Over the last few years, in the face of the #MeToo movement, many of the male TV and film stars that we grew up adulating have become suspect, to say the least—which makes the ones who don’t seem like living nightmares all the more admirable. Enter Keanu Reeves, who donated 70% of his original earnings from The Matrix to cancer research. What a mensch!
Almost three years ago, my colleague Michelle Ruiz hypothesized that we had entered the golden age of Keanu, writing that “the Keanussaince hinges not only on Reeves’s ageless brooding and overall staying power, but also [his] wholesomeness—or, as The A.V. Club aptly put it, ‘meeting the very low bar of just being a famous male actor who simply doesn’t seem to be a piece of shit.’” Somehow, in 2022, Reeves is even more lovable, and not just because he’s thoughtful enough to part with the majority of his Matrix fortune in the name of potentially life-saving medical research—though that does help.
Reeves made his cancer research donation of $31.5 million partly in support of his younger sister Kim, who had been battling cancer for eight years, and he didn’t stop there. “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 Ladies Home Journal in 2009, adding, “I don’t like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does.”
As if that weren’t enough to make us all plotz, Reeves also auctioned off a 15-minute Zoom date with him in June of 2020 to benefit Camp Rainbow Gold, an Idaho-based children’s cancer charity. Bidding went up to $16,600, which…makes sense, frankly! This is, after all, a grade-A Hollywood non-creep we’re talking about. Now, who are the other maybe three non-terrible men in the industry? That’s a secret I’ll never tell, XOXO. (Okay, fine, they’re Tom Hanks, Idris Elba, and one open, rotating slot to be awarded to whichever man deserves it on any given day.)
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