It’s always an interesting challenge to make a sequel to a movie that came out more than a decade ago. In the case of Bill & Ted Face the Music, it’s coming 29 years after Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, the second movie in the Bill & Ted franchise. Not only do you have to remain true to the spirit of the franchise so as not to alienate old fans, you also must make something fresh enough to appeal to a modern audience. In the case of Bill & Ted 3, that modern audience includes two young co-stars, Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine.
In the third movie, Weaving plays Thea, daughter of Bill, while Lundy-Paine plays Billie, daughter of Ted. The franchise newcomers admitted during the movie’s virtual panel hosted by Kevin Smith at [email protected] this past weekend that neither of them had seen the movies or were familiar with them prior to auditioning. Both chose wildly different approaches to it: Lundy-Paine revealed she chose not to watch more than a few minutes here and there from either Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure or Bogus Journey as she wanted to go into her audition as a mostly blank slate. Meanwhile, Weaving, who is Australian, shared the story that her partner, who is American, was so excited when she got the invite to audition that he started bouncing around their apartment doing the iconic Bill & Ted surfer voice and insisted they watch both movies back-to-back that night.
Weaving admitted that being on set and seeing Keanu Reeves as Ted Logan was incredibly hard for her to get her head around. It was a reminder that there’s a younger generation who only knows Reeves as Neo or John Wick, while those of us in our 30s and up know him from Bill & Ted, Speed, Point Break, and other movies that a younger generation may never have seen.
When the cast was asked about their favorite moments from shooting the movie, Weaving explained it was the weirdness of seeing Reeves, who in her mind she associates with the serious, lethal characters of Neo or John Wick, dancing around with a guitar as one half of the Wyld Stallyns and doing the Ted Logan voice. In fact, she laughed so hard at the memory that she could barely speak.
“The first scene of the film, Brigitte and I are watching our ‘fathers’ perform and I’ve never laughed so hard. At just seeing Keanu Reeves, you know, go from John Wick to, just, dancing around holding these insane instruments,” she said through her laughter. “I was crying with laughter and my character had to be so in love and obsessed with this song and just swaying and going with it. Oh, my goodness. That was such a highlight. I didn’t even really have to act because I was watching these two incredible actors just going bananas. Oh, that was a fun day,” she said, wiping tears away.
Host Smith was surprised by that. “I hadn’t really thought about it but for your generation you’ve had to watch John Wick become Ted Logan but it was reversed for me,” he said.
That’s when Weaving dropped another fun and slightly mind-blowing bit of info: “And also, Hugo and Keanu worked together so that was a weird connection, as well. Like, ‘You killed my uncle!'”
“Oh my God, that’s RIGHT!” roared Smith in delight.
Delight because the Hugo she’s referring to would be Hugo Weaving, a.k.a. her uncle, a.k.a. Agent Smith, the main antagonist and Neo’s nemesis in the Matrix franchise. Talk about things coming full circle – or full 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, whichever you choose.
The movie is scheduled for release on Tuesday, September 1st.