Keanu Reeves has been through a lot: he’s killed a vampire king, he time travelled while stoned, he’s saved a bus, he’s survived a hit from the criminal underworld, he tried his hand as a Samurai, he was a ragdoll participant in one of Phillip K Dick’s nightmares, he was Buddha, he’s saved the world at least four times and he’s discovered reality to be an anaesthetic simulation by dystopian robot overlords – who would’ve thought, that after all that, he’d still be such a nice dude.
Well he is; it’s widely known in Hollywood – Reeves has gone out of his way a number of times for the good of friends, co-workers and strangers alike.
You may know Keanu Reeves as the fresh faced stoner, time traveler from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Bill: How’s it going, royal ugly dudes? I am the Earl of Preston!
Ted: And I am the Duke of Ted!
Henry VII: Put them in the iron maiden.
Ted: Iron Maiden?
Bill and Ted: Excellent! [air guitar]
Or as the latex-clad ‘chosen one’ from The Matrix trilogy
I know Kung Fu…
Or you may know him for his ‘English’ accent in Bram Stoker’s Dracula
This is honestly the worst accent in the history of cinema.
He’s been a Hollywood megastar since the early 2000s.
Having received over $80 million for his role in The Matrix trilogy alone, his net worth is now estimated to be $360 million.
You’d think all that money and fame would sour Keanu
You’d think, having a accrued a personal fortune, Reeves would become selfish and paranoid, as many celebrities do.
But you’d be wrong
Keanu is often regarded as one of the kindest people in Hollywood; he’s reportedly modest, charitable and sympathetic.
Hollywood’s own samaritan
Here’s some of the kind deeds that Keanu has become known for.
He sticks up for the crew
Before The Matrix’s second and third instalments Reeves signed a deal that gave his profit sharing points to the special effect and costume design departments.
He still plays weekly street-hockey games with strangers he befriended before he was famous.
“For a long time in Los Angeles when I first moved there, when I was 20 years old, it was such a new world and so I saw some guys at a gas station once who had hockey equipment in their car, and I asked them what they were doing, and they said they were playing street hockey, so I asked them if I could play. So I became involved in a street hockey game that took place every weekend for over 10 years, every weekend, red versus black. We would take holidays off and sometimes summers, but the game was going on for over 10 years. That was cool to be a part of. It was a cool thing to have happen. Made some friends.”
He doesn’t mind laughing at himself
In 2010 a meme emerged of Keanu Reeves sitting on a bench with the tagline ‘sad Keanu’. But he revealed that he ‘thought it was funny’ on reddit, the memelord’s heartland.
He’s good to the ‘grunts’
While working on the film Chain Reaction, in which he was starring alongside Morgan Freeman, Reeves bought the stage hands a free breakfast everyday for the last weeks of filming.
He rewards his stuntmen for the risks they take
Reeves bought Harley Davidson motorcycles for all twelve of his stuntmen during the filming of The Matrix Reloaded.
He’s still thankful for $127
Reeves admitted on Jimmy Kimmel that he was still grateful for a teenage acting role in Canada that paid him $127
He set up a private foundation in the wake of his sister’s leukaemia diagnosis
In an interview with Ladies Home Journal he said, “I have a private foundation that’s been running for five or six years, and it helps aid a couple of children’s hospitals and cancer research… I don’t like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does.”
He still takes the Subway
You won’t see Brad Pitt doing that.
He’ll take a pay cut if it means the movie improves
Reeves once took a pay cut to allow for Al Pacino to co-star in The Devil’s Advocate.
He ‘keep’s things simple’
In a reddit ‘ask me anything’, Reeves wrote: “You know, I’ve been very fortunate in my life, which I am grateful for. And I guess it’s just to my tastes to keep life as simple as I can.”
He once gave a struggling worker on the set of The Matrix $20,000 dollars as a bonus to help him into the black. That same worker also writes, “He also was one of the only people on the set that genuinely wanted to know peoples names, would say hello and mean it, and would talk to people as they were his peers and not below him just because they were practically making nothing to build a set.”
Once, at a rap party in New York…
While waiting to get into a rap party for the film Exposed, in which Keanu played a leading role, he wasn’t recognised by the bouncer.
So, instead of making a scene…
Keanu just stood and waited patiently in the queue with everyone else. It was raining. Good to know that someone in Hollywood doesn’t brandish their name.
And he drove a stranger 50 miles out of his way
This next story is really something; that a Hollywood celebrity would take the time to do this is almost unheard of.
This is the testimony from a redditor…
“A friend of mine told me that she was once stranded on the side of a highway outside LA when her jalopy broke down. She had no cell phone (that was before most people had cell phones) and no way to call for help…”
Then a car pulls up…
“Then a nice black Porsche pulls over and as you can guess, it was Keanu. He tried to help her jump start the car and when it didn’t work, he called AAA for her.”
And when the AAA man left…
“When they towed her car, he offered her to drive her home, which she accepted. He drove about 50 miles out of his destination just to drive her home.”
She hoped he would hit on her…
She told me she hoped he would hit on her but he didn’t, he was just a gentleman, dropped her at her house, gave her his phone number and told her to call him if she needed further help.