Transcript for Ian McShane on ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’: 'I was hugely impressed by this one'
- The "John Wick" series has become an international action sensation. Actor Ian McShane co-stars in the latest installment, "John Wick: Chapter 4," which comes out in theaters this Friday. We do want to note that this was filmed before the tragic death of Lance Reddick last week, who plays Charon in all four John Wick movies. ABC'S Will Reeve sat down with Ian to talk about how the series has grown and what it was like to return as his character, Winston.
- This hit goes out to you, Mr. Wick.
[ALABAMA 3, "WOKE UP THIS MORNING"]
- (SINGING) Woke up this morning--
- 42 regular, wasn't it?
- --you got yourself a gun.
- And so it begins.
- Your character, Winston, crucial to the franchise, crucial in this movie, as well. Going back to sort of when the John Wick wasn't a franchise at the time, when--
- The first one.
- --"John Wick 1" came into your world, how did you receive it? What excited you about it? And what did you think it might become?
- The first John Wick was a really tightly-written, an hour and a half independent movie, indie movie. Keanu decided to do it. It had been around for a bit. But he suggested, I believe, that they could go to Chad-- Chad and David-- be brought in as directors. And that's probably the best decision they ever made.
We shot it in the fall, if I remember, over Thanksgiving. That's part of them where they seduced you into coming to it. "How about coming to New York for a week over Thanksgiving? Great hotel, whatever, money, blah, blah, good time."
You know if you're in good hands with any movie, I always think. And I just thought, oh, yeah, and enjoy the ride. I've been enjoying the ride ever since. But I think the concentration that those two have had that goes into the preparation for the next one, then the next one is what makes each one better and better each time.
- This final, epic end to the film--
- No, it's all shot--
- I thought for sure that it was so perfect and beautiful that had to be fake.
- I guess it wasn't.
- There's very little green screen in the movie, apart from-- I think we did an added-- we did an added a couple of shots last September at the end. But that was in a-- it was, I think, the very last sequence in the cemetery. And also we did an extra scene. We couldn't go to Japan. There was a scene in Osaka, but Japan wasn't letting anybody in.
And we filmed that-- they rewrote it, and we did it on Roosevelt Island last February, that was up in New York, with Keanu and me, the scene where I'm lighting the thing for Charon. But it was a great day because they made New York-- it wasn't New York beautiful. It was New York gray and miserable--
--and that just look terrific, you know?
- So in "Chapter 4," John has a chance at freedom. How would you describe how that affects the relationship between Keanu's character, John Wick, and your character, Winston?
- Well, I mean, we've protected him all along. I mean, as I said, he's our favorite assassin. And Charon and I-- and then the last one when you saw Charon fighting in "John Wick 3." But this time, it becomes personal for me because they take care of my hotel-- excuse me, blow up my hotel. So it becomes personal for me to help him and going back to this obscure rule about if you get blessing of your family, go back to your family, make amends to them, get permission. You will have-- there is a way out of this. And there is a way out of the High Table, which he chooses to do it.
- We, the audience, don't know much about Winston. As you prepared to do this role, what do you know about Winston? What do you inform the character with?
- I said early on, Lance and I worked out a sort of a background for him. And then it's just a facade. It's like he's part of what happens. In this one, they made it-- it was more because they made it personal so they involved him having to be part of the whole procession throughout Europe and whatever, the final. So he becomes more of a part of it instead of staying back at his hotel or staying where he is.
And they sort of, they gang up on the Table, if you like, the High Table. So it becomes a revenge story. And they all, for their reasons, want to get out of the High Table, even Donnie, with his daughter. It's a smartly worked-out show. I said when-- I was hugely impressed by this last one.
- Without spoiling anything, as the credits roll on "John Wick 4," where is John Wick in his journey to freedom?
- Where is he?
- Either he's with his wife, his beloved wife, or he's planning his number 5 and coming back again.
- It's a little ambiguous, right?
- Yeah, it's always got to be ambiguous, yeah. But without--
- Well, when you have a franchise--
- --well, but sometimes, you hang it-- yeah, but it's like-- I like the fact that it could be the end because you have got that. But it's not-- you have got a definitive but you haven't. But it's not like there's a loop like, oh, the next one. I mean it ends, then you've got that extra scene after the credits too.
- You've been in hundreds and hundreds of things. Do you watch yourself and--
IAN MCSHANE: No.
- --do you enjoy it?
- No, I don't. I'll tell you what happens sometimes if I'm in a-- doing, again, doing a movie, and sometimes you turn on TV and they go, oh, it's "Deadwood." I'll go, oh, blah, blah. I'll watch two minutes of it. And I'll go-- I'm there half an hour later. Or good stuff like that, or sexy, but most of it, no.
Or John Wicks, I don't watch. But no, I don't say, "Darling, I'm going to watch three of my old movies. Would you not bother me for two hours please?" No, I've never been-- no I'm not over impressed by that.
- And what else do we have here? Oh, there's a spin-off coming soon. "The Ballerina" with Ana de Armas.
- Oh, yeah, we did that last-- we did that last-- in Prague, last November, which is-- and Keanu, as well. You see that's another thing, which may be given-- but that's a retro.
- That's between "John Wick 3" and "John Wick 4."
- But, again, she's great. She's terrific.
- Thank you so much.
- Pleasure to meet you.
- It's a pleasure. Thank you for taking the time.
- Thank you.
- Our thanks to Will for that. And our condolences tonight to the family, friends, and cast of "John Wick," who are mourning the loss of Lance Reddick. In a statement to "ABC News" on the death of Reddick, Ian told us that he is shocked and said, quote, "Lance was a wonderful human being and a wonderful colleague. My deepest condolences, peace and love to his wife, Stephanie, and all of his family."
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.