Keanu Reeves’ Reveals His Favorite Compliment From Fans

Keanu Reeves gets plenty of gushing compliments from his fans, and — if the stories about his generosity and kindness are any indication — they’re well-earned. The actor has managed to secure himself a reputation as one of the nicest and most down-to-earth people in Hollywood.

On top of all that, he’s incredibly humble and shies away from the perks that his fame could easily bring him. From fans thirsting over him as their imaginary internet boyfriend to heaps of praise about his charitable giving, Reeves has more than enough compliments to choose from, but there are some that really stick with him more than others. 

Keanu Reeves’ perspective was shaped by tragedy

Keanu Reeves at 'The Bad Batch' premiere
Keanu Reeves at ‘The Bad Batch’ premiere | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Thanks in large part to his early roles that often typecast him as a goofy and aloof stoner, Reeves has something of a happy-go-lucky persona surrounding him. This personality can be seen front and center in some of his earliest work where he served as a correspondent on a Canadian news show and provided color commentary about a teddy bear festival.

His commitment to being authentic and entertaining is clear even from his earliest days, and it’s this fun-loving personality that defined his roles in films like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Parenthood. 

What modern-day fans of Reeves might not know, however, is that he faced some truly horrific tragedies. In 1999, the same year that The Matrix premiered, Reeves’ girlfriend Jennifer Syme gave birth to their daughter on Christmas Eve. Tragically, the baby was stillborn. Syme and Reeves went their separate ways shortly after, but then Symes died in a car accident leaving a party at Marilyn Manson’s house.

This second tragic death was just 18 months after the loss of his daughter, and the specter of what could have been still hangs over Reeves: “I miss all the great things that will never be.” At the same time, Reeves reflects on how those losses shape his own understanding of the importance of life. “Life is precious. It’s worthwhile,” he says. 

Keanu Reeves impresses fans with his generosity and kindness

Living a worthwhile life seems to take the form of being generous and kind everywhere he goes. Reeves’ list of impressive actions is ever-growing and impressively long.

He started a foundation for research into pediatric cancer but didn’t want his name attached to it because he wasn’t doing it for fame or recognition. He frequently makes time for fans and goes above and beyond in his interactions with them. 

He never flaunts his fame or expects special treatment because of his star status and actively avoids making a scene with his presence whenever possible. He’s even taken pay cuts on film projects to make sure that the staff who usually aren’t paid as well get higher rates.

Truly, the stories of Reeves’ kind demeanor just go on and on, making it clear that he is truly living his life with these principles in mind and making them a consistent part of his habits. 

One compliment brings Keanu Reeves the most joy

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When you’re living the kind of life Reeves lives — filled with kindness while starring in blockbuster hits — there is no shortage of compliments coming your way. Reeves has lots and lots of fans as well as the admiration and respect of his colleagues in the acting industry. With all of this support, there’s one kind of compliment that gets to him the most. 

When The New York Times put Reeves on a list of the greatest actors of the 21st century, it was quite an honor. A.O. Scott, the writer for the Times, argued that Reeves always made fans happy and they were never disappointed to see him on the screen: “Can you name one film that has not been improved by his presence?” 

In a Zoom interview with Vanity Fair, Reeves responded to the compliment with his signature humility. “I hope people enjoy what I do,” Reeves said. “If someone talks about my body of work or whatever and appreciates it,” he trailed off before adding, “Nice is nice.” 

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