LOS ANGELES—Describing his process for bringing the assassin character to life, Keanu Reeves explained to reporters Thursday how he prepared for the title role in John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum by acting in the two previous John Wick movies. “I realized very early on in the development stages of John Wick 3 that the only way to really get into character was to become John Wick for a few months at a time during principal photography on two separate feature-length films whose stories would lead up to this one,” said Reeves, acknowledging that his performance in the latest movie would not have been possible had he not been given the opportunity to fully explore the role by Lionsgate Films and the team that wrote, produced, shot, and released the first and second installments. “At first, I thought that taking the character’s backstory so seriously was maybe a bit pretentious and unnecessary, but the exercise was highly recommended to me by Matt Damon, who used it for The Bourne Ultimatum and loved it, so I thought I should give it a shot. In the end, it’s all about what works best for you. Some actors use the Stanislavski or Meisner techniques to build their characters, and others need to be more hands-on by making a couple multimillion-dollar prequels.” Reeves added that he hoped the same method would allow him to turn in a career-defining performance in next year’s long-awaited third installment of the Bill & Ted franchise.