13 reasons why Keanu Reeves is the nicest guy in Hollywood – from taking a pay cut for Al Pacino to gifting The Matrix crew Harley-Davidson motorbikes

OK, we all love Keanu Reeves for his chiselled good looks and the iconic roles he’s played, from Matrix hero Neo to legendary assassin John Wick and the titular Ted of Bill & Ted’s many bogus adventures.

Did you know Keanu Reeves, star of The Matrix Resurrections, is a super-decent dude? Photo: DPA

But in addition to being an accomplished actor, the 57-year-old screen legend is also a really, really good person. His random acts of kindness include secretly donating large sums of money to children’s hospitals.

After reprising arguably his most career-defining role, after an 18-year lull, in The Matrix Resurrections, we’re in the midst of what you might call a “Keanaissance” – so let’s take a look back at 13 times Keanu was awesome.

1. He was so blown away by a fan’s enthusiasm he called them “breathtaking”

Keanu Reeves made a mark at the Xbox E3 2019 briefing, hosted at LA’s The Microsoft Theatre in June 2019. Photo: Getty Images

Video of Reeves at the E3 convention in June 2019 went viral after Reeves had a heartwarming response to an audience member.

When a fan yelled “you’re breathtaking!” as Reeves walked onstage, the star endeared himself to the crowd by responding in kind.

“You’re breathtaking,” the actor said as he pointed to the audience. “You’re all breathtaking.”

Unsurprisingly, the moment quickly exploded online, leading to plenty of memes and heartfelt posts about Reeves.


2. He jumped out of his car to sign a fan banner left on the ground

Keanu Reeves is charmingly humble, according to insiders. Photo: @buzzyhelps/Twitter

The John Wick actor made hearts melt back in July 2019 when it was revealed he autographed a handmade sign that was left on the way to the set of his most recent movie.

Reeves was in the midst of filming the third Bill & Ted movie when he reportedly spotted the sign, which said “you’re breathtaking!” – a reference to Reeves’ appearance at the E3 convention in 2019.

Bill & Ted screenwriter Ed Solomon took to Twitter to share details about the incident, saying Reeves “jumped out of the car” on his way to set so that he could autograph the handmade sign.

Reeves wrote “you’re breathtaking” under the original message, along with his autograph and what looked to be an inscription to the fan.

3. He’s continually respectful of women in photos

Keanu’s manners when it comes to taking pictures with women has earned respect from fans. Photo: @agasair/Twitter

In June 2019, fans on Twitter noticed that Reeves doesn’t hold women while posing with them for photos – and the actor’s endearing habit quickly went viral, with fans celebrating the star for his respect for women.

People called Reeves a “respectful king” and praised him for being “considerate and respectful”.

4. Reeves once gave up his seat on the New York City subway to a woman with a large bag

Keanu Reeves raises his arms thanking the fans for his Favourite Actor Science Fiction award for The Matrix during a taping of the 6th Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards in Los Angeles, in May 2000. Photo: AP Photo

The John Wick star made headlines in 2015 when he was filmed graciously giving up his subway seat to a fellow passenger with a heavy bag.

A train announcement heard in the video suggests that the star was on a Brooklyn-bound Q express train when he performed that chivalrous act.

Reeves’ kind act was one of his first gracious gestures to go viral.

5. He once bought an ice cream just so he could autograph the receipt for a young fan

Keanu Reeves in a still from Man of Tai Chi (2013). Photo: Wanda Media

A heartwarming story about Reeves and a young fan went viral when it was shared in May 2019.

SBNation.com writer and producer James Dator took to Twitter to share the touching experience he had with Reeves while working at a cinema as a teenager. The writer tried to get Reeves’ autograph, but wasn’t successful. However, things began to look up for the young Keanu Reeves fan.

“Two minutes later there’s a knock on the door behind me that leads into the box office,” Dator tweeted. “I assume it’s my manager. It’s Keanu.”

“‘I realised you probably wanted my autograph,’” Dator remembers the star telling him. “‘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 in the trash can and sees his movie.

“I realise 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.”

6. After an emergency landing, he took a country music-fuelled road trip with his fellow stranded passengers

Charming Keanu in John Wick: Chapter Two. Photo: Niko Tavernise

In March 2019, a Los Angeles-bound plane that Reeves was on board was forced to make an emergency landing – but that didn’t stop the actor from kindly posing for photos with his fellow passengers.

Reeves even went above and beyond, and helped organise transport to San Francisco, their destination. He regaled passengers with facts about California along the way, and even played country music from his phone.

7. He posed on top of a table to secure his role in Toy Story 4

Keenu Reeves went above and beyond to voice the character of Duke Caboom in Toy Story 4. Photo: Featureflash

During a meeting with Pixar producers for 2019’s Toy Story 4, Reeves decided to climb on a table to try and understand new character – the daredevil toy Duke Caboom – a little better.

The actor had made a strong impression on the film’s executives from the start, but the lunchtime show really sealed the deal.

“[Reeves] climbed on a table and was striking poses in the middle of the atrium,” said producer Mark Nielsen to The Hollywood Reporter. “We thought, that is Duke Caboom!”

8. He was cool about the time he once had a crush on Speed co-star Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves were reunited in 2006 for The Lake House – 12 years after sharing the screen and great chemistry in Speed. Photo: AP Photo

After Sandra Bullock revealed in 2018 she had a crush on her Speed co-star Reeves, the actor confirmed that the feelings were mutual in May 2019.

“She obviously didn’t know I had a crush on her either,” Reeves told Ellen DeGeneres.

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock star in Speed (1994), directed by Jan de Bont. Photo: Handout

The Matrix actor said that the two stars didn’t date because they were working, but had nothing but praise for Bullock.

“It was nice to go to work,” he said of filming Speed with the actress. “She’s such a wonderful person, a wonderful actress.”

9. He secretly donates huge sums of money to children’s hospitals

Keanu Reeves makes occasional visits to children’s hospitals. Photo: @keanureevesmore/Twitter

In addition to his general goodness, Reeves has also donated money to children’s hospitals and to cancer research.

The star reportedly runs a private charitable foundation that aims to help sick kids, but his name isn’t attached to the organisation.

“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,” Reeves told the Ladies’ Home Journal in 2009. “I don’t like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does.”

10. He hasn’t let fame go to his head

Keanu Reeves in Always Be My Maybe. Photo: Handout

Even though Reeves is a world famous actor, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Whether it’s voicing a character in Toy Story 4 or playing an exaggerated version of himself in the 2019 Netflix romcom Always Be My Maybe, Reeves isn’t afraid to have fun.

He’s also charmingly modest for an actor of his stature. When asked in June 2019 how he felt about his status as an “internet boyfriend,” Reeves was nonplussed.

“That’s wacky,” the star told Entertainment Weekly and People TV, adding, “The positivity’s great.” He also took time to praise his lesser-known Always Be My Maybe co-stars, Ali Wong and Randall Park.

11. Reeves gave a poignant answer when asked about the afterlife

Keanu Reeves promoting Henry’s Crime at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010. Photo: AP Photo/The Canadian Press

During an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert in May 2019, Reeves was asked by the host what he thinks happens when we die.

“I know that the ones who love us will miss us,” Reeves answered honestly – wowing Colbert and subsequently fans alike.

12. He refused to let two John Wick co-stars be killed off after an intense rehearsal

Keanu Reeves as the heroic John Wick. Photo: Lionsgate

Film critic Hanna Ines Flint shared on Twitter in August 2019 that during an interview with Reeves, the actor mentioned how he was so impressed by his John Wick 3 co-stars, martial artists Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian, during an intense rehearsal that he didn’t want them to be killed off.

Keanu Reeves poses on the red carpet for the premiere of The Matrix Resurrections in California on December 18, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Reeves’ contract for sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions included a significant pay cut for the actor, so that more money would be available for costumes and special effects in the films.

After he was cast in the 1997 movie The Devil’s Advocate, Reeves found out that Al Pacino wasn’t able to work on the project due to the film’s budget.

Reeves, however, was so eager to work with the legendary actor that he took another sizeable pay cut. And then his dream became a reality.

And one of Reeves’ more famous moments of generosity came during the filming of The Matrix, when he gifted a dozen stuntmen with Harley-Davidson motorcycles to thank them.

“I just wanted … to give a bigger thank-you to all these guys who helped me make this,” Reeves said of his generous act.

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