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The Modest Life of Keanu Reeves: What His Life-Story Teaches Us about Being Rich

The Modest Life of Keanu Reeves
Written by Irina Vasilescu

Have you ever wondered how you’d live if you were rich beyond your wildest dreams? Perhaps you’d like to follow the example of Keanu Reeves, and if you did, you’d be following a great example.

It hasn’t always been easy

We’re inclined to regard movie-stars as super-privileged. With lives that seem to us like something out of a fairytale, we can’t imagine them ever having to struggle. After all, they’re blessed with talent, confidence and great looks. Surely life has been kind them? But life hasn’t always been easy for Keanu.

His dad left the family home when he was just three, and after the age of six, he had little or no contact with his father. His mother had to relocate often, trying to build a better life for her kids, but the anxiety this must have caused for Keanu may have aggravated his dyslexia, a learning problem that made him unable to complete high school.

Even after the hit movie ‘The Matrix’ rocketed him to fame and fortune, tragedy dogged his steps. He lost his best friend River Phoenix to a drug overdose. The love of his life miscarried their much-anticipated baby girl, and the tragedy tore their relationship apart. Still, they remained very close – until she dies in a car accident. No, life hasn’t always been easy for Keanu.

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The modest lifestyle that makes us love him

How would you live if you’ve earned $144 million? That’s how much Keanu made from The Matrix and its sequels. But Keanu doesn’t believe that material things make you happy. And the thing that makes him happiest is sharing his good fortune. Why else give away $80 million of that $114 million? 

But the man is no fool. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy security: a decent (but not over-the-top) car to drive, a comfortable home that suits your needs and doesn’t turn into a maintenance nightmare.

Keanu drives a solid and reliable Honda and lives in a modest apartment. He reasons that he doesn’t need a lot of extra space and wouldn’t know what to do with it. That’s a lesson for those who have lashed out on second and third homes and grand reception areas that are there to impress but are seldom used.

Snack time? The star is happy to munch a straightforward sandwich seated on a park bench where he can watch the passing parade.

Commute? To Reeves, there’s nothing wrong with using the subway. And if a lady lacks a seat, he’ll stand up and give her his place with perfect courtesy. 

Charity? It doesn’t get more personal than sitting down on the pavement to share your breakfast with a homeless man, but Reeves also tackles the big issues, with millions donated to leukemia research.

The Modest Life of Keanu Reeves

How does Keanu remain so grounded?

Paychecks in the millions, the adulation of millions of fans, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous – none of these things seem to have changed Reeves as a person. What can we learn from him? After all, it may come in handy when (or if) we finally make it big!

  • Don’t let ‘failure’ make you stop trying.
  • Status symbols are a waste of money. Know your personal worth, and you won’t need all the expensive trappings.
  • Practicality matters. Big houses, expensive cars and a fancy lifestyle just complicate your life.
  • Other people are important. They deserve our respect, generosity and courtesy.
  • ‘Giving back’ is more important than taking.
  • If you have everything you need, you are rich. More is a waste.
  • Love is way more important than money.
  • Take care of the future: Keanu says he can maintain his lifestyle on his savings for ‘The next few centuries’.
  • A great actor and a great example to us all.

Even when times are tough, we can remember the things in life that are really important. And though, like any other human being, Keanu Reeves probably isn’t perfect, he sets a great example of overcoming adversity and focusing on the things that matter. 

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The Modest Life of Keanu Reeves

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.

17 Comments

  • We can all just learn from him. Most Hollywood actors are so full of themself that they forget about everyone else, and they’re terrible role models for teenagers and youth in general. Keanu Reeves is not like that, and this is what makes him so awesome (along with his terrific acting skills, of course). We don’t have to spend hundreds every day to be happy.

  • I think this guy is great. Even though he’s a multi millionaire, he’s still my managed to hang on to his integrity and stay grounded in the madness of Hollywood. I think he does have a house now, but if the photos are to be believed, it’s tiny by movie star standards – four bedrooms and four bathrooms – so definitely a modest abode. Thanks for keeping it real, Keanu!

  • For me, this is what life is all about…keeping it simple and enjoying those “simple” wonderful things because they’re actually what’s important in life. Bravo Keanu for staying grounded and not allowing the Hollywood mindset to takeover your mind, body and spirit.

  • I think that a lot of people let their money change them, and as a result of that they lose who they are, and then struggle to regain their identity. Instead, I think it is great to just continue doing what you know you love, without feeling as though you should be doing something bigger and better with the money that you have. Because, honestly, it doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or poor – doing the things that you love in your life are the things that are going to make you happy.

  • Wonderful article.It is to looking great article.It has more important to represent the rich story of author.It is so nice article to share this information.

  • It is wonder reading about someone famous living so modest like. I always told myself if I came into a lot of money I wouldn’t buy a huge house and I would drive a reliable car. And give a lot away because that would make me happy. Material things really do not buy happiness.

  • For once a great story about a celeb who has a brain and sets an example. Seems today everyone is trying to fill the outrageous category of irresponsibility and idiocy. His list of attributes to be a grounded and ultimately a happier person works for anyone whether they are rich or not. More so if not rich because many pursue more money to the point of enslavement.

  • What a great guy.
    Can you imagine yourself doing that?
    We can all say that we would do it, but we would only know if we were in his shoes.
    However ,its a great example.

  • Keanu,
    I am one who has always loved your movies. But the trials that were set before you and how well you seemed to have taken them, only says you have a greater heart than any other Star in Hollywood. I can guarantee that both that little girl and her Mom are both looking down on you. You are one terrific man who has taken a path many would not. You are in my Prayers
    With affection to a great man
    Elizabeth

  • Woah, what a man!
    Its sad how most of us thinks that money would buy us everything. Its a misconception. What we need to realize is that some people who have money are still leading an unsatisfied and unhappy lives. The reason for this is we always run after things that don’t matter.
    “Friend! You desire formless things.” – Rumi.
    And I think its true. 🙂

  • I know some of Keanu Reeves work, I’m not a huge fan I have to say. But learning about what he’s been though and how he’s stayed grounded in “Tinseltown” I do admire him.

    This article made me think of those stories of people who have won millions on a lottery. The sudden inflow of riches often tears these families apart as they argue about – MONEY!

  • This was an interesting read. I have always found Keeanu to be an intriguing person because he just seems incredibly strange. I will be honest, I find him to be a bad actor. A lot of his movies are comedies for me because he is just, so lifeless in his performances. This article has given me a greater respect for him as a person. He seems to live a very zen lifestyle, which I suppose is not that surprising that he did play the role of the literal Buddha himself!

  • I have always loved Keanu as an actor from way back before he made it big. I never knew any of this stuff about him, but it makes you admire him even more. As much as money can buy material things this will never bring lasting happiness if you are not happy in the 1st place!! It comes from within ourselves & no amount of useless gadgets etc will ever change that !! Look to nature & the simple things in life & that is where you will find it, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work that 1 out ❤

  • I love him and I love how he manage his life despite of the trials. Hats off to this man. Hope & pray to meet him in person someday. My prayers for his eternal happiness and more life success.

  • Keep doing great work and examples! Specially in this hard dispensation, you are brave man to manage your life to be simple! Don’t give up! I like walking in the clouds movie because it’s simple and good examples in life. Thank you!

  • It is great to read such an article as this as it restores my belief in humanity and that people can remain grounded and true to themselves despite the trappings that can come with financial wealth.

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