Hollywood star taps into lecturer's samurai expertise

A UNIVERSITY lecturer chatted with actor Keanu Reeves while working as historical adviser on a Hollywood movie.

Leeds University's Dr Stephen Turnbull advised producers of The 47 Ronin, a story about Japanese samurai warriors which is due for release in 2012.

An expert on Japanese religion, Dr Turnbull said: "I was very impressed with the professionalism of the people working on the film. I met set designers, stunt co-ordinators and scriptwriters, and even got to meet Keanu Reeves. He was a very nice, intelligent man who seemed fully involved with the process. He asked me questions about the legend and summed it up by saying: 'So, basically, these guys became great heroes in Japan because they kicked ass' – which is more or less true.

"He was also kind enough to sign my DVD box set of The Matrix."

He added: "I do know that the director, Carl Rinsch, has got an excellent visual sense and I think the film will look amazing."