Randall Park says 'I Punched Keanu Reeves' almost didn't make the Always Be My Maybe soundtrack
WARNING: This article contains spoilers about Always Be My Maybe. Read at your own risk!
Randall Park punches Keanu Reeves in the face in their new Netflix film Always Be My Maybe, and the internet is obsessed. Thankfully, audiences will be able to relive that moment forever through a song Park wrote called “I Punched Keanu Reeves,” as part of a collaboration with super producer Dan the Automator.
But Park admits, the song almost never made it onto the soundtrack of the romantic comedy he wrote alongside costar and good friend Ali Wong.
“Originally, we didn’t even know we were going to do that song,” Park tells EW. “We had a cut of the film and it was during the post-production process that we decided to use that one line that ends the movie where Ali says, ‘Maybe you should write a song about punching him.’ That came from a batch of different lines we recorded to close-out the movie, but we chose that one. So after when we saw the cut, a Netflix executive suggested that we make the song.
“So we reached out to Dan and asked him for one more beat. We did it really fast. I flew out to San Francisco, wrote the lyrics and we recorded the song at the very last minute. And now, it’s immortalized during the closing credits.”
Dan adds, “We spent a lot of time together working on the film, both socially and otherwise. So when they asked for another song, I was like, ‘Yes, let’s do this.’ I didn’t see the cut of the movie seeing how it ended, so they explained that part to me. Randall came up with the lyrics, which are hilarious. What makes the lyrics work for something like this is his combination of deadpan and dry comedy.
“That’s quite an accomplishment to bring that to any song, not just a rap song—specifically the deadpan.”
Fans of Park know him best from his role as the Halloween-loving father Louis Huang on ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat. But after graduating from UCLA, where he and Wong first met, he was in a hip-hop band in Los Angeles. It’s easy to see how he and his band “Ill Again” become quite popular, after watching Park spit rhymes in Always Be My Maybe. While his bandmates have moved on, the mutual admiration between Park and Automator brings up the topic of a possible collaboration on an album between the two.
“We talk about doing that all the time,” Park says.
Automator interjects, “We’re definitely doing that. Our goal is to get nominated for every possible award that’ll get us to the EGOT.”
Always Be My Maybe is currently available to stream on Netflix.