‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ tracker Shamier Anderson takes over the world

After director Chad Stahelski cast Anderson as Keanu Reeves’ bounty hunter Tracker, the actor tells IndieWire that the Disney Channel alum meets the kung fu master.

You may not be familiar with the name Shamier Anderson, but it’s safe to say that his career is worth following.

Anderson stars as the Tracker, aka Nobody, in the just-released installment of the critically acclaimed franchise, John Wick: Chapter 4. Tracker is both an audience insert and a welcome foil to the elegant style of John Wick (Keanu Reeves) and High Table boss Marquis (Bill Skarsgård), but it’s Anderson’s easy humor, extensive martial arts background, and even working with “John.” Wick: Parabellum star Halle Berry is the perfect match for Reeves’ emotionally distant lead.

Anderson starred in Berry’s 2020 directorial debut, Bruised, which John Wick director Chad Stahelski executive produced.

“Chad was instrumental in being a part of this movie. We actually crossed paths on that set, and I worked on that film, not a very significant part. It was an important part, but not enough for Chad, in my opinion, to stand out enough for him to want me to star in the next franchise,” Anderson told IndieWire in a recent interview.

“So it was a big surprise. One day I was hanging out at the gym and my agent called me. Usually in Hollywood, these things are either like molasses and it takes a long time to get a job, or they’re like rapid fire and it’s like, “Call now, get on a plane tomorrow.” and put a camera on Saturday. And that was the case. My agent called me and said, “There’s something really important, are you really available? Chad Stahelski from ‘John Wick’ wants to meet. And I said, “Okay, fine, but now I’m in the gym hitting benches in Toronto. Are you okay with that? So I hopped on a Zoom with him when I was at the gym and he said, ‘Did you plan it?’ And I said, “Well, this is my morning routine.”

Anderson continued, “And he said to me, ‘Hey, you’ve got this ‘John Wick 4.’ If you’re interested, take a look at the script and it’s yours. I said, “That’s it?!” And that was it. I read the script and fell in love with the role of Tracker. And he said, “Great, if you like it, you have to get on a plane within 48 hours.”

Shamier Anderson entered "John Wick: Chapter 4"

Shamier Anderson as the tracker in John Wick: Chapter 4


Anderson admitted he felt a “responsibility” in the role as he joined the “family” of the “John Wick” franchise.

“There’s a sense of responsibility and weight and anxiety about being invited to the party for the fourth movie, because everyone’s in their own orbit, especially when Tracker is already a distraction,” Anderson said. . “It was important for me to know that I had to bring my A-game. Fortunately for me and Chad – and I say this proudly and with the utmost humility, but also with confidence – I will. I really do. I practice martial arts. I am a kung fu practitioner. I love the athleticism of martial artists, working out in the gym and moving my body. If anyone knows me personally, this is what I do every day, all day. So giving that opportunity feels like sharpening an iron.”

Although it sounds like Anderson was already part of The Continental family, he fleshed out the character of Tracker with his own personal experiences.

“Like a college student who is afraid of failing an exam, I am afraid of telling and experiencing these people in life. So that’s where it comes from: anxiety. Not pretentious. This is nothing in this field,” he said.

Anderson added, “I felt (Tracker) was the most appropriate person for the audience. He didn’t wear the crazy clothes or do the crazy things. He didn’t really believe in the themes of The Continental. So I wanted to root for, “How do I make this guy likable, even though he has an evil puppy? How do I make this guy likable, even if he wants to go after John Wick’s head? I said, “What’s your motivation?” And I don’t talk about it too much. Hopefully, a spinoff of this story can be earned, whether it’s a Tracker spinoff, a Tracker series, or something. But I thought of his mother. Why would anyone want an inordinate amount of money? Why would anyone want $50 million for someone outside of this fantastical world? I felt it was about his mother. Why his mother? I think that’s the secret I’m definitely going to stick to until we get to the next phase and hopefully I can be back in Tracker’s shoes. To me, it was about this human being.”

Shamier Anderson entered "John Wick: Chapter 4"

Shamier Anderson in ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’


Could Tracker’s story be connected to former co-star Berry ‘John Wick’ Sofia’s role, who like Tracker has a killer Belgian Malinois sidekick?

“I think it’s definitely worth exploring (their relationship),” Anderson said. “I mean, we’re the only two in this franchise that have dogs. We happen to be black. We could be related. In the distant future, she may become a sister or grandmother. Who knows? Mom, who knows. And I think there’s room for exploration there. And I think that’s what the audience wants.”

Berry said before IGN in 2022 that it “maybe” return for a spinoff. The “John Wick” franchise has since inspired two prequels, the upcoming film “Ballerina” starring Ana de Armas and the TV series “The Continental.”

But Anderson is waiting for Stahelski to call him one more time before revealing too much of the “John Wick” story.

“Obviously, I’m in the grip of the press and everything about me. Everyone is so excited about Tracker, “What’s his real name? What is the government name? Those are things I would love to (know),” Anderson teased. “I said, ‘What if the Tracker is a bounty hunter? What if he was a bounty hunter who hunted the craziest people in the world? I speak like everyone in history. What if it’s someone who actually hunted all the bad guys, bad girls, evil villains in the world? I said to Chad when we were building this character, ‘What if Tracker used every ‘John Wick’ movie as a documentary? He actually looked at the movie, he looked at the ‘John Wick’ franchise as a case study to follow John Wick. And he used the fourth film as an introduction after John Wick.

Working with stars Keanu Reeves and Anderson’s new franchise partner Donnie Yen proved to be a “master class” featuring the best action stars and stuntmen of the generation.

“I want to give Donnie Yen his flowers because he is such a remarkable talent who is such a nice, kind person and he really, really loves filmmaking and martial arts. I do Wing Chun kung fu and if you know Donnie’s work, Donnie played Hitman who was a Wing Chun practitioner. I’ve watched all his movies, and then I’m literally in the arena doing scenes with him,” Anderson said. “I will never go toe to toe with Donnie even in a sparring match because that guy definitely stings like a bee and floats like a butterfly. It was crazy cool. Not to sit here and try to play kayani, but between acting and editing, I’m a pro. But off screen and off camera, I’m a fan of every moment. In private of course, I call my boys like, “Damn, I’m on set with Ne-Yo right now.”

Of note, Ne-Yo wrote the original song for the fourth film, “I Would Die for You.”

Shamier Anderson DJs a "John Wick: Chapter 4" Los Angeles premiere

Shamier Anderson DJs at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’

Getty Images for Lionsgate

And Anderson’s musical background also lends itself to the choreography of the stylized fight scenes in “John Wick: Chapter 4.” As a DJ and dancer, Anderson’s inherent rhythm and background in martial arts made him the quintessential “John Wick” character IRL. And yes, Anderson’s roots go all the way back to the Disney Channel, including roles in “Camp Rock 2” and “Sharpay’s Adventure.”

“Wow, replay,” Anderson joked. “So I did ‘Camp Rock 2,’ where I played a dancer in Camp Star, and I also played a dancer in ‘Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.’ I think it just goes to show that movement and physicality have been a part of my career from the beginning. So I am glad and happy that I can show another side of me in these films apart from being an ensemble dance group. And at that time, those films served my career well, and I’m glad I’m at this point now.”

Anderson has a surprisingly close relationship with 2023 Best Actor nominee Austin Butler, who could very well be the next “John Wick” villain in the inevitable Tracker spinoff.

“Holy incense sticks, we worked together! It’s actually crazy,” Anderson said. “I actually worked with Austin Butler on Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure. I don’t know if you remember that.”

Next up, Anderson co-stars with Jamie Foxx and Robert De Niro in the action film “Tin Soldier” and is producing a limited edition of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat through his Bay Mills Studio banner. A possible collaboration with fellow Toronto native Drake has been Anderson’s dream ever since he starred in “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

Keanu Reeves and Shamier Anderson a "John Wick: Chapter 4" Los Angeles premiere

Keanu Reeves and Shamier Anderson at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’

Getty Images for Lionsgate

“I am so lucky. I’m a kid from Toronto who loves acting,” Anderson said. “Most actors start out of acting school, drama class, drama school, and they watch and read these hulking titans like Jamie Foxx, Robert De Niro, Keanu Reeves. And I am very blessed and lucky to share this year with these people. In the end, I just bring the basics of my work ethic: it’s never about you, it’s about the team. And to live honestly only in imaginary conditions. It’s very simple.”

Anderson summed it up: “A director once said to me, ‘Listen, budgets change, films change in scale and scope. You still have to find that point and tell the truth. And hopefully I can keep that in all areas of work as I continue on this journey. “John Wick” is another moment of this. I’m still human, I still have moments, I still have fun, and I still get insecure. But when it’s all said and done, I have to find purpose and tell the truth.”

“John Wick: Chapter 4” is now in theaters.

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