If you were to ask somebody in the mid to late 1990s and even into the early 2000s which actor’s career probably won’t endure the long haul, you might’ve said Keanu Reeves.
He’s not just one of the most beloved actors in all of Hollywood; it would be painfully hard to argue that he isn’t.
And here’s why he’s become one of the most beloved Hollywood icons; it may not be what you think.
Keanu Reeves has had one heck of a career. The 1990s action star got the attention of Hollywood first when he played a bit part in “Parenthood” and although “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” came out the same year, Reeves as Ted wasn’t exactly a calling card towards an “excellent” career.
“Parenthood” made an eye-popping $100 million domestically, which is incredible given its genre. But it wasn’t until he landed the starring role as Jack Traven Jan de Bont’s “Speed” that really put him on the map as one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1990s grossing over $350 million worldwide – not counting video sales.
Then came “The Matrix,” which revolutionized not just the science fiction genre but big-budget Hollywood movies in general. The story goes that directors and then-Wachowski Brothers were given a meager $10 million to make their niche project and ignored the total budget and used that entire amount on the first ten minutes of the movie. So impressed, the studio gave them the budget they required instantly.
Reeves sailed through the 2000s and early 2010s with outstanding movies like “The Replacements,” “Hardball,” “Constantine,” “A Scanner Darkly,” “Street Kings” and finally in 2014 he was on top of the world again with the explosive “John Wick,” where he played a retired hitman who gets back into the game when a group of Russian thugs invade his home and kill a puppy his recently deceased wife gave John Wick after she passed.
The first thing you have to take into account is his tragic past with life-altering losses that would make almost any other person a misanthrope.
Firstly, his father left him when he was just 3-years-old and then he attended four different high schools in five years because his severe dyslexia made it hard for him to be educated although he has said before he was “okay academically.”
Reeves’ best friend, actor River Phoenix, passed away tragically from overdosing at the Viper Room when he was 23-years-old.
This is where it gets worse.
His first and only child was born stillborn and shortly after that his girlfriend, Jennifer Syme, suddenly died in a car crash. This is the reason why he’s avoided serious relationships but would never say he’s lonely. It could just be that he’ll never love a woman like her ever again.
Reeves also took care of his sister, Kim Reeves, when she was sick with leukemia who is thankfully in remission after nearly a decade of living with the painful disease.
And then there’s his charitable donation; some of which are anonymous. Reeves once 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.”
On top of that, he famously donated most of his salary for “The Matrix” sequels to the crew and even bought everyone a motorcycle.
If that wasn’t charitable enough, he has been known in the past before to donate his own salary so that other actors could star alongside with him like he did for Gene Hackman in “The Replacements” and Al Pacino in “The Devil’s Advocate.”
But above all he might be the kindest, most genuine person in the world.
There’s a video of him where he famously gave up his seat to a woman on the subway in New York when he didn’t know anybody was filming him.
– Starred in the Matrix
– Starred in John Wick
– Starring in #ToyStory4
– Has a net worth of $390 million dollars
– Is still the kind of guy who’ll give his seat to you while riding the NYC subway train to work pic.twitter.com/UiadxdrogF
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) June 13, 2019
What celebrity would do that? Also, what kind of person worth the kind of money Reeves is worth would ride the subway?
It’s because he’s a man of the people. Reeves is the type of person we should all strive to be and in the face of tragedy like he’s specifically endured throughout his life; he still remains humble and seemingly like one of the nicest and genuine people around.
That’s why Keanu Reeves is the most beloved person in Hollywood.