When we think of Hollywood's effect on the conscious, it tends to be pretty negative... but it turns out we can be pleasantly surprised, now and then. Before we default to "the fame went to their head", let's take a minute to appreciate the movie stars who have actually gone out of their way to be good samaritans - perhaps even more so than the average non-celeb civilian. Here are 5:
1) Alec Baldwin
Who he is: Handsome young actor turned comedic icon with 30 Rock.
What he did: I know, I know - the guy lost his temper and beat up a paparazzo. But he's got a soft side, like that time he read a story in the newspaper about an Iraq veteran who couldn't afford to pay for college - he called her mother and paid the rest of her tuition not covered by the military.
2) Mila Kunis
Who she is: Sitcom star of That '70s Show turned high-brow stone-cold fox with Black Swan.
What she did: While a 50-year-old man working on her house suddenly started to seize, choke, vomit, and cough up blood - Mila rushed to his aid, turned his head, and kept him from biting his tongue. When the paramedics arrived, she insisted on riding in the ambulance. Thanks to Mila, the man made a full recovery.
3) Keanu Reeves
Who he is: Dark and mysterious action-man who took the red pill.
What he did: Keanu has a habit of taking chunks out of his paycheck to cover additional production costs: he took a 90% pay-cut to bring Gene Hackman to The Replacements, gave up a few million dollars to get Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate, and gave up a few more million dollars from his Matrix salary for more special effects and costume designs.
4) Kate Winslet
Who she is: Deeply principled British beauty who doesn't take sh*t - even as the youngest person to receive 6 Oscar nominations.
What she did: During tropical storm Irene in 2011, Kate was staying at a friend's place in the British Islands while it was struck by lightning and caught on fire. Before evacuating, she found her host's 90-year-old mother and carried her outside to safety.
5) Johnny Depp
Who he is: ...really?
What he did: Good deeds are apparently part of his everyday life: he’s visited hospitals and schools dressed as Jack Sparrow, adopted a horse on the set of Sleepy Hollow so it wouldn't be put down, gave some homeless men in New Mexico a gig as background actors in Transcendence, and saved a friend from being mugged in LA - he sent the mugger off with some money and advice on straightening up his life.
So Hollywood's still got a soul after all... it's refreshing, right? Now I'm going to watch Titanic and hope Jack survives, because apparently anything's possible in this strange City of Angels.