Keanu Reeves has starred in so many great films that if 100 people were to rank Keanu Reeves's best movies, there would be 100 totally different lists. The actor is as beloved as he is versatile, starring in everything from sci-fi to action to straight comedy. He's a legend on and off the screen, so the making of Keanu Reeves movies always come with plenty of Keanu Reeves stories from the cast and crew.
Whether he's passing out money or performing death-defying stunts, there's always something to say about Reeves. From the smallest task to the way he views life and his career, Reeves seems to do everything a little differently. He's one of the last remaining true superstars in the sense that he's just not someone you want to look away from. And as these stories prove, if you keep your eyes on Reeves, you're going to be rewarded with something interesting.
Reeves Signed Away Millions In 'Matrix' Residuals To Give The Crew More MoneyPhoto: The Matrix / Warner Bros.
Wage inequality and poor actor behavior are both rampant in Hollywood, but Reeves seems to be doing his part to fix all that. After The Matrix became an international mega-hit, Reeves suddenly found himself with more money than he knew what to do with. But, instead of hoarding it or spending it extravagantly, Reeves decided to pay it back to the below-the-line crew that made it all possible. He reportedly gave away a chance to share in the sequels' profits (which would have been worth millions) to give more money to the special effects and costume teams. To make it even better, Reeves not only didn't do it for the attention - he actively avoided any attention from the incident. Reeves was quoted saying, "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.”
That's not the end of Reeves's generosity, though. One Redditor told a story of a friend of his that worked on set with Reeves, writing that, "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 the family trouble he was having and gave him a $20,000 Christmas bonus to help him out."
Reeves Had To Go Through Martial Arts Training For 'The Matrix' While Recovering From A Herniated DiscPhoto: Warner Bros.
The Matrix is known for its kung fu just as much as it is for its sci-fi set pieces. Yet, that kung fu training got off to a rocky start. As it turns out, thanks to a herniated disk, Reeves was in a neck brace for his first day of Matrix training. To make matters worse, a couple of days into practice, Hugo Weaving had to start using crutches thanks to trouble with his hip. While Reeves and company obviously made it through training alive and then went on to create a mega-hit, Reeves's neck did continue to bother him throughout the months of training.
After recovering from his hip injury, Weaving hurt himself even further by cracking two of his ribs during training. At that point, though, the actors had already been through so much that Weaving reportedly shrugged it off, saying, "Oh, who cares?"
Reeves Refused The Director's Request To Bully Winona Ryder While Making 'Bram Stoker's Dracula'Photo: Columbia Pictures
Crying on command is one of the most talked-about tricks in an actor's toolbox. While there are many methods to pull off the tears, apparently a lesser-known method is to have one's co-star whisper insults into their ear during the scene. At least, that's what Winona Ryder explained to the Sunday Times that the director of Bram Stoker's Dracula asked Reeves to do to her.
According to Ryder, she was having trouble crying on set that day, so the director, Francis Ford Coppola, began to yell insults at her to hopefully get those tear ducts moving. After that didn't work, Coppola tried to get the male actors on set to join in. Ryder said, "Francis was trying to get all of them to yell things that would make me cry. But Keanu wouldn’t; Anthony wouldn’t. It just didn’t work. I was like, really? It kind of did the opposite.”
Reeves Actually Held Rachel Weisz Underwater While Filming 'Constantine'Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
Even though Reeves refused to hurl insults at Winona Ryder while filming Bram Stoker's Dracula, he was more than happy to hold Rachel Weisz underwater to pull off a particularly harrowing scene for Constantine.
Weisz spoke on the scene, saying it was "really scary" because "Keanu was holding [her] down by the neck," and that there's a moment in a scene like that where "you're not acting anymore, and you're thinking, 'I really need to get out of this bath, otherwise I'm gonna die.'" Weisz said she was instructed to tap Reeves three times on the wrist if she was in trouble, but in all of that mayhem, she felt it would have been hard to accurately communicate that to him as opposed to her just "thrashing about."