It’s no secret that Keanu Reeves has had a lengthy, fruitful career playing some of the most iconic characters in film. From Ted in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” to Neo in “The Matrix“, Reeves has entertained an entire generation with his memorable acting skills, and with his latest project, the John Wick TV series, just recently announced, he’ll continue to delight fans with one of his most popular portrayals.
If there’s one thing that Reeves is known for outside his acting talent, though, it’s his huge heart.
Underneath his well-deserved success, Reeves has not had an easy life. His father was a largely neglectful drug addict, he struggled with dyslexia as a child, and his close friend, River Phoenix, died a very public death outside Johnny Depp’s Hollywood Club, the Viper Room.
Later in life, he had a stillborn baby with his long-term girlfriend, Jennifer Syme. The traumatizing loss put a strain on their relationship until her tragic death from a car accident at age 29. His sister, Kim Reeves, was diagnosed with leukemia, which devastated the actor. He took on the role of her primary caretaker for the duration of her decade-long battle with the illness and set up a charity in her honor — without attaching his name to it.
The man is just so kind, so giving, so genuine, and so considerate that it’s hard to believe he’s an A-List celebrity and not the second coming of Jesus Christ himself. It’s like he’s been living Bill and Ted’s mantra this entire time: “Be excellent to each other; party on, dudes!”
Therefore, we thought we’d highlight some of the amazing things he’s done for others. Here’s a list of our favorites:
1. He routinely bought lunch for the “grunt workers” on his movie sets.
“Back in the late 90s and fresh out of college I got my first job as an assistant prop designer on the set of Chain Reaction (Keanu was a supporting actor with Morgan Freeman). EVERY DAY for the last few weeks of filming, Keanu treated the stage hands and “grunt workers” (including myself) by taking us out for free breakfast and lunch. He was genuinely a very nice guy to work with.
“Since then, I’ve worked on about 30 different sets and have never met an actor as generous and friendly as him. Most actors I’ve seen and worked with are total douches who always think they are better than us. Keanu on the other hand, at the very least, was socially approachable and definitely kindhearted.
“That was one example (that involved me directly), but (on the same set), I remember him going out of his way to give my friend a ride to the repair shop to pick up his car… I’ll write more as I remember, but its been a while.” — bo2dd2
2. He gave $20,000 to a set builder in need.
“A family friend builds movie sets, doesn’t design, is one of the poor dudes that just builds. Anyways he worked on the set for the Matrix and Keanu heard about family trouble he was having and gave him a $20,000 Christmas bonus to help him out. 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. I’ve never heard anyone say Keanu is douche, seems like the nicest person in Hollywood from a second hand experience.” — kahi
3. He drove a woman 50 miles out of his way because her car broke down.
“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 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. 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 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.” — lovemyax
4. He’s a “complete badass” who bought Harleys for the special effects crew on the Matrix.
“I had a few friends working special effects jobs on the Matrix movies, he bought all of them fucking HARLEYS for Christmas during the shoot for the second one.
“One of those guys, Paul, said that Keanu was the most sincere, humble and lovely dude he’d ever met. Said he eschewed contact with the cast in favour of hanging out with the crew, was the only guy the martial arts coaches respected out of the whole cast, and was the bravest man he’s ever met. That scene in the first Matrix film, the assault on the office tower lobby – Keanu turned down earplugs for all the charges blowing everywhere taking ‘bullet holes’ out of pillars, walls etc, just for authenticity. When he turns and hides behind a pillar which explodes with bullets hitting it on both sides, Paul said ‘the entire crew was about 15 metres away, with ear protection, and all flinching anyway when the charges blew – Keanu just took it like a complete badass.'” — [deleted]
5. Is just a genuine person who makes everyone around him happy.
“My brother works at a coffee shop in New York, it’s got pretty alright coffee but the real draw is that they roast their own beans and all the beans are sucked through pneumatic tubes into a machine that grinds and brews all at once. It’s a bunch of bells and whistles, and doesn’t necessarily make for the best coffee ever. Anyway, Keanu comes into the store and orders a coffee, asks my brother how the whole system works and immediately after he finishes, he pauses, looks surprised and says ‘Whoa.’ It was perfect. And it seemed like he was actually interested and impressed by the fancy nature of the coffee shop.” — [deleted]
6. He’s a regular guy who just likes to chill and may also be a mythological being.
“So my neighbor was out camping and met Keanu Reeves who was also camping (I guess he likes dogs because he came up and said ‘I love these dogs!’ about her rottweiler) and she said she thought she was crazy for a minute because no one else knew he was there and it turns out Keanu was just there chilling with a one-man tent and a cooler and his little Dodge car and every time someone looked at him he’d just turn his face away and it’s kind of just solidified in my mind that Keanu Reeves is a cryptid.” — S/Nothing Special
7. He once hung out with a homeless guy — just because.
One of the most famous stories surrounding Keanu Reeves took place back in 1997, when he was spotted hanging out with a homeless person. Apparently, he was just minding his own business on the streets of Hollywood and chanced upon this man. He then shared some drinks, snacks, and listened to the man’s stories, even lying down on his back, clearly interested in what the man had to say. All of this might have gone unrecorded had some paparazzis not stopped by and noticed the two deep in conversation.
8. He gave millions of dollars to save jobs on his movies.
Some reports say $35 million. Others say $80 million. A few even go as high as $125 million. Whatever the amount may be, Reeves has gone down in history for generously giving up some of his salary on the Matrix movies so that the special effects team could continue as needed.
That wasn’t the only time he’d taken a pay cut; both Al Pacino and Gene Hackman were hired on in some of his movies because he gave up millions to pay for their salaries. He literally created (and saved) jobs.
9. He gives up his seat on public transportation because he’s a gentleman.
This wasn’t some scripted PR stunt — he was literally just sitting down, saw a woman standing, and offered her his seat. How many guys these days do that? What a gentleman!
10. He waited 20 minutes in the rain outside of his own wrap party so he wouldn’t cause a scene.
In one of the most Keanu-like moves possible, Reeves once stood in line outside of his own wrap party for “Daughter of God” for 20 minutes because he didn’t want to cause a scene. There had been a mix-up, but instead of going to the front of the line to complain to the bouncer, he just patiently waited his turn. In the rain. Even though, again, it was his own party. “I didn’t know he was kept waiting, and he didn’t say anything to me! He’s a very relaxed person,” the horrified owner of the club told the Daily Mail.
Bonus: His reaction to rumors about him being gay are absolutely endearing.
Apparently, there was a rumor going around that he was romantically involved with David Geffen. His response? “For a while people were saying that David Geffen and I had gotten married. That just blew me away. Not because they thought I was gay, but that they thought I could land a guy that hot.” Love him!
Do you have a super sweet Keanu Reeves story? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image via Twitter / (Left): Hannah_Rmond | Imgur / (Right): STARDUST