The legendary actor that is Keanu Reeves turns 51 today (2 September), and not many people will find out because, well, he stays out of the limelight ‘most’ of the time.
That’s probably because he doesn’t cause much drama, isn’t money hungry and has the sort of generosity most media outlets don’t like to regularly print.
To put it straight, he is one of the greatest celebrity philanthropists around, and an all-round good guy, but if you didn’t already know this, we’re about to take you to church!
If there is one thing Keanu Reeves doesn’t care about, it’s money
Speaking to Hello! Magazine back in 2003, he said: “Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries.”
He proved this further when he gave an estimated £80 million (£52 million) of his $114 million (£74 million) earnings from The Matrix to the special effects and makeup staff – because he believed that they had a way more important role in the film than he did.
Then, during his time working on both The Replacements and The Devil’s Advocates, he took voluntarily pay cuts so actors such as Gene Hackman and Al Pacino would agree to be in them, while keeping the casting within the budget.
There is also the story of the time he helped out a man in need who worked on the set of The Matrix, after he discovered he and his family were having financial problems. In a post on reddit, one user explained:
A family friend builds movie sets, doesn’t design, is one of the poor dudes that just builds. Anyway, 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 while Keanu IS a rich man, he refuses to indulge in the lavish lifestyle he could easily live
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Reeves is worth around $350 million (£229 million), but despite this, he is regularly photographed riding the subway and was once recorded giving up his seat for a woman.
Back in September 1997, Keanu also decided to spend a morning with a homeless man in West Hollywood, who he talked with and shared stories for hours. Most people in the spotlight will travel the world to do such things, and make sure a charity they’re working for is sponsoring their every move. But Keanu does it when he randomly spots a person in need.
He’s also a massive supporter of cancer charities, but does so anonymously (until someone finds out)
After becoming the caretaker for his younger sister, Kim, following her leukaemia diagnosis, he donated privately to numerous cancer charities, research centres and hospitals – even going as far as setting up his own charity, while refusing to attach his name to it.
Some of the charities he supports are Stand Up to Cancer and the SickKids Foundation.
When he was asked how he has maintained his status as one of the nicest guys in the business, he said: It’s easy to stay grounded. The ground is very close. And we walk on it every day.