While Hollywood is saturated with its fair share of likable actors and actresses, there is one who stands out from the rest — Ryan Reynolds! In honor of the charismatic Canadian's 44th birthday on Oct. 23, 2020, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at all the reasons we love him! Keep reading for more about Ryan…
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He has an (adorable) marriage to Blake Lively
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively met on the set of "Green Lantern" in 2010 and began dating in 2011. They married on Sept. 9, 2012, and have since welcomed three daughters: James, Inez and Betty. What we love most about this Hollywood couple? The love they have for one another. "She always responds with empathy," Ryan told Humans of New York in 2017. "She meets anger with empathy. She'll take the time to imagine what happened to a person when they were 5 or 6 years old. And she's made me a more empathetic person. I had a very fractured relationship with my father. Before he died, she made me remember things I didn't want to remember. She made me remember the good times."
He pulls out all the stops for projects he believes in
Getting 2016's "Deadpool" created was no easy feat. After it was announced in 2000 that Deadpool was one of the Marvel Comics characters who would be getting a film, Ryan Reynolds let it be known he wanted in. By early 2004, Ryan and writer-director David S. Goyer had started developing a movie about the character, and by March 2005, Ryan had found out that Fox was interested. Eventually, Ryan was selected to star in it, but after a series of shifts in creative direction and the release of his box office superhero flop "Green Lantern" in 2011, Fox executives became weary of moving forward with "Deadpool." Thankfully, after test footage featuring Ryan voicing Deadpool leaked in July 2014 and earned significant praise, Fox was on board again. "Deadpool," which Ryan both starred in and co-produced, was released on Feb. 12, 2016. It went on to become the ninth-highest-grossing film of the year, making $782.6 million on a $58 million budget.
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He's a proud Vancouver native
Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Ryan Reynolds has always made his pride for his hometown apparent — his Instagram and Twitter handles are even @VancityReynolds. Prior to making it big in Hollywood, Ryan was a normal Vancouver kid — he worked at grocery stores, waited tables and delivered the local newspaper door to door — and while he may live in the United States now, Vancouver will always be home. "It's in every cell of my body," Ryan told The Vancouver Sun of Canada. "So much of my outlook and so much of my ability to do as well as I've been able to do in the entertainment industry is a credit to growing up in Canada." He continued, "If I had to sort of narrow it down to one aspect of my character that allowed me to get a foothold in showbiz, it's been my ability to laugh at myself, which is a trait that is [as] Canadian as maple syrup. I'm grateful for Canada and I'm always going to be a proud Canadian." While the first two "Deadpool" films were shot in Vancouver, the third installment's location remains unknown. "My hope is should we have that incredible opportunity to come back and do another that we get to shoot it in Vancouver again," Ryan said. "Shooting the first two movies there was important to me and, you know, I have new bosses now. So I don't know if that's gonna be as easy to do but I really, really hope we get to do that."
He has a lighthearted social media presence
Whether he's posting a series of embarrassing, mid-blinking photos of wife Blake Lively for her birthday or describing how the "doctor places the swab up your nose, just deep enough to tickle your childhood memories" while carrying out a COVID-19 test, we can always count on Ryan Reynolds to give us some seriously fun social media content. From the captions to the photos to the reposts, @vancityreynolds consistently dishes out smile-inducing content that makes an A-list celeb like him feel more relatable.
He's close friends with two famous celebrities we also know and love
A trio we love to see. Remember when we commended Ryan Reynolds for his flawless social media presence? Well, in addition to poking fun at his wife, he also tends to poke fun at friends Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Hugh and Ryan met on set of 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." Jake and Hugh met while co-starring in the 2013 flick "Prisoners." And Ryan and Jake met on the set of the 2017 film "Life." One such example of their prank-infused best friendship? This photo, which Ryan posted in December 2018. According to the "Deadpool" star, his fellow actor-besties failed to mention this wasn't an ugly sweater party.
He's outspoken about mental health and his own struggles with anxiety
In a profile published by The New York Times in 2018, Ryan Reynolds opened up about his lifelong struggle with anxiety. "I have anxiety, I've always had anxiety," he admitted. "Both in the lighthearted 'I'm anxious about this' kind of thing, and I've been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun." While chatting with Mr. Porter Journal, Ryan also opened up about his fragmented relationship with his late father and how he'd often "look for the joke in things" instead of "the sadness and the grief." "My dad was a tough guy… He was good in many ways as well, but he was tough on us." He went on, "This is not meant to be some sob story — everyone carries their own bag of rocks around and I am no different in that regard — but growing up in my house, it was never relaxing or easy and I know that, throughout my life, I've dealt with anxiety in different ways."
He's a total dog lover
It's no surprise that Ryan Reynolds also happens to be a major dog lover! In 2009, in an attempt to find a dog in Houston for his friend Steve, Ryan ended up falling in love with a canine himself. "I saw this big, dumb-looking retriever staring up at me," he told ABC News of Baxter. "I whispered to him, 'Hey, let's get the hell out of here.' And he jumped up, like he spoke English fluently. He came with me, he jumped in the car, and we've been best buddies ever since." On Sept. 11, 2020, the Canadian actor took to Instagram to wish his buddy a happy birthday. "Happy Birthday, Bax. I'd bake you a cake, but it would kill you," he wrote. "Not because you're a dog. Everything I bake is poison. If I had to go to war, I'd just bring a toaster oven."
As a child, he did whatever it took to get the attention of his crush
It's true — there was a time in which Ryan Reynolds was not, in fact, good with the ladies! While on "The Graham Norton Show" in 2016, Ryan recalled a story about his first crush, whom he dubbed "Fiona," and how he'd intentionally sit beside her on the bus ride home from school. "She used to take the bus the opposite way of my actual home," he admitted. "I would get on the bus just to sit next to her for 45 minutes the wrong way!" He joked, "I love it when you're young, it's so cute. When you're older, it's just stalking." While it wasn't "Fiona," Ryan ended up getting the girl: Blake Lively!
He got his start on a soap opera
From 1991 to 1993, Ryan Reynolds played Billy Simpson, a sweet kid-turned-temporary bully, on the Canadian soap opera "Hillside." Ryan, however, doesn't look back on his time on the series fondly — in fact, he even contemplated walking away from acting as a whole after the show ended. We're glad he didn't!
While Ryan Reynolds has made a name for himself in Hollywood as an actor, he also has his hand in several other business ventures. For starters, he's the co-founder of Maximum Effort Productions, which includes big-time clients Mint Mobile and Aviation American Gin — two businesses Ryan in part owns. In November 2019, the Canadian actor purchased an ownership stake in the prepaid wireless phone plan company. His reason for the seemingly odd business investment? It hasn't been done. "It's a bit unconventional, which is why I like it," Ryan said in a press release. "Celebrities generally invest in high-end products like skincare brands or delicious gin companies. Yet Mint is making wireless way more affordable at a time when the average American is paying $65 a month. I'm excited to champion a more practical approach to the most essential technology." Then, in August 2020, Aviation American Gin sold for a cool $610 million to alcohol giant Diageo. "A little over two years ago, I became an owner of Aviation Gin because I love the taste of Aviation more than any other spirit," Ryan said in a statement. "What I didn't expect was the sheer creative joy learning a new industry would bring. Growing the brand with my company, Maximum Effort Marketing, has been among the most fulfilling projects I've ever been involved with. I want to thank Diageo for their incredible team and passion. We're so excited for the next chapter of Aviation Gin, which, I promise, will require just as little reading."
He's dated some of Hollywood's most famous women
Before famously finding love with Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds had high profile relationships with several other very cool women in Hollywood. The first was Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, whom he began dating in 2002. The couple became engaged in 2004 though called it quits in 2007. Alanis even penned the track "Torch" about the demise of their relationship. Following his split from the music star, Ryan began dating actress Scarlett Johansson. They announced their engagement in May 2008 and married four months later. However, after less than two years of marriage, the A-listers announced they were filing for divorce.
He's selective about his acting roles
While there are some actors and actresses who agree to almost all the roles that come their way, Ryan Reynolds isn't one of them. It turns out Joss Whedon had Ryan in mind when casting the role of Xander Harris on the '90s series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Had he agreed, Ryan would have played the famously nerdy (but adorable) friend of Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and likely taken his career in another direction. "I love that show and I loved Joss Whedon, the creator of the show, but my biggest concern was that I didn't want to play a guy in high school," Ryan admitted to The Star. "I had just come out of high school and it was f****** awful." The role ended up going to Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander for all seven seasons.
He once failed a drama class
It's true! While he's among Hollywood's top talents, before scoring his big break, Ryan Reynolds failed a drama class in high school. After earning an award for acting, Ryan quoted his buddy Hugh Jackman: "How could a guy who failed a drama class be this talented?"
He has relatable fears
Just because they appear fearless on screen doesn't mean actors and actresses don't have phobias like us. Take for example, Ryan Reynolds, who has a fear of flying that stems from a skydiving adventure gone wrong when he was a teenager: His first parachute pack failed to deploy. Luckily, he was able to face his fear head-on while filming 2011's "Green Lantern." "I have problems with airplanes," Ryan admitted on "The Daily Show." "On the film, we were up on high-wires flying all the time, all over the place… It was really interesting and really terrifying at first."