(2 minute Read)
Much has been said about Keanu Reeves acting ability in the past, but I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about his personal character in the real world, not the characters he plays on screen. As he is a Buddhist we can gather a slight understanding of what type of man he is but before I talk about his selfless generosity or his philanthropic attitude toward his earnings, I want to talk about the difficult situations that may have lead to this attractive personality.
Keanu met his ex partner Jennifer Syme in 1998, who within a year fell pregnant. Their daughter was tragically stillborn, and within another year of this devastation, Jennifer was unfortunately killed in a car accident. As if this all these catastrophes weren’t enough Keanu’s sister also suffered from leukaemia for 10 years. Whether these events were the catalyst for Keanu’s philanthropy or not we can almost guarantee they changed his life in some way or another.
Keanu is probably best known for The Matrix which is undoubtedly one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time. What most people don’t know is that Keanu actually gave away nearly all of his $75 million earnings to the special effect and make up team on The Matrix as he believed they made the film the success it became and not his acting. When asked about this in an interview Keanu is quoted as saying “Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries.”
As well as giving money to his colleagues Keanu gives a lot of his money to numerous charities and is alleged to pay himself a fairly average wage to live off as he believes he has everything he already needs. He does have a nice house, yes, however it’s a very modest size and price in comparison to what he would be expected to have.
As well as his philanthropic attitude, Keanu has been spotted hanging around with LA’s homeless people, eating dinner with them, chatting and spending all evening getting to know them. This wasn’t a staged event for publicity either, Keanu was basically doing this without anyone knowing, which is a lot different to the majority of celebrities that like to advertise this kind of behaviour to fuel their own egos. As well as being spotted with homeless people, Keanu has also been spotted riding the subway with everyday people in LA. For someone that’s amassed a fortune of more than $100 million in his lifetime riding the subway seems like a very working class thing to do.
All in all Keanu Reeves is a good guy. In a world filled with greed and gluttony he is a huge inspiration and offers us some valuable lessons on the way we could all treat wealth, status and have the strength to bounce back from personal tragedies.
Words by Matt Dryden