A family friend told Page Six that Reeves prefers to live a simple life and is “somewhat embarrassed” by the amount of money he’s earned during his career. Though estimates vary, most publications put that figure between $300 million to $400 million.
“Keanu’s given away a lot of money and done a lot more for people than most will ever know,” the family friend said. “He knows how lucky he is. Unlike many Hollywood megastars, he never takes any of this for granted.”
Stories of Keanu Reeves‘ generosity are legendary. He gave the stuntmen on John Wick 4 matching Rolex watches that cost about $10,000 each as a wrap gift. The 12-man stunt team on The Matrix Reloaded got Harley Davidson motorcycles. He gave a set builder on The Matrix a $20,000 bonus after Reeves learned the man was having financial problems.
“Trust me, stunt guys are all dying to work with Keanu,” one source told Page Six. “Not just for the gifts. It’s because he takes them so seriously and credits them with helping contribute to his success. Stuntmen, fight trainers — these people rarely get that.”
Though, the depth of his charity is unknown. Keanu Reeves keeps a lot of it a secret. He has a private foundation that gives money to cancer charities so his name isn’t attached.
Keanu Reeves: ‘Money Doesn’t Mean Anything to Me’
Keanu Reeves faced a lot of challenges. He grew up poor after his dad abandoned the family when the actor was only 3 years old. His best friend, actor River Phoenix, died of a drug overdose in 1993. His girlfriend died in 2001 after their daughter, Ava, was stillborn. Doctors diagnosed his sister with cancer in 1991 and she fought it for nearly two decades before going into remission in 2010.
All of that makes him grateful for what he has.
“I’m really happy and glad to be here when I wake up, and I’m really happy and glad that I have the opportunity to go to sleep after a day of living,” he told Parade in 2020.
Reeves doesn’t want for much, but he also doesn’t ask for much. He’s happy to live out of a suitcase most of the time as he’s constantly traveling. “I could live on what I’ve already made for the next few centuries,” he told The Chicago Tribune.
That freedom is why he doesn’t think about the payday when he signs up for a movie. He’s more interested in taking interesting roles rather than profitable ones. He’ll take a pay cut if it means it frees up money in the budget for an actor he wants to work with.
“Money doesn’t mean anything to me,” he said in 2006, according to Hollywood.com. “I’ve made a lot of money, but I want to enjoy life and not stress myself building my bank account. I give lots away and live simply, mostly out of a suitcase in hotels. We all know that good health is much more important.”