For years Keanu Reeves has been labeled as the most humble man in Hollywood. Pictures that have surfaced of him alone in the subway and eating on a public bench have certainly helped cement the narrative. It turns out though, that being humble isn’t something that Keanu does for show. The Matrix star has been helping all sorts of different causes for years.
Without necessarily bringing too much media attention to himself. In fact, it’s only recently come out that Keanu Reeves donated 70% of his salary Matrix salary to cancer research. You can be cynical, and think that at this point it’s a great move to lower his taxes on potential capital gains with how much money he’s amassed. When you look closely into that headline though, you’ll realize that’s 70% of his salary on the original Matrix movie, not the one currently in theaters!
Keanu Reeves’ Charity Work Over The Years
In the same report that indicates that Keanu had made the generous donation of his original Matrix salary, it is also speculated that Keanu Reeves has been heavily involved in a variety of charities over the years. Many of which he has actually funded out of pocket from the money that he’s made, making movies. Keanu himself revealed the existence of the charity back in 2009. However, he hasn’t spoken much about it since. At the time he told Ladies’ Home Journal,
“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,” he would go on to add, “I don’t like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does.”
The Heart-Breaking Reason Why The Matrix Star Set Up The Foundation In The First Place
Back in 1999 when the first Matrix movie was release Keanu was already a rising star. He had done Speed, which was one of the highest grossing movies of the decade. Therefore, when he was cast as Neo, for The Matrix he commanded a very large salary. According to reports he was paid 10 million dollars up front for the role. With another 35 million on the back end. Apparently, Keanu Reeves took those 35 million and poured it all into Leukemia research.
At the time that Keanu made the generous donation his sister Kim was actually battling the disease. Since then cancer research has been a focal point for Reeves. So much so that he has continued championing the cause to this day.
The Creative Ways That Keanu Raises Money These Days
We’ve yet to learn how much of Keanu Reeves’ current Matrix salary is going to go towards a good cause. If his past actions are any indication it’s safe to say that it’ll be a large sum of cash. Back in 2009 Keanu didn’t want to use his celebrity status to help champion the causes that he was passionate about. That has changed a bit over the years. Back in 2020 through the pandemic he auctioned off a 15-minute date with himself to the highest bidder. With the money going towards Camp Rainbow Gold, a summer program for Idaho children with cancer. No official word on if that’s a personal project for him, or he was just happy to contribute to the cause!