke has a lot more in common with Keanu than you think, says Bob Pauley who was a production designer for Toy Story 4.
“[Duke Caboom] is a stunt guy from Canada,” Pauley says on the DVD extra features, quoted by ITM. “You’ve got Keanu Reeves from Canada who loves motorcycles; the planets align on that character.”
The Toy Story 4 team is yet another one impressed by Reeves’ performances. “I didn’t have a chance to do any animation yet so I just did some posing,” Scott Clark, supervisor for the animation, explained. “We showed him some poses of Duke on the bike.” He adds he was impressed with Keanu’s performance.
Reeves himself says that he was thrilled to take part in the movie. “I don’t know what it was but I instantly connected to Duke,” he said. “Even when he’s talking to you he’s doing stunts. He can’t help himself.”
Kind of what Reeves does himself if you’ve seen the “making of”s of other movies he’s been in, like John Wick for example. And that shows you why the character was such a success. It’s because both the character and actor were connecting to each other. Caboom!