Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Movie Assassin Portrayal Driven by Actor’s Real Grief

In an interview, actor Keanu Reeves, star of the ultra-violent action thriller John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, offered a nugget of insight into why his portrayal continues to strike a chord with audiences.

In the films, John Wick is an expert assassin whose murderous rampage is triggered by the murder of his dog while he was deep in the throes of grief over the losing his wife. Reeves explains, “With any character, you have the role on the page, you have the vision of the director and you have your life experience.”

When the interviewer probes further, he elaborates. “Well, for the character and in life, it’s about the love of the person you’re grieving for, and any time you can keep company with that fire, it is warm. I absolutely relate to that, and I don’t think you ever work through it. Grief and loss, those are things that don’t ever go away. They stay with you.”

The grief in question stems from the loss of Reeves’ daughter Ava, tragically stillborn, and his girlfriend Jennifer Syme, who perished in a tragic auto accident two years later. “It’s always with you … like an ebb and flow.”

Potential Preaching Angle: God cares about our grief and our loss, it’s not something to be ashamed of or gloss over. It is a stage of life that impacts us as we move forward.

Hadley Freeman, “Keanu Reeves: ‘Grief and loss, those things don’t ever go away’” The Guardian (5-18-19)

Related Sermon Illustrations

Grief Means We Are Not Always ‘Fine’

In Wendell Berry’s novel Hannah Coulter, the main character, Hannah, is grieving the death of her first husband, who died in World War II. She offers the following reflection ...

[Read More]

Professor Loses Manuscript in Hurricane

Kris Lackey thought he had hurricane-proofed his manuscripts. An English professor at the University of New Orleans, he had saved his fiction and papers (including the novel he had ...

[Read More]