So there I was looking up surfing the Internet when I came across some really amazing articles about one of my favourite actors: KEANU REEVES. I read them and discovered an amazing side to him which amazed me, provided what a low profile he maintains. Here's the story:-
Keanu Reeves is 50, and he is alone. He describes the losses he had suffered in his life, full of devastation, as unfair and absurd. His is a life accentuated by constant tragedy, and it is hard not to admire his bravery once you find out what he has been through.
Reeves’ father drops out of his life
In 1967, Samuel Nowlin Reeves abandoned his family – his wife Patricia Taylor, and two children Keanu and Kim. Keanu was only 3. They lived in Lebanon, Australia and New York, before settling down in Toronto. Keanu visited his father occasionally till he was 6. After he turned 13, he visited him one last time at his Hawaiian farm. In a 2000 Rolling Stone interview, Keanu said, “Jesus, man. No, the story with me and my dad’s pretty heavy. It’s full of pain and woe and f*cking loss and all that sh*t”. Keanu struggled with dyslexia; he eventually left high school without even receiving a diploma.
First tragedy strikes:
In 1993, Keanu’s best friend and fellow actor River Phoenix, 23, overdosed on a toxic concoction of cocaine, morphine, and valium outside The Viper Room, an LA club owned by Johnny Depp. He suffered five seizures before he passed away. During his Reddit AMA in 2014, Keanu answered a question about what River Phoenix was like. “He was a remarkable human person and actor. We got along very well, and I miss him. I think of him often,” he had replied.
Second tragedy devastates Keanu
In 1998, Keanu met Jennifer Syme, a young actress. In 1999, Syme gave birth to a stillborn daughter. 18 months later, Syme died in a car accident. “Grief changes shape, but it never ends. People have a misconception that you can deal with it and say, ‘It’s gone, and I’m better’. They’re wrong. When the people you love are gone, you’re alone. I miss being a part of their lives and them being part of mine. I wonder what the present would be like if they were here – what we might have done together. I miss all the great things that will never be,” Keanu said in a 2006 Parade magazine interview.
And to make matters worse…
… Kim, his sister, fell ill due to her decade long battle with leukemia. The cancer eventually fell into remission, but she is still fighting the disease. “When she was in the hospital he was there with her all the time, sitting at her bedside, holding her hand. Sometimes, it’s almost like he doesn’t trust himself to have a relationship with anyone,” his close friend had revealed. He donated privately and publicly to numerous cancer charities, research centers, and hospitals. He has set up his own charity and also supports Stand Up to Cancer and the SickKids Foundation.
His brush with death
In 1988, a bike accident on Topanga Canyon Boulevard left him with a thick scar rising vertically up his stomach. His spleen would later have to be removed. He lay on the pavement for half an hour before help arrived. “I call that a demon ride (that means riding at night with no headlights). I remember saying in my head, ‘I’m going to die’. I remember calling out for help. And someone answering out of the darkness, and then the flashing lights of an ambulance coming down. This was after a truck ran over my helmet. I took it off because I couldn’t breathe, and a truck came down. I got out of the way, and it ran over my helmet,” he told Rolling Stone. Another motorcycle accident in 1996 broke his ankle and left him with a wide, curved scar on his right leg.
Reeves and charity:
Over the years Keanu has given millions of dollars to charity. Reeves has supported PETA, the SickKids Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, among others. His sister has leukemia, and he has spent more than $5 million dollars to help her in her fight against the disease. Reeves also reportedly has set up a private cancer foundation to help a handful of children's hospitals and cancer research. Reeves does not attach his name to any his gifts. He prefers to provide money where it is needed without taking any credit. Giving money to others is simply a part of this movie star's beliefs and way of life.
And lest you think that all of this charitable giving is the act of a wealthy man who needs some tax shelter, consider how Reeves acted with a homeless man one time. He once spent several hours sitting on a sidewalk, sharing his food and talking with one of the many homeless people in Los Angeles. There was no pontificating and no star struck babbling. They were simply two men taking about life over lunch. This is not your typical movie star folks.
He gave away 75 million dollars.. here's to who:
But the real generosity of spirit that Keanu possesses became clear when he was negotiating his back-end deal for the two "Matrix" sequels. For the first film in the trilogy, Reeves made $10 million up front, which, when combined with his back-end deal, upped his salary to $35 million. Amazingly, when it came time to negotiate his back-end profit sharing deal for the second and third "Matrix" films, Keanu insisted on handing over a significant portion of his back-end points to the films' special effects and costume design teams. Reeves felt (and rightly so) that the men and women who created the effects and costumes for the franchise were the true heroes of the movie.
So how'd this work out for the FX and costume teams? The second and third Matrix movies earned more than $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office. When it was all said and done, Keanu reportedly ended up giving away an estimated $75 million dollars. Each member of these teams received $1 million dollars per person, instantly making them all millionaires. But Keanu didn't stop at just the special effects and costume teams. He also gave the entire stunt team on the "Matrix" sequels Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Additionally, as documented in a personal account on Reddit, he helped out a Matrix crew member's family in need:
"A family friend builds movie sets, doesn't design, is one of the poor dudes that just builds. Anyways 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 people's names, would say hello and mean it, and would talk to people as they were his peers and not below him just because they were practically making nothing to build a set. I've never heard anyone say Keanu is douche, seems like the nicest person in Hollywood from a second hand experience."
And here's him travelling on a subway, like a normal citizen, inspite of being such a huge celebrity: