No actor has ever made as much money from a single series as Keanu Reeves did with The Matrix.
Now, If there’s one thing that the internet can agree on, it’s that Keanu Reeves is an all-around great guy.
The actor currently resides in the Hollywood hills after gaining fame in an impressive range of massively successful movies.
Do you recognize him from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) which told the story of two slackers traveling through time? It was so successful that it was followed by a sequel: Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey in 1991.
Or what about his 1992 appearance in Gothic horror-romance, Bram Stoker’s Dracula?
His performance in this rather overblown movie has been pretty much universally panned.
He also starred in the buddy-cop thriller, Point Break, in 1991, alongside Gary Busey and Patrick Swayze. It was a commercial smash and went on to garner a cult following.
He continued this trend in 1994’s Speed. The suspenseful thriller told the tale of a rigged bus that would explode if it slowed down. Keanu starred alongside Sandra Bullock and Dennis Hopper but has since shaded the film by refusing to star in the sequel. His reason? “The movies I wanted to make were movies I wanted to see.” Ouch.
But there’s one role that really turned Keanu into a household name…
His portrayal of Neo in The Matrix franchise. The movies are still thought of as touchstones within the science fiction genre.
And just to refresh our minds, the movie depicts a future in which mankind is inadvertently imprisoned in The Matrix—a virtual world that sentient robots have constructed to divert people while utilising humans as a source of energy.
It was evident that the first movie (1999), which had a budget of $63 million, elevated brought the cyberpunk subgenre into the forefront after earning a staggering $467.2 million at the box office.
And as a result, Keanu made history by becoming the highest-paid actor in any series, earning an eyewatering $156,000,000 for his role in the movie franchise, which consisted of just three films before it was ‘resurrected’ in 2021.
Despite this, he is known for not retaining much of his wealth for himself to enjoy nice things or flaunt his accomplishment.
During his career, he has donated a large portion of his money to an unknown Leukemia Foundation, due to his sister falling ill with blood cancer, and also given a considerable chunk of his wage to the cast and crew of the films he has featured in.
It seems that he doesn’t hold money high up on his priority list, revealing in an interview back in 2006: “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 more important.”
After finding out about the news, many fans have taken to social media to share their thoughts, with one writing: “He is also the most down-to-earth celeb in Hollywood too. He takes the subway.”
While another commented: “He also donated most of it to charities, which he didn’t have to do. There’s not a lot of actors more deserving than him.”
“He deserves every penny,” a third wrote.