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Things We Learned About Keanu Reeves (Thanks To Fans)

Updated September 23, 2021 8.7k votes 955 voters 34.1k views15 items

List RulesVote up the coolest Keanu facts that make you say, "Whoa!"

The internet has given the world tons of wonderful things and an equally heavy share of random trivia, yet something people might not have expected to learn was the fact that Keanu Reeves is an extraordinarily nice guy. 

Of course, he's not just that - he's a highly accomplished actor, having starred in movies like Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Matrix, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Point Break, and many more. If you know his movies, you only know a small part of what makes Keanu Reeves the man he is, and his fans have shared a lot about him over the years.

This list highlights some of the more interesting details of Keanu Reeves's life and personality. Be sure to upvote anything that you truly liked learning to see which fact about Keanu Reeves rises to the top!

  • 1. He Anonymously Runs A Charity Funding Cancer Research

    It's not unusual for a celebrity of Reeves's status to send a lot of money to charitable foundations, but they don't often do it anonymously. Some certainly do, but in Reeves's case, he prefers to keep his name unattached if he thinks it might get in the way of raising money for a good cause.

    While speaking with Ladies Home Journal in 2009, Reeves mentioned a charity he founded, saying, "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."

    Cancer research is personally important to Reeves, whose sister battled leukemia for nearly a decade. 

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  • 2. He Gave Up His Profit Sharing Deal To Pay The SFX Team More Money On 'The Matrix' Sequels

    Keanu Reeves has spoken about how he doesn't need a great deal of money since he's got more than enough to keep him going for years, and this has resulted in numerous charitable acts. When he signed up for the two Matrix sequels, he passed on the profit-sharing points so the special effects and costume design teams could earn more money.

    When he signed the contract to return as Neo, his deal would have netted him a total of $93 million, but he ended up giving away about $66 million to the people in those departments.

    He didn't stop with that act of giving either. He made sure the people who helped make the movie possible were properly compensated. On the final day of shooting on The Matrix Revolutions, he had a truck pull up to reveal that he purchased a brand-new Harley Davidson motorcycle for each one of his stunt performers.

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  • 3. His Babysitter Was Alice Cooper

    Photo: Robin Looy / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

    Most folks don't picture celebrities doing more than what they're famous for. People think of Keanu Reeves from his movies, and when they picture someone like Alice Cooper, they might recall a concert they went to. Despite being world-famous in their chosen careers, actors and musicians are people, just like the rest of us, and they sometimes cross paths in ways their fans might never have considered.

    One example would be the fact that when Keanu Reeves was a kid, his mother worked as a costume designer for Alice Cooper. When he was still very little, Cooper stepped in to help his mother out, so he watched Keanu for her. The actor was asked about this during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon after the host held up an album cover for Welcome 2 My Nightmare. Upon seeing the album, Reeves said, "Well, he didn't look like THAT!"

    Reeves doesn't remember much about his babysitter all that well. He recounted his upbringing a bit, saying, "I grew up in Toronto, and I lived on a street called Hazleton, and there was a recording studio Nimbus 9, and my mother was in costume design. She was in rock and roll, and she was in the business, and they had friends, and he had friends, and Alice Cooper, I'm told, babysat me. I mean, I don't know how that could possibly happen, but it did."

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  • 4. He Often Takes A Pay Cut To Bring On Notable Actors

    Keanu Reeves commands a high salary when he takes a role, but he doesn't always take his full paycheck. He offered to cut some of his pay on several projects so the difference could be applied to another actor. He does this so other noteworthy stars can join him in the movie. He took a pay cut when he signed on to star in The Devil's Advocate (1997).

    It was too expensive to bring on someone like Al Pacino, so Reeves took a sizable pay cut to bring the star onboard. It's not entirely unselfish, though, as Reeves took the cut to be able to share the screen with the legendary actor. It wasn't the only time he did so.

    When Reeves signed on for The Replacements (2000), he took another pay cut so he could have the chance to work with Gene Hackman. He spoke about working with Hackman to the New York Post, saying, "I got to have some really great acting experiences this past year, like working with Mr. Hackman."

    For Reeves, the opportunity to work with some of Hollywood's greatest film stars was well worth the cut in pay. Money isn't even his prime motivator, as he explained to Hello magazine: "Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries."

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