There aren’t many celebrities who are beloved by everyone, regardless of political party. The late, great Betty White was one of them. Keanu Reeves is another of these rare gems in entertainment.
And now fans have another reason to adore the eclectic actor, who most recently starred in the newest installment of the “Matrix” franchise. It’s just been made public that the 57-year-old Canadian-raised actor donated a whopping 70% of his original “Matrix” salary to cancer research in honor of his younger sister.
According to LAD Bible, Reeves was paid $10 million for the 1999 sci-fi film up front and earned an additional $35 million over time. The altruistic actor pledged $31.5 million total of that sum to leukemia research.
The actor’s sister Kim had been battling leukemia for eight years by that point. She was diagnosed in 1991 and went into remission in 2001. But even after that joyful day, Reeves continued donating money to the cause, and even created his own foundation to help raise more funds. The “John Wick” alum intentionally kept his name separate from the foundation to avoid too much attention.
The New York Post reported that in 2020, Reeves auctioned off a 15-minute Zoom date with himself and donated the proceeds to Camp Rainbow Gold, a summer program for Idaho children with cancer. The winner paid $19,000 for the privilege.
And it’s not the only time Reeves gave up part of his “Matrix” salary. According to ABC News, the actor signed away a portion of back-end profits for the two “Matrix” sequels to the special effects and costume design teams.
“He felt that they were the ones who made the movie and that they should participate,” an unnamed movie executive said at the time.
Reeves has also given up portions of his salary to get certain movies made, including “Speed” and “The Replacements.” Reeves agreed to take a pay cut to work with acting legend Gene Hackman. He did the same with “Devil’s Advocate” in order to get Al Pacino on board.
And studio execs have made movies that they assumed would be less-than profitable to convince Reeves to sign on to their blockbuster projects. “Sweet November” and “Hardball” are two examples of projects the actor fought to get made.
Beyond just donating his energy and time to getting smaller-name movies made, Reeves is a generous person with the crew as well. Comicbook.com reported that the action star gifted luxury Rolex watches worth $10,000 each to every stunt crew member on the set of “John Wick.”
Both Bruce Lee Concepcion and Jeremy Marinas shared photos of the generous gifts on Instagram. The images featured a custom-engraved back customized with each stunt worker’s name. “The John Wick Five, [NAME] Thank You. Keanu. JW4 2021,” the engraving reads. Reeves also bought a watch for himself, apparently.
In Hollywood, Reeves has a reputation for being kind, polite, and humble, with no ego like most other actors of his caliber. Fans also love how he seems slightly averse to fame and mostly uninterested in it. No wonder everyone loves him.