What do you get when you combine English good manners with the native Hawaiian traits of aloha and pono? Why, you get Keanu Reeves, of course—the internet’s boyfriend. And he’s quite possibly the nicest guy on the plant.
Canadians are universally known as nice people. So it makes sense that, although born in Beirut, Keanu Reeves was raised in Toronto, Canada (after also living in Australia and New York). His English-born mother taught him to have good manners. His Hawaiian-Chinese (with a bit of European in the mix) father passed on the native Hawaiian maxims of “aloha,” which means respect, and “pono,” which means doing right by one another.
When it comes to the old adage, “nice guys always finish last,” mega movie star Keanu Reeves continually proves everyone wrong. Here are ten reasons why Keanu Reeves might be the nicest guy on the planet.
10 He Pushed Octavia Spencer’s Broken Down Car
Long before the actress Octavia Spencer became famous Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, she left her house one day extremely dressed down to pick up a script for an audition. The back of her car was splattered with bird droppings from being perpetually parked under the trees in her driveway. On the way home, her car broke down in the middle of the street in a posh area of Beverly Hills.
As she stood on the side of the street, she was stressed out by a stream of drivers angrily beeping their horns at her. She was blocking the flow of traffic, and they were forced to slow down and navigate around her car—but no one stopped for her. She could see people seated at cafe tables across the street watching, maybe enjoying her dilemma. Not one person got up and offered to help.
Then her night in shining armor appeared on a motorcycle. It was Keanu Reeves asking if he could help. They decided to push the car to the side of the street and out of the traffic. Octavia started walking toward the trunk, ready to push while Keanu steered.
But Reeves wasn’t about to let that happen.
He insisted Octavia slip behind the steering wheel while he did the pushing. When the people sitting at their cafe tables recognized Keanu Reeves, a number of them got up, crossed the street, and helped push the car to the curb so they could rub shoulders with this kindhearted celebrity. Hopefully, by setting such a good example, he taught onlookers a thing or two about helping someone in need.
9 Ladies Love His Respectful Hover Hands
You can see it in the many fan photos he’s posed for over the years, both with famous actresses and everyday women. Keanu Reeves has what’s come to be known on the internet as “hover hands.” No, he’s not practicing reiki (that we know of anyway). He never puts his hands on women out of consideration for their personal boundaries.
In fact, he’s always ready to give ladies a helping hand. When Reeves starred with Sandra Bullock in the movie Speed, he proved himself a complete gentleman. Before a scene, Bullock turned to him and said, “Please, whatever you do, just keep my dress down.” And he did.
He was careful to make sure her dress didn’t inadvertently ride up for a Janet-Jackson moment throughout the filming that day. When it comes to Keanu Reeves, chivalry is definitely not dead.
8 Taking Pay Cuts for Co-Workers
Apparently, Keanu doesn’t subscribe to the cut-throat world of Hollywood paycheck competition. When it came to the 1997 movie The Devil’s Advocate, the studio cast Reeves as the lead, a role that came with a healthy salary. But in order for the producers to bring on Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves voluntarily took a $2 million cut in pay.
In another film, producers wanted to add Gene Hackman to the cast for The Replacements, so Reeves took an 80% pay cut. These are just two examples of Reeves voluntarily taking pay cuts for the good of a movie. He’s also been known to donate money to various crew members when he hears they’re in need.
7 Let Keanu Be Your Tour Guide
In 2019, Keanu Reeves was on a flight from San Francisco to Burbank when the passenger plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Bakersfield, CA. He and his fellow passengers got off the plane and milled about the airport, trying to decide what to do. Reeves was right there with them, discussing the situation with his fellow travelers. He suggested it might be easier to finish the final leg of their journey if they hired a minibus. In classic Keanu fashion, he made all the arrangements.
He essentially took a road trip with a group of complete strangers and entertained them along the way by reading out interesting facts about Bakersfield. He even posed for pictures with his fellow passengers. And this is all from a celebrity who could’ve easily afforded a limo ride home.
6 Standing in the Rain
It was the night of his wrap party for his movie Exposed, and it was raining non-stop outside. Reeves arrived at the venue where he found a long line of people, waiting their turn in the downpour to be admitted into the building. At this point, any other celeb would pull some strings to get inside, right?
Reeves politely went to the back of the line and waited for over twenty minutes for his turn to be allowed into his own party.
Oh, and Keanu found someone’s credit card on the floor during the party. He picked it up, read the name on the card, and then personally tracked down the owner so he could return the card.
5 Boosting Up Berry
Halle Berry broke her ribs while training to star in John Wick 3: Parabellum with Keanu Reeves. She tried pushing through the injury, worrying that she’d be taken off the film if anyone knew. And she really wanted to work with Keanu Reeves. Eventually, she had to fess up, and the director patiently waited for her ribs to heal.
It turns out that Berry had been offered the female lead in Speed, the part that eventually went to Sandra Bullock. In an interview together, she stated she was just plain stupid for passing up the chance to work with Keanu on Speed. But Reeves quickly jumped in, saying he didn’t blame her for passing on it.
He explained that, originally, the script stated that the bus never left the parking lot. Boring! Then Reeves expressed how he felt about Berry, saying she was not stupid but very much an “inspiration.” Umm, talk about a dream come true for a Keanu Reeves fan!
4 Recognizing the Team Behind the Scenes
Keanu was paid $10 million upfront for the first Matrix movie. The film was such a success that he went on to earn $114 million from it. He voluntarily redirected $80 million of that to the Special Effects and Make-Up teams to make the Matrix film franchise even better.
And when the first Matrix film wrapped, he gave each of the twelve stuntmen a Harley Davidson motorcycle to acknowledge their dangerous, hard work. Reeves is known for his pretty generous wrap-gifts. When he finished up John Wick, his stunt crew each received a Rolex watch—personalized.
3 Still the Same Old Keanu
For decades, his costars have raved about how great Reeves is to work with. In an interview with the English actress and wife of Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz talked about having worked with Keanu Reeves both before the mega-hit Matrix series and afterward. Despite his global fame playing Neo in these films, she says that Reeves was completely unchanged. In other words, all that fame didn’t go to his head.
2 No, Officer, Keanu Won’t Press Charges
When Keanu Reeves jumped on his motorcycle and headed out to run some personal errands (no personal assistants for him), he parked his motorcycle perpendicular to the curb behind an SUV and headed off. Meanwhile, the owner of the SUV returned to her vehicle, started the engine, and promptly backed into Reeves’s motorcycle, which she never saw.
The police were called and asked the woman to hand over her license and registration. Yikes.
Soon, Keanu Reeves appeared. But when the police informed him of what happened, he remained low-key the entire time. He walked over to examine his custom motorcycle and said that there was no damage as far as he was concerned.
The policeman assured him they had the woman’s information should Reeves want to file for compensation with her insurance company. But Reeves wasn’t interested.
Instead, he walked around the SUV to check if the driver was alright before hopping back on his motorcycle.
1 He Turned Tragedy into Opportunities to Help
In the late ’90s, Keanu Reeves was in love with actress Jennifer Syme. But at eight months pregnant, Syme gave birth to their stillborn daughter, Ava Archer. Weeks later, this tragedy would destroy Reeves’s and Syme’s relationship, so they went their separate ways. Syme would end up dying in a car accident eighteen months later. Reeves was a pallbearer at her funeral service.
Despite his intense grief, Reeves chose to pay it forward. He spent time working with charities and helping his sister Kim in her cancer battle. He paid $5 million to cover all of her medical treatment. After watching his sister go through so much pain before finally beating leukemia, he now donates seventy percent of his earnings to cancer research.
Alexandra Grant, a Los Angeles-based visual fine artist and philanthropist, heard about a poem Reeves had written. She requested a copy. They eventually met in person and went on to develop a decade-long friendship. They collaborated on a book called Ode to Happiness with Keanu writing its text.
Eventually, their friendship blossomed into love.
Today, with his heart wide open and his career going full-throttle, Keanu Reeves remains humble and always ready to reach out to those in need. He says, “I like to help. I just can’t help it!”