5 Heartwarming Stories to Restore Your Faith in Celebrities
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.
Tom Cruise Saves Real Lives (Routinely)
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.
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."
"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.
Keanu Reeves Likes to Give His Money Away
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.)
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.
"I've built three children's hospitals with the money I've saved on razors and haircuts."
Russell Brand Hangs Out With the Homeless
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.
"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.
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.
T.I. Saves a Man from Suicide
Like many famous rappers, T.I. has been in and out of prison for weapons and drug charges, and the mythology surrounding the lives of men like him is a blur of weed and sex. It's not very often that you hear about the humanitarian side of the rap industry. But T.I. broke the illusion in 2010 when he went out of his way to help a man who was planning to commit suicide by leaping from a ledge.
The police, already inside the building, were trying to figure out a way to keep the would-be victim from headlining the 6 o'clock news when T.I. walked over to them and told them he knew how to bring the man down from the ledge in a way that didn't involve a mess on the pavement. He recorded a video message to coax the man down with assurances that nothing can be as bad as all that.
We assume the message did not include lyrics to "Big Shit Poppin' (Do It)."
Of course, there was no way of knowing whether the man liked his music, or even if he knew who T.I. was, considering he's not exactly on Kanye West's level of rap stardom. But maybe the guy just needed to hear a friendly voice (or assumed T.I. was the world's coolest-looking shrink), because the plan worked and the man stepped down.
Reportedly, T.I. and the potential jumper met in the lobby of the building, and while nobody is sure what was said over the course of the conversation, it seems like the T.I. magic worked on him and the man was cured of his malaise. The police officially thanked the rapper for his good deed, which distracted them from the fact that he was facing his probation being revoked at the time for marijuana possession.
"Maybe if it were legal there'd be less people on rooftops. Just sayin'."
Johnny Depp Is Just an All-Round Nice Dude
If we were Johnny Depp, it's easy to imagine that we'd just lie back in a drunken haze while the universe throws all of the sex at us. For those of us frustrated by the idea that our wives (and husbands, why not) are thinking of Captain Jack Sparrow while we're in bed at night, it's probably comforting to imagine that his self-important dickitude is great enough to counter the extent to which everyone wants to do him.
But tell that to the extended cast of Pirates of the Caribbean 4, for whom Depp reportedly shelled out 40,000 pounds of his own money to buy 500 coats because they complained that it was cold. (NOTE: We're talking about the British currency, not 40,000 pounds of money by weight, which would admittedly be more impressive.)
"I'll admit that totally sounds like the batshit type of way that I'd count my money."
Of course, this was just kind of Johnny Depp's thing. During the filming of Public Enemies, a small child asked if he could have the sweet fedora that Depp wore for his role as gangster John Dillinger. Rather than giving the kid an important lesson in how you can't always get what you want, Depp sent the hat to the kid along with a bunch of stuff from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for his siblings, which was probably a better idea than giving them other props from a violent gangster biopic.
"I learned my lesson after I gave that kid my gloves from Edward Scissorhands."
In fact, Johnny Depp's heroic antics have given him the reputation of some kind of low-tech Batman, from the time he threw himself in front of a crew of extras to shove them out of the way of an out-of-control stunt car on the set of Public Enemies, to when he stopped a horse from being put down on the set of Sleepy Hollow by adopting it and saving its life. There's even a story about him coming out of a recording session with a friend when, being confronted by a mugger swinging a broken bottle at him, Depp simply told him to "back off" and the guy did, reportedly saying, "I ain't stealing from Captain Jack."
But the most heart-warming story is probably when, after a young girl sent him a fan letter, Depp turned up at her London school in full pirate gear. If it were any other 47-year-old man dressed like a rag factory exploded and speaking with a drunken slur, there would have been police involved.
"Honestly, it felt good to finally be myself instead of having to play that 'Johnny Depp' guy."
For more celebrities who are not as they seem, check out 11 Celebrities Who Were Secretly Total Badasses and 6 Dumb Celebrities Who Are Way Smarter Than You Think.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 5 Reasons No One Will Use Google Glass (Explained By Google).
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover why Mondays aren't all that bad.
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