Most of the reason we follow celebrity news is because we like watching these people screw up in horrific ways. And let's face it, at this point there is no story of drug abuse, racism, sexual assault, or outright murder that would surprise us. It could turn out that Ryan Gosling secretly organized the 9/11 attacks and we'd just shrug and say, "Celebrities, man. That shit goes to your head."
So maybe we should stop every now and then and point out when they do nice or even heroic things. Because it does happen.
#5. Tom Cruise Saves Real Lives (Routinely)
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Tom Cruise is one of those celebrities that you can't help but assume lives trapped in a bubble of his own ego and Scientology, refusing to even leave his trailer if some elaborate ritual hasn't been performed first. But repeatedly saving mankind on the big screen has apparently led Cruise to believe that he can also be a hero when the cameras aren't rolling, because he has done it over and over again.
For instance, there's the time Cruise was relaxing on his yacht one morning and spotted a sinking sailboat in flames. He didn't wait for somebody else to show up; he set sail toward the accident and pulled the victims to safety.
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Presumably by using his teeth.
Earlier that same year, after witnessing a hit-and-run accident, Cruise called the paramedics and stayed with the victim, following her to the emergency room and then paying the $7,000 bill when he learned she was uninsured. On another occasion, Cruise saved a boy from being crushed to death by a frenzied mob at one of his film premieres by reaching into the crowd and pulling him out. It's the kind of behavior that led Cruise's publicist to declare, "If I ever get in trouble, I hope Tom Cruise is nearby."
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"If you ever need me, just whisper my name three times to the east and I will appear."
Comedian Bill Hader, who co-starred in Tropic Thunder, has his own anecdote about Cruise's propensity for leaping into action when his Cruise-sense tells him that danger is nigh. You might remember that as the film where Cruise played against type as overweight, bald, foul-mouthed studio executive Les Grossman. Well, while shooting a promo in character for the MTV Movie Awards, Cruise overheard Hader stressing about his family back in New York. Someone had attempted to set off a car bomb there, and Hader had two days left to shoot before he could get back home. Cruise decided that this was unacceptable and went into overdrive, directing two days' worth of remaining footage in under an hour, the whole time dressed in a "karate gi" for some reason (despite his heroics, Cruise is still kind of nuts).
After he finished filming, Cruise threw Hader into a rickshaw and ran him to the airport.
#4. Keanu Reeves Likes to Give His Money Away
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There are few people who consider Keanu Reeves to be at the top of the list of Hollywood talent, and the Internet's opinion of him on the whole can probably be summarized by the "Sad Keanu" meme. But then, if you're aware of Reeves' life story, you'll realize that he actually has a lot to be sad about. (Seriously, if you click that link, you're going to be depressed for a while and regret making fun of him so much.)
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Wow ... we take back everything we said about your accent in Dracula ... well, almost everything.
But Reeves has never let his horrible run of luck stop him from trying to make a difference in the world. When his sister was diagnosed with leukemia, Reeves became her caretaker, making her meals, preparing her medication, putting entire film shoots on hold, and donating millions to the hospital that was treating her so they could advance their leukemia research.
It appears that Reeves has even garnered the sympathy of the studio bosses, usually known for being some of the most greedy bastards on the planet, who are willing to finance his indie fare on the condition that he stars in blockbusters as well. They know Reeves isn't particularly interested in money, which he made clear by signing away some of his paycheck so the studio could hire Gene Hackman and Al Pacino for The Replacements and The Devil's Advocate, respectively.
Which would be even more impressive if it hadn't been for, you know, The Replacements and The Devil's Advocate.
Reeves' lack of care for his own money extends as far as giving $80 million of his Matrix salary away to the special-effects team and costume designers who worked on the trilogy, as he believes they are the ones who deserve all the credit. According to Reeves, "Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I've already made for the next few centuries."
If you're really in need, though, all you have to do is get a job as one of the hundreds of crew members who work at his film shoots. When Reeves isn't buying breakfast and lunch for the crew or surprising them with Harley-Davidsons, he's giving away $20,000 so they can pay off their debts.
Just don't expect him to lose the hobo look. He's apparently into that.
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"I've built three children's hospitals with the money I've saved on razors and haircuts."
#3. Russell Brand Hangs Out With the Homeless
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Sure, lots of famous people give money to charities that benefit the homeless. It's easy to write a check when you can line your pet bird's cage with thousand-dollar bills. But if these people were ever actually confronted by actual homeless people, well, that's when the bodyguards step in and start beating some homeless ass.
Unless they're Russell Brand.
A former alcoholic and chronic heroin addict, British comedian Russell Brand knows what it's like to be at rock bottom. But while we may expect celebrity success stories to end after they're sleeping with Katy Perry on a bed made of money, Brand has proven that he hasn't forgotten the plight of the poor folk, and he spends a good chunk of the time that isn't devoted to having sex with supermodels helping the homeless. In person.
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"It's a friendship based on our mutual love of terrible scarves."
Take for instance the time when a car hit a homeless man's cart on the road, spilling his belongings on the pavement, and Brand stopped his vehicle and started to pick them up.
Total damage was in the thousands of cents.
While any of us would have undoubtedly ended up with a broken pelvis from a taxi running us over, Brand's "I'm huddled on the street even though I'm famous" aura inspired other drivers to pull over as well, and they all started to help with the cleanup. Proving that this was not just a one-time Good Samaritan affair, Brand has been spotted several times on the streets of LA hanging out with the homeless, taking them to breakfast and even giving one of them a new shirt and a ride to the same AA meeting Brand himself attends.
"All I ask is that you don't knife me on the way there."
According to an interview that he did with Howard Stern, one of Brand's favorite pastimes is taking homeless people to dinner and just keeping them company for a night. Evidently they have a lot of interesting things to say. Although, by his own admission, what they have to say often involves them claiming to be Jesus.