Keanu Reeves Keeps Impressing Us In All the Right Ways

E.B. Johnson | NLPMP
Keanu Reeves in John WickPhoto byEntertainment Weekly

Keanu Reeves has been a beloved Hollywood celebrity for longer than some of you have been alive. Not only has he played charming and iconic characters, but he’s also assumed some of the greatest action-packed roles of our age — including his latest role as the legendary hitman, John Wick.

It was actually on the set of John Wick 4 that Keanu made his latest impression when he gifted the stuntmen custom t-shirts and limited edition Rolex watches.

The t-shirts — made to commemorate a particularly rough shoot that wrapped at the end of 2021 — each bore how many times that particular stuntman had died in the film. It was a cute gift and, coupled with the custom Rolex Submariner watches (with custom engraved messages) marked the end of something truly memorable for Keanu and the rest of the crew.

Believe it or not, gifts like this aren’t uncommon when you’re working on a film with Keanu Reeves. One of the longest-standing actors in modern Hollywood, he’s actually a man who has a track record of being upstanding and appreciative of his cast, crew, and everyone else around him.

Keanu has a history of being a charitable guy.

While some people get canoes from their co-stars, Keanu Reeves is the type of guy who really likes to show the people he works with gratitude. That was obvious in 2019 when it was revealed that Keanu had given away more than $75 million dollars of his Matrix earnings, giving everyone on the cast and crew $1 million dollars (making them instant millionaires).

That’s pretty common when you’re working with someone who is known for their humility.

Keanu has been spotted gatecrashing the weddings of happy couples, where he photobombed memories that they will never forget. He’s also been seen giving up his seat on the subway and getting his hands dirty with the crew, moving things back and forth between sets with them.

He’s respectful of women. He’s cool, calm, and collected in interviews. He’s even gone out of his way to purchase stale, tasteless move concessions to help out a starstruck 16-year-old kid.

The actor has also given undisclosed (and presumably huge) donations to children’s hospitals to aid in the research and treatment of some of the cruelest and most virulent childhood illnesses. He seems like a man who roots himself in compassion and who goes out of his way to counter the toxic effects of celebrity that doubtless surround him.

He has a history of being a really good guy, and this latest gift to the crew who helped on John Wick 4 is just further proof of who he really is.

This latest act just proves who Keanu is.

When looking at Keanu’s patterns it’s not easy to see why the internet is so impressed with him. More than anything else, he seems like someone who goes out of his way to do more good than harm. That can seem like a rare thing in a world that’s focused on digital fame, selfies, and a type of wealth that requires subjugation to achieve.

Keanu Reeves’s humility is refreshing. It points to something deeper within ourselves and paints a picture of a choice…a choice to be better than we have the urge to be.

The world would look a lot different if as many leaders, celebrities, and politicians were as committed to this betterment as Keanu Reeves. Imagine if everyone in the Senate and the House donated 10 years of their salaries to mental health services, children in need, or the infrastructure of the country in general. It would be a different place.

Why don’t more of us give of ourselves like Keanu? It’s a question we inevitably arrive at in the wake of the actor’s immense generosity. But it’s not one that can be immediately answered. Only one thing is certain.

Keanu remains an example of possibility. He is something to aspire to.

You don’t have to make people millionaires. No one expects an average person to deliver Rolexes, Harleys, or life-changing investments. All you have to do is tap into your compassion, learn how to share what you have, and (most importantly) learn to see yourself within the wider lens of humanity.

That’s the real secret of Keanu. He embraces the humanity in not only himself but in everyone around him too. That’s a beautiful thing and a trait that we can all adopt in ourselves.

© E.B. Johnson 2023

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