It’s a known fact that the world is a better place with Keanu Reeves in it. Born to a half-Hawaiian, half-Chinese father and an English mother in 1964, Reeves has had a tragic past. However, he chose to turn his life around for the best and become one of the most prominent figures in Hollywood. Not only is he known for his generosity, but Reeves is also known for being a humble human being. For being a kind gentleman and for caring about his fans, we have gathered some amazing facts about Keanu Reeves and his life.
1. Keanu Reeves genuinely cares about his fans and is known for going to extreme lengths to make them happy.
Unlike most celebrities who get angry at their fans for asking to take a picture or for an autograph, Keanu Reeves actually makes an effort to make his fans happy. A twitter user recently shared his story where he had an encounter with Reeves, 18 years ago:
“In honor of John Wick 3, I have a Keanu Reeves story. Keanu came to the movie theater I worked at in Sydney in 2001. He was working on the Matrix series at the time. It’s a quiet, Wednesday morning — almost nobody is seeing movies. I’m working at the box office, really bored and suddenly this dude walks up in jeans, a leather jacket, and a horse-riding helmet. A weird, equestrian-looking helmet. It takes me a solid 30 seconds to ignore the helmet and realize it’s Keanu Reeves. He wants to buy a ticket for a Johnny Depp movie.
I’m so star-struck I do what any sensible 16-year-old does and tell him I’d like to give him my employee discount. This means he needs to sign my sheet and therefore I have his autograph. ’I don’t work here,’ Keanu says, seemingly confused by my offer. I’m flustered and just charge him the normal price, kicking myself after for not getting his autograph.
2 minutes later, there’s a knock on the door behind me that leads into the box office. I assume it’s my manager. It’s Keanu. ’I realized you probably wanted my autograph,’ he says. ’So I signed this.’ He hands me a receipt from the concessions stand that he signed the back of. He then casually throws an ice cream cone in the trash can and sees his movie. I realize later that he bought an ice cream cone he didn’t want, just to get receipt paper so he could scribble his autograph for a 16-year-old fool.” (source)
2. He once helped a stranded woman in LA after her car broke down. Reeves called AAA for her and then went 50 miles out of his way to drive her home.
In early 2000’s, Reeves was driving down a highway outside LA when he stumbled upon a woman with a broken down car. Reeves stopped and tried to jump start her car, which did not work. He then called AAA, who came and towed her car. When Reeves learned that the woman lived far away and needed a ride, he offered to take her home; which she gladly accepted. He drove about 50 miles out of his way and upon reaching the destination, Reeves gave her his number and informed her to call him if she needed further help.
“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.” (source)
3. Keanu Reeves gave away a sizable portion of his earnings from ‘The Matrix’ to the costume and special effects team. According to Hello Magazine, he is believed to have given as much as $50 million of his earnings from the movie to the unsung heroes.
Viewers often forget the fact that a movie comes to life because of the efforts of thousands of people. When The Matrix was being filmed, Keanu Reeves acknowledged the efforts of the costume and special effects team, who brought the movie to life. In order to thank them for their roles, he gave them more than $50 million of his earnings from the movie. Also, while filming in Australia, he gifted each member of the stunt team with a $6,600 Harley Davidson motorcycle. Reeves has plenty of money to get by and in an interview, he explained: “Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries”. (source)
4. He is known to give away his salary so that directors can afford to hire other actors in his movies.
Sometimes, directors have to hire actors and crew members, based on a fixed budget. When this happens, they often do not get to hire the people they have in mind. However, it is known that Keanu Reeves willingly deferred his compensation in at least two instances so that the production team could free up some of their budget to be able to afford the actors. “Is that all I have to do?” he recalled asking producers. “Sure! What else do I have to do? ‘Cause I’ll do it!”. In an interview, Reeves explained that he deferred part of his salary on The Devil’s Advocate to ensure there was enough budget to get Al Pacino on board. The second time he deferred his salary to get Gene Hackman on board The Replacements. (source)
5. Reeves loved playing ice hockey and even had an opportunity to try out for the Windsor Spitfires, a hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League. He however, turned it down, because he believed his future was in performing.
Born to a half-Hawaiian, half-Chinese father and an English mother in 1964, Reeves was raised in Toronto. Growing up, he started to become attracted to ice hockey. Despite not having any professional training, Reeves had an extraordinary talent in the game and stood out among the fans. He was also acrobatic, catching the attention of some of the best coaches in Canada. He played throughout his school years and even co-coached a hockey club. There, Reeves had an opportunity to try out for the Windsor Spitfires, a hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League, but he respectfully declined the offer since he knew that his career was in performing. (source)
6. In 2011, he was riding the subway when he noticed a woman standing. Instead of ignoring her like everyone else, Reeves stood up and offered her his seat. The entire ordeal was captured by a fan who was recording a video of him.
Keanu Reeves is known to ride the subway to work or to go home. In 2011, a surprised fan spotted him on a Brooklyn-bound Q express train and started recording him. In the video, Reeves sees that a woman was standing right beside him, so, in order to make the New York City subway a less stressful experience, he offered her his seat. The Buddhist actor’s heartwarming encounter just shows how much of a good human being he is. (source)
7. He has published books of his own poetry.
Reeves, who has suffered a series of personal tragedies throughout his life, can be often seen sitting alone or being a bit gloomy. In 2011, a photo of him sitting alone on a bench eating a sandwich went viral, which was also the reason for many people to start a “Cheer up Keanu” campaign. So, Reeves collaborated with artist Alexandra Grant to create Ode to Happiness, a limited-run book featuring a poem written by Reeves and accompanied by Grant’s illustrations for each line. “I draw a hot sorrow bath/In my despair room,” the poem begins, before going on to mention his “regret shampoo”, “pain soap”, “I hate myself face cream” and “alone again silk pajamas”. (source)
8. Keanu Reeves might have tied the knot with Winona Ryder for real while filming “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” in 1992.
The duo starred together in 1992’s Dracula, and in the movie, director Francis Ford Coppola actually hired “a real Romanian priest” for the wedding scene involving their characters. “Once in a while, I will get a text, ‘Hello, husband,’” he shared. “I didn’t really believe her, and then Francis Ford Coppola, the director of Dracula, contacted Winona and said publicly that, yeah, that really happened, the priest did a full ceremony, and Winona and I got married”. (source)
9. In early 1990’s, Reeves was the bassist and backing vocalist for a band called Dogstar. When the band was invited to play Metalfest in Milwaukee, they were booed and told to get off the stage.
During the 1990’s, before finding fame, Reeves infamously toured with his band, Dogstar, which released two albums: Our Little Visionary and Happy Ending. The band played a kind of folk music and had a reasonable amount of fans. When they were invited to play Metalfest in Milwaukee, the crowd did not find them to be of contrast, often booing and yelling at them to get off the stage. Reeves recalls the event and explained that some of the fans even went as far as throwing cans at them. (source)
10. Despite all his success and fortune, Reeves is known to be a charitable person. He has a secret foundation that has been helping children’s hospitals and cancer research for years.
The 54-year-old is estimated to be worth $360 million. Despite being one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors, he is very generous with his money. In 2009, while speaking with Ladies Home Journal, he confirmed that he has his own private foundation which aids children’s hospitals and cancer research. He is reported to have 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”. (source)