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25 Reasons Why Keanu Reeves Is The Most Underrated Celebrity

By Meghan Dillon··  13 min read
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25 Reasons Why Keanu Reeves Is The Most Underrated Celebrity Netflix
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In an increasingly divided American society, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Keanu Reeves is awesome.

He’s more famous for being kind and humble than for most of his movie roles (which says a lot because so many of his roles are iconic), and you’ve probably seen stories of his kindness on the internet. 

Here are 25 times where he proved that we don’t deserve Keanu Reeves.

1. He Donated Most of His Money from The Matrix To Cancer Research

The Matrix is a huge franchise that brought in a lot of cash for Reeves, but he donated the majority of his earnings from The Matrix to fund cancer research. Reeves regularly takes pay cuts (you’ll see a few later in this list) to help others or donates the majority of his earnings to various charities because he believes some things are more important than money. He told The Mirror, “It’s always nice to open your eyes every morning and see the world – it all seems so simple! That’s why I frequently use an expression that I like very much, and which gives me peace of mind: ‘I’m happy to be here.’”

2. He Lives in a Regular Apartment and Rides the Subway

It’s common to see the luxurious homes of celebrities on Instagram or on the Architectural Digest YouTube channel (I can’t be the only one who can watch those videos for hours), but you won’t see a tour of Reeves’ home anytime soon because he’s not a fan of flaunting his wealth. Reeves lives in a modest apartment in New York City. He’s also frequently seen on the New York City subway, proving he’s no different than the average person.

3. He Gave Up His Seat on the Subway

Speaking of the New York City subway, a video of Reeves went viral after he gave his seat to a woman carrying a large bag. They say everyone in New York is rude and that chivalry is dead, but Reeves seems to love proving everyone wrong.

4. He Helped Stranded Airplane Passengers Get Home

Flying can be stressful on its own, but there’s nothing quite as stressful as an emergency landing. In 2019, Reeves was on a flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles that made an emergency landing in Bakersfield. Reeves helped orchestrate a van ride for his fellow passengers to get to the Burbank airport and make their connecting flights or arrive at their final destination.

Passengers were grateful for Reeves’ kindness, as one passenger tweeted: 

5. He Helped Octavia Spencer When She Was Stuck on the Side of the Road

We love Octavia Spencer because she’s down to earth and loyal to her pre-fame friends, therefore she was bound to run into Reeves at some point. Unfortunately, they met when her car broke down on one of LA’s busiest streets.

Spencer said, “No one would help me because my car was so dirty – I had been parking my car underneath a tree so birds were just having a field day all over my car and I never washed. It wasn’t until Keanu Reeves came by. He was on a motorcycle, wearing his motorcycle helmet and sunglasses, and I didn’t recognize it was him when he pulled over. And he was like, ‘Hey, do you need some help?'”

Spencer said Reeves pushed her car to the side of the road. As a sign of her gratitude, she goes to every opening weekend of his movies.

6. He Keeps His Hands Off Women in Photos

In the midst of the #MeToo movement, it’s easy to assume that the majority of men in Hollywood are creeps. Reeves breaks that stereotype in a subtle yet effective way by having a "no-touch" policy while taking photos with women. He does this not only to respect boundaries but because it’s the kind and chivalrous thing to do.

7. His Friendship with Sandra Bullock

Few celebrity friendships are as wholesome as Reeves’ friendship with Sandra Bullock. When they filmed Speed in 1994, Bullock told Reeves that she had never tried champagne and truffles when Reeves mentioned it was one of his favorites. Bullock told Esquire that he surprised her with champagne and truffles only a few days later, further cementing my theory that we all need a friend like Keanu Reeves in our lives.

8. He’s Kind to Animals

Keanu doesn’t discriminate when it comes to his kindness – he’s also kind to animals. He was photographed walking a pit bull on the set of John Wick 2 (in full special effects makeup), and the Buzzfeed interview of him answering fan questions while playing with puppies will melt your heart.

9. He Autographed an Ice Cream Receipt

In 2019, SBNation writer James Dator shared the story of how he met Reeves when he was a teenager. 

In a Twitter thread, he wrote, “In honor of John Wick 3 I have a Keanu Reeves story. Keanu came to the movie theater I worked at in Sydney in 2001. He was working on the Matrix series at the time. It’s a quiet, Wednesday morning — almost nobody is seeing movies. I’m working the box office, bored as hell and suddenly this dude walks up in jeans, a leather jacket and a horse riding helmet. A full ass, weird equestrian looking helmet. It takes me a solid 30 seconds to ignore the helmet and realize it’s Keanu Reeves. He wants to buy a ticket for ‘From Hell,’ the Johnny Depp movie. I’m so fucking star struck I do what any sensible 16-year-old does and tell him I’d like to give him my employee discount. This means he needs to sign my sheet and therefore I have his autograph. ‘I don’t work here,’ Keanu says. Seemingly confused by my offer. I’m flustered and just charge him the normal price. Kicking myself after for not getting his autograph.”

Dator continued, “2 minutes later there’s a knock on the door behind me that leads into the box office. I assume it’s my manager. It’s Keanu. ‘I realized you probably wanted my autograph,’ he says. ‘So I signed this.’ He hands me a receipt from the concessions stand that he signed on the back. He then casually throws an ice cream cone in the trash can and sees his movie. I realize later that he bought an ice cream cone he didn’t want, just to get receipt paper so he could scribble his autograph for a 16-year-old idiot.”

10. He Took a Pay Cut To Give Stuntmen Motorcycles 

After Reeves wrapped the first movie of The Matrix franchise, he wanted to find a fun and unique way to thank the stuntmen he worked with during filming. He decided to thank them by taking a pay cut to give the stuntmen Harley Davidson motorcycles.

11. He Refused To Verbally Abuse Winona Ryder in Dracula

We all know of Reeves’ sweet friendship with Winona Ryder, but they’ve been friends for longer than you’d think. In 1992, Reeves played Jonathan Harker in Dracula alongside Ryder as Mina Harker, Anthony Hopkins as Abraham Van Helsing, and Gary Oldman as Count Dracula. When the script required Reeves to call Ryder a “whore,” he refused to make his friend cry more than she already was in the scene. Anthony Hopkins followed suit, making Ryder cry tears of joy.

12. He’s Super Relatable

You’ve probably seen the “Sad Keanu” meme circulating the internet, and he went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to tell the story behind the meme. His answer was as relatable as ever – he was just hungry. I mean, who isn’t sad when they’re hungry?

13. He Pulls Out Chairs for Strangers at Restaurants

We’ve already established that Reeves has a reputation of being a gentleman, but it’s not a front for the cameras as he’s been known to pull out chairs for strangers who are having trouble. One woman said, "Keanu Reeves once pulled out my chair for me in one of those tiny LES restaurants where the tables are all squished together & I thought he was just a random dude & honestly I think I was kind of rude about it.”

Ladies, don’t roll your eyes at a man who tries to help you pull out a chair. Chances are he’s just being polite, and there’s a slight chance that it’s Keanu Reeves.

14. “You’re Breathtaking”

While speaking at the E3 video game conference in 2019, Reeves went viral for the sweetest reason. In the middle of his speech, a fan shouted, “You’re breathtaking,” which inspired him to return the compliment and tell the entire crowd they were breathtaking. The video clip went viral, proving that kindness is always in style.

15. He Took a Pay Cut To Save Jobs

While filming one of The Matrix sequels, rumors swirled around set that some crew members would lose their jobs to fit the film’s budget. So Reeves took a pay cut to make sure nobody lost their jobs. It may seem like a small sacrifice for Reeves, but it definitely meant the world to everyone who got to keep their jobs due to his generosity.

16. He Secretly Started a Cancer Foundation

Sometimes it feels like celebrities do charity work for clout, but that’s not Keanu Reeves’ style. Remember when I mentioned that he donated most of his money from The Matrix to cancer research? The cause has a special place in his heart, as his sister battled leukemia as a child. He secretly launched his own foundation to help fund cancer research in honor of his sister. He said, “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.”

I love that he did this secretly because it proves that he’s not in it for clout, which is refreshing to see in the age of social media and performative activism.

17. He’s Kind To Homeless People

Remember in June 2020 when influencers attended protests just for the Instagram picture? That’s not how Keanu Reeves rolls. He was photographed speaking to a homeless man in West Hollywood back in 1997. Reeves has done this several times since, proving that it wasn’t a paparazzi stunt and that it doesn’t take much to go out of your way to make someone’s day. 

18. He Has a Great Sense of Humor

It takes a truly funny person to be able to make something of themselves, and Reeves is no exception. In the 2019 romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe, he played an exaggerated version of himself that will make you laugh out loud.

19. He’s Loyal to the Friends He Met Before He Got Famous

It’s easy to assume that famous people ditch their pre-fame friends when the money starts to roll in, but Reeves still keeps in touch with his pre-fame buddies. In fact, he played hockey every weekend with friends he made when he first moved to Los Angeles for 10 years. 

He said, “For a long time in Los Angeles when I first moved there, when I was 20 years old, it was such a new world and so I saw some guys at a gas station once who had hockey equipment in their car, and I asked them what they were doing, and they said they were playing street hockey, so I asked them if I could play. So I became involved in a street hockey game that took place every weekend for over 10 years, every weekend, red versus black. We would take holidays off and sometimes summers, but the game was going on for over 10 years. That was cool to be a part of. It was a cool thing to have to happen. Made some friends.”

Though they don’t meet up to play every weekend anymore, this story shows that he hasn’t let fame get in the way of his friendships, something that feels extremely rare in Hollywood.

20. He Surprised His Stuntmen with Rolex Watches

Known for being kind to stuntmen, Reeves took his famous altruism to another level after John Wick 4 wrapped. He surprised a group of stuntmen with engraved Rolex watches to thank them for their hard work on set. Though I’m not an expert on watches, I know how luxurious and expensive Rolex watches are. These stuntmen will likely cherish this thoughtful gift for the rest of their lives, and you can’t put a price tag on that.

21. He Autographed a Fan’s “You’re Breathtaking” Sign

While driving around a film set, Reeves spotted a sign that referenced his viral moment where he told a fan she was breathtaking. Reeves got out of his car to autograph the sign, as the woman tweeted: 

22. He’s Kind To Everyone on Movie Sets

Most actors show up to set to do their jobs, but Reeves takes his time to interact with various crew members. One man tweeted, “Before a John Wick 2 set visit to NYC, I was repeatedly told that I would not be able to speak with Keanu at that point. Upon arriving on set, he was pretty much the first person to welcome me and ask after my general well-being.”

23. He Always Has Time for His Fans

Some celebrities like to keep to themselves, but Reeves always finds time to interact with his fans in public. His trainer, Patrick Murphy, said, “When we were filming John Wick 3 in New York City, it could take 30 minutes to cover a three-minute journey from his apartment to the gym because he couldn’t say no to fans asking for a photo.”

Murphy continued, “He’d even let fans walk with him, share their ideas, and talk about movies. One day, an autistic boy jumped on him from behind and KR turned rapidly and realized the situation. The mother was apologetic, but KR embraced and calmed the boy immediately, signed memorabilia, and had a beautiful chat and photo with him. I’ve always admired KR’s kindness. He’s simply the best.”

24. He Genuinely Loves What He Does

Acting is more than a job to Reeves, he genuinely loves making movies. If you don’t believe me, he made sure everyone knew when he cemented his handprints at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Like most things he does, it eventually became a meme.

25. He’s Humble

Everyone loves Keanu Reeves, therefore it only makes sense that he’s been dubbed the internet’s boyfriend. Reeves doesn’t seem to get the hype, as he was genuinely surprised when he was told about his internet moniker.

His humble reaction makes him so much more likable, and we love him for it.

Closing Thoughts

Keanu Reeves is one of the best loved Hollywood actors for his kindness and humility, proving that kindness never goes out of style. 

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