Meet Keanu Reeves.
Talent galore, great actor, director, musician, wealthy, lonely, super private, major Hollywood star.
But there is more to this 56-year old Canadian.
He breaks the mold of the traditional Hollywood star persona.
He marches to his own drummer.
And being his own drummer means helping those in needs, showering the everyday unsung heroes of the movie business – those he works with – with gifts and money.
And on top of that he is genuine, and caring in his interactions with everyone, not what they are or who they are.
All done quietly and privately. The depth of his generosity noted by others, never ever by him.
Estimated to be worth $400 million, the actor gives generously to those in need, often showing his appreciation to those he worked with.
When his sister had leukemia, he set up a private cancer research foundation, helping children sick with cancer in another venture.
Asked about it, he said:
“I don’t like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does.”
Endless articles have been written about him – trying to delve into his soul, his personality, his inner essence, his sense of being.
All have failed.
Reeves plays the role of Hollywood star, but only to the point of being interviewed when it involves the release of a movie he is a part of – part of Hollywood’s marketing campaigns to create awareness, hoping the public will go see the movie.
Actors are required to do these interviews – it’s part of their job.
But while Reeves gives those required interviews, he does them on his own terms.
His answers, often framed in riddles, non sequiturs, answers that are really not answers.
He is aloof, mysterious – the ultimate enigmatic personality.
The usual trappings of wealth favoured by Hollywood stars are not for him.
For years he lived in hotels and when he finally bought a house he described to the the English newspaper, the Daily Mail, as follows:
“It’s very rectangular with a lot of straight lines, but there’s also a lot of limestone tile. I used stone, glass, steel and wood.”
Reeves has been working in Hollywood for 37 years.
And despite that we know little about him. We know he is a great versatile actor, a great human being, kind, humble, generous, unwilling to play the Hollywood star game.
His kindness and generosity – legendary.
On one movie he worked on he gifted all the stunt men with Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
“We were all in this thing, and we were training together beforehand,” Reeves said in an interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “I just wanted… to give a bigger thank-you to all these guys who helped me make this.”
The teams working on two super successful movies – the Matrix series – each received $1 million from Reeves.
When his generosity became public he responded:
“I’d rather people didn’t know that… It was a private transaction. It was something I could afford to do, a worthwhile thing to do.”
Giving away money for Reeves is easy but his humanity goes beyond that.
He has hung out with homeless people in Los Angeles – often for days.
It’s the little things that tell you a lot about a person.
Public transportation is his preferred means of getting around. Often standing up, offering his seat to those needing it more than he does on the New York subway system.
Another story is telling.
A crew member on one of his movies was having financial troubles.
Reeves hear about it – presented the man a cheque for $20,000.
His attitude towards crew members on movie sets is well known – talking to anyone and everyone no matter who they are and what they do.
Too many Hollywood stars don’t even know these crew members exist.
Keanu Reeves – in a world of hero worship, endless selfies, self promotion – a human being true to himself, true to others.
Every Wednesday journalist, George Froehlich, gets personal – sharing with you, his amazing travel destinations, his wonderful recipes, art he loves, music he enjoys.
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