Is Donnie Yen blind in real life after John Wick 4 and Rogue One roles?

Paul Fogarty

Donnie Yen plays a blind character in John Wick: Chapter 4 and after he did the same in Rogue One, some have been left wondering if the actor is blind in real life.

While already a powerhouse in Asian cinema, Donnie Yen is becoming an increasingly prominent star in the Western world after appearing in a string of big-name movies.

Donnie Yen’s latest role sees him appear in John Wick: Chapter 4 as a blind martial arts master but after playing a similar character in the Star Wars movie, Rogue One, fans have begun to ask if the actor is blind in real life.

Donnie Yen plays blind character in John Wick: Chapter 4?

Donnie Yen takes on the role of Caine in John Wick: Chapter 4.

Like Wick, Caine is an assassin who works for the High Table and is being kept in their servitude as they threaten to harm his beloved daughter unless he carries out their bidding.

Prior to John Wick’s retirement, he and Caine were close and when they’re pitted against each other in Chapter 4, there is no animosity between them, their conflict and final showdown is simply business.

While Wick has fought against many worthy opponents since 2014’s first film, none are as skilled as Caine as he is a character who was created to be Baba Yaga’s equal, if not his superior.

There is one key difference between Caine and John Wick, however, and that is the fact that Caine is blind. But this doesn’t hamper his abilities, though, as he is still able to go toe-to-toe with Wick and several other assassins throughout the events of the film.   

Donnie Yen as Caine holding a pistol in John Wick: Chapter 4
© Lionsgate | YouTube

Is Donnie Yen blind in real life?

No, Donnie Yen is neither blind nor visually impaired in real life.

However, it’s not surprising that some fans are asking the question as this is the second time that Donnie Yen has played a blind character in the last few years as he did the same in the Star Wars spin-off film, Rogue One.

In that movie, he played Chirrut Îmwe, a warrior-monk and martial arts master who was so in-tune with his other senses and the world around him that he was still a formidable opponent even without his sight, using a wooden staff and lightbow (think laser-powered bow and arrow) to defeat swathes of Imperial Stormtroopers and to shoot down ships.

Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe confronting a group of Stormtroopers in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
© Lucasfilm | Disney+

Actor discusses his John Wick role

Despite already playing a blind character in Rogue One, Yen found that doing so again across from Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4 was a huge challenge.

“I was concerned about how Caine could react,” Yen noted. “I wanted him to be a complex, human character, and wondered how he could engage if he could not look Wick in the eyes.”

“I had to find different ways for Caine to express himself. He’s a blind martial arts master who can take on dozens of opponents simultaneously, so he must be very skilled,” he added. “Finding that balance between being sightless and physically gifted was challenging.”

Donnie Yen as Caine and Keanu Reeves as John Wick in conversation in John Wick: Chapter 4
© Lionsgate | YouTube

John Wick: Chapter 4 is out now in theaters after releasing on March 24, 2023.

Related Topics