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Many celebrities do everything they can to flaunt their wealth — some even arguing that it’s part of the job to keep up appearances. Other celebrities are a little more subdued and down to earth about their considerable wealth, but few seem to react to it the way that Keanu Reeves does. 

Reeves has long been praised as one of the nicest and most charitable people in Hollywood, but he’s also opened up about how some of his motivation for giving away money is that he’s embarrassed by his own wealth. 

Keanu Reeves has a long history of blockbuster hits

Reeves has been acting for more than four decades. Throwback footage of one of his earliest gigs shows a young Reeves reporting from a Canadian teddy bear festival. By the mid-1980s, the aspiring star had broken into some minor television roles, but it was 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure that would really help him break out. 

By the early 1990s, Reeves was a bona fide star in dramatic hits like A Walk in the Clouds and thrilling actions like Speed. By the end of that decade, he had landed an iconic role that would go on to define his entire career: Neo in The MatrixThen, in 2014, he took on the title role in John Wick, sparking a beloved action franchise that’s still going. 

While these megahits would be enough to make an impressive career, Reeves’ full filmography (as showcased on IMDb) demonstrates that he’s had a very active lineup of parts—amassing more than 100 acting credits to his name. 

Keanu Reeves is not motivated by the money

Keanu Reeves wearing a suit in front of a step and repeat
Keanu Reeves | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Obviously, starring in such impressive blockbusters has provided Reeves with the kind of wealth that most of his fans can only dream about, but it’s not the money that motivates Reeves. The actor has repeatedly taken on less in projects than he probably could have demanded, once taking a substantial pay cut to ensure a film project could afford to hire Al Pacino

In addition to not seeming particularly driven by money, Reeves has wowed fans by being an all-around nice guy who is always humble and grateful to the fan base that has helped maintain his success. 

Even without insisting on the highest salaries he could, Reeves has amassed a fortune estimated to be worth more than $300 million. As PageSix reports, though, those close to the star say he’s “somewhat embarrassed about that.” His feelings are rooted in the signature humility he has brought forward in his public reactions: “He knows how lucky he is. Unlike many Hollywood megastars, he never takes any of this for granted.” 

Keanu Reeves is extremely charitable


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Embarrassed or not, Reeves has a substantial amount of cash available to him through his incredibly successful work. The actor has made sure to use these resources in ways that align with his values. As such, he is widely known as one of the most charitable actors in the business. 

He has a private charity dedicated to helping fund cancer research and keep children’s hospitals running. He has also volunteered his time (and considerable star power) to fundraising events aimed at eradicating cancer and researching better treatments for the disease. This cause is clearly a passion for Reeves, but he has also been known to donate money to make sure that the production team on his films gets paid more equitably. 

Reeves’ ethos is clearly not one built on excess or superiority. Instead, the star seems most content when he’s able to use the money earned from his talents to make a difference in the world without causing a fuss about his celebrity status.