Keanu Reeves Admits He Spent Time ‘Being Homeless’ – So When He Spots a Homeless Man, This Is How He Treats Him
When he’s not burning up the box office, Keanu Reeves is reminding us why he’s really a superstar.
The homeless being bullied and brushed off is nothing new.
When the Pope visits Brazil, elite police forces are sent to ‘clear’ the slums before he arrives. Homelessness was criminalized leading up to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles to make way for athletes and tourists. There is also an uproar over homeless families who might be displaced to accommodate Beyonce’s tour in England.
And let’s be honest, we often block the homeless from our vision during our morning commute.
Yet it’s what makes one big-hearted, wavy-haired A-list celeb shine so bright, and it started far before you might think.
How Keanu Reeves Connected With a Homeless Man
With the nation’s second-highest poverty rate, California is a hotbed of homelessness. Once known for Hollywood glitz and glamor, they’re now known for tents and trouble.
But time after time, there is one person who sees them through different Matrix-colored glasses.
Though he has a net worth of $380 million, Keanu Reeves has never put a lot of value in his bank account. “Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I’ve already made for the next few centuries,” he told the Chicago Tribune.
It’s a part of his character that makes him so down to earth to cast, colleagues and cast-offs, like the homeless. Nothing illustrates that better than one sunny day in West Hollywood.
It was back in 1997, when Reeves was a star was rising from the success enjoyed from Speed and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. He spotted a homeless man on the street and instead of ignoring him, approached him. Cameras catch him sitting with the man, sharing drinks, snacks and stories.
It’s a crazy scene fit for, well, a movie.
Keanu Reeves’s Brush With Being Homeless
This actually wouldn’t be the Jon Wick star’s last time dabbling in being destitute. Per cheatsheet, in preparing for a role (the movie was never made), he spent time being homeless.
With only a toothbrush and $20 with him, a limousine dropped him off and he was on his own. He recalled that frightening first night.
“The first night I bedded down was terrifying because I could hear people screaming in their sleep or talking with each other, plotting to take my cardboard box from me,” he said.
He said that the experience gave him the gift of gratitude.
“I had to live, eat, mingle and breathe with these people, so I knew what made them tick,” Reeves said. “Now I know the true luxury of an undisturbed night’s sleep in a soft bed, in a warm, quiet room.”
He lived on the streets for four days before being spotted.
True to his brand, Reeves returned to his new friends and offered to buy them dinner. “I expected them to ask for a steak or lobster,” Reeves said, “But all they wanted was to go to McDonalds!”
How Keanu Reeves Is Humbled by His Hardships
Keanu also grounded by some tough life experiences. His girlfriend Jennifer Syme gave birth to their daughter Ava, who was stillborn. Two years later, she tragically died in a car crash where prescription drugs were found in her car.
Also, his father walked out on the family when Reeves was only three years old. He recalled that painful day in a rare interview.
“On our last day we sat on the veranda and stared at the dark sky. He hardly said anything that evening. The next day he brought us to the airport. Then we didn’t hear anything from him for 10 years. No calls, no letters, nothing.”
How Keanu Reeves Proves That Love Is the Answer
Those tragedies would be enough to turn anyone sour on life. Instead, he’s used it as motivation for him to be a kinder person (and awesome actor). How he’s managed to lean into love through riches and rough patches is what truly makes him a success.
For those reasons and oodles more, he’s been aptly named ‘The Internet’s Boyfriend’ (I definitely can’t compete with that).
While we might not have Neo’s shades or John Wick’s fearless fighting, we can all tap into Keanu Reeves’s kindness.