Welcome to Mentor Thursdays, where we explore individuals who are striving or had strived to become better versions of themselves.
Today’s mentor is Keanu Reeves.
1. Keanu Reeves’ Background
Keanu Reeves was born in 1964, in Beirut, Lebanon and he is recognised as one of the most down to earth actor in Hollywood. Not only is he known for his humble and grounded nature, but Reeves’ first name reflects his character as “a cool breeze over the mountains” in Hawaiian.
At an early age, Keanu experienced hardships and emotional instability which started when his parents divorced at age three. Keanu’s emotional instability continued to grow with his mother, as he had multiple step-fathers, baby sitters and lived in different homes around the world.
Keanu talent in acting ignited at 15 years old. He performed on a stage production of Romeo and Juliet by the Leah Poslun Theatre, debuted on CBC TV sitcom Hangin in and made appearances on TV commercials which include Coca Cola. At aged 17, Keanu decided to drop out of college to pursue a career in acting, as he felt that he did not have a passion for academics or studying.
2. What did he do?
1994 -Keanu played a lead role in the movie ‘Speed’ with Sandra Bullock, which catapulted him into Hollywood stardom.
1999- 2003 -The movie series that cemented Keanu place in Hollywood was the ‘Matrix Trilogy,’ which consisted of three movies that gross roughly 1.6 billion dollars.
2014 – Present – Currently the movie series that Keanu has been involved in is the ‘John Wick Chapters’ which has grossed approximately 3.6 billion dollars.
3. What can we learn from Keanu Reeves?
A. That we can help others in our brokenness.
“If you have been brutally broken but still have the courage to be gentle to other living beings, then you’re a badass with a heart of an angel.” – Keanu Reeves
In 2000, Keanu experienced grief and loss when his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Syme gave birth to Ava who was stillborn. Not only did they parted ways due to the tragedy, but Keanu experienced further grief and loss when Jennifer died in a car accident the following year. Despite the brokenness that he experienced growing up and through his previous relationship, Keanu continued to help others through his time, talent and treasures.
In the video below, Octavia Spencer explained how Keanu helped her when her car broke down before she became famous.
B. That money isn’t everything.
“Money doesn’t mean anything to me. I’ve made a lot of money, but I want to enjoy life and not stress myself building my bank account. I give lots away and live simply, mostly out of a suitcase in hotels. We all know that good health is much more important.” – Keanu Reeves
Despite amassing a fortune of money, Keanu did not make money his everything. For the matrix trilogy, he gave the majority of 150 million that he earned to the special effects and costume crew since he felt that they were the real pioneers of the movie. Keanu sacrificed his own income for the greater good of the movie so that they were able to afford actors such as Al Pacino for ‘The Devil Advocate’ and Gene Hackman for “The Replacements.’
C. To respect others despite your status.
“I was raised to treat people exactly how I would like to be treated by others. It’s called respect.” – Keanu Reeves
The video below explains it all. Although Keanu is famous, he still decides to catch the subway and offer his seat to another person.
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