Keanu Reeves apparently took the title of his movie “Something’s Got to Give” pretty seriously.
The actor made a lot of money — some estimates say around $315 million — but, a longtime family friend told the Post, “He’s a little embarrassed about it.”
So, after being struck by a series of tragedies, he made it his mission to spread wealth.
“Keanu has given 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.
Although a December report that Reeves had donated 70% of his salary from the first film “The Matrix” to cancer research was debunked by the actor’s publicist, he’s still one of Hollywood’s most generous stars – giving lavish gifts to co-workers, catering employees, his family and charities.
“Keanu is infamous for his generosity,” a Hollywood producer has said, citing the story that the actor slipped a $20,000 bonus to a “Matrix” set builder after learning that the member of the team had financial problems.
Reaves too gifted each of the 12 stuntmen on “The Matrix Reloaded” with one of his favorite things: a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. On “John Wick 4”, which he recently shot in Paris and Berlin, Reeves gave Rolex Submariner watches to stuntmen, complete with personal inscriptions.
“Believe me, stuntmen are dying to work with Keanu,” a Hollywood production source said. “Not just for gifts. This is because he takes them very seriously and thanks them for contributing to his success. Stuntmen, combat trainers – these people rarely understand that.
“The reason Keanu has starred in 60 movies,” said a casting director who worked with him, “is that in addition to the audience, the directors love him, the co-stars love him, the crews love him. He’s always ready, he’s always on time. Considerate, communicative, caring – there’s no one he doesn’t know the name of or hasn’t had a conversation with.
But insiders say part of his desire to share comes from the fact that he has lost so much in his own life.
Reeves was reportedly devastated in 1993 when his best friend and “My Own Private Idaho” co-star River Phoenix died of a drug overdose.
In 1999, his then-girlfriend Jennifer Syme, assistant to director David Lynch, gave birth to their daughter a month early – but the baby, named Ava, was stillborn. The grief was too much for the couple’s relationship; they separated soon after, then reunited in 2001.
Syme, 28, reportedly battled depression the night she drove her Jeep through a line of parked cars in Los Angeles on April 1, 2001. She died instantly and an inquest found she was drunk at the time of the wreckage.
“If Ava’s death wasn’t devastating enough, he considered Jennifer his soul mate,” a colleague said of the actor. “He had some very dark days after that.”
The tragedies in his life inspired Reeves to take on the role of the titular grieving assassin in the “John Wick” film series.
“He was really connected to this character, passionately driven by the loss – of his father as a child, of River, of his child, of a woman he spent many years with,” the casting director said.
The actor’s father, Samuel, abandoned the family when Reeves, who grew up primarily in Toronto, was just a toddler. Samuel, who died in 2018, served two years of a ten-year prison sentence for drug possession; while still alive, Reeves would have had little to do with his father.
“The story with me and my father is quite heavy,” he once told Rolling Stone. “It’s full of pain and unhappiness and fucking loss and all that.”
“Keanu will always resent his late father,” the family friend said. “His young years were difficult. He was always in the shadow of [his father’s] drug addiction – he was always afraid of that. But maybe that’s the thing that got him into acting, that lit his fuse, so to speak. It helped him not to think too much, which is his tendency.
Reeves is very close to his mother, costume designer Patricia Taylor – he bought her a house in Los Angeles before buying one for himself – and his two sisters.
“Keanu and two of his sisters – Kim and Karina – are very close,” the family friend said. (He reportedly has no relationship with Emma, his half-sister by his father.)
Kim was diagnosed with leukemia in 1991, which inspired Reeves to donate millions to cancer charities, including auctioning off a 2020 “date” with himself for Camp Rainbow Gold, a children’s cancer organization. (Winning bid: $16,000.)
“My brother is my prince,” Kim, who went into remission around 2010, told People.
Decades of heartbreak led Reeves to resist settling down, insiders say.
“He’s a real nomad,” a Chateau Marmont source told Reeves. “He didn’t even buy a house until he was 40. He lived in hotels, mainly at the Château. He often walked around the hotel grounds, looking rather ghostly.
In 2017, Reeves told Esquire, “It’s too late. I’m 52. I’m not having kids.
Friends say the actor, who dated ‘Mallrats’ star Claire Forlani and photographer Amanda de Cadenet, found solace in his low-key romance with artist Alexandra Grant, 48.
“It was the first relationship that really calmed him down,” said a source who knows them both. “Not only that. Keanu’s mom loves Alexandra. Big fan. It makes Keanu a bigger one.
Grant reportedly met Reeves at a 2009 birthday party he threw for their mutual friend, editor Janey Bergam. Reeves and Grant first became friends, then business partners after illustrating some of his poetry and they launched X Artists Books to publish it as “An Ode to Happiness”. They started dating around 2017.
“It’s a relief for Keanu that Alexandra isn’t jealous of her movie stardom,” the mutual friend said, Grant’s paintings and sculptures alone have been exhibited in the United States and Europe. “She clearly has her own life, her own successful artistic career. She is elegant and dignified – a total class act.
While Reeves has told friends he has become more comfortable with all the fame after many years of being unwell, he and Grant have been watching their private time closely.
“If someone [speaks out on the record about the couple], they will find themselves admonished or cut out of their lives,” the mutual friend said. “They made a pact. They read friends the riot act for talking about their relationship. Although things are going well, they are both clinging to the idea that any publicity will harm their relationship. It’s a superstition they both believe.