The Untold Truth Of Ryan Reynolds

Fans of college humor first saw Ryan Reynolds as the star of "National Lampoon's Van Wilder," back in 2002 when the National Lampoon franchise tried to reclaim the glory of its older classics. The movie was panned critically, but it turned Reynolds into a quick-talking and hilarious leading man. Up to that point, he was best known for his role on the sitcom "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place." Even though he would perform stand-up comedy to the live audience prior to filming, Reynolds never saw himself as the star and more "the wacky next-door neighbor," he told Variety. In the aughts, Reynolds transitioned into romantic comedy movies including "Just Friends," "Definitely, Maybe," and "The Proposal." Showing his range, Reynolds also began to appear in superhero films, first in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" as Wade Wilson aka Deadpool. The actor, as Deadpool, finally got his first standalone film in 2016, followed by the sequel in 2018. Reynolds only became more and more popular rolling into the next decade with movies like "Free Guy" in 2021 and then "The Adam Project."

Beyond acting roles, Reynolds is also well-known for his high-profile relationship that has come with adorable moments and controversial events. Though Reynolds has endured difficulties in his personal life from a strained family relationship and the pressures of fame, the actor continued to find ways to put smiles on the faces of his fans.

Get ready to laugh, because this is the untold truth of Ryan Reynolds.

Ryan Reynolds had a funny childhood

For all of Ryan Reynolds' work in Hollywood, it may come as a surprise that he is actually Canadian. For his contributions to entertainment as a native Canadian, which puts him alongside other celebs from the country, such as Justin Bieber, the Library and Archives Canada named Reynolds a national treasure in 2022.

The actor grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, as the youngest of four brothers. As Reynolds put it, "my household that I grew up in wasn't overly awful in the grand scheme of things, certainly as compared to some people," he told the "SmartLess" podcast. One way he stood out in the big family was his sense of comedic timing. Even at a young age, Reynolds knew he had a special gift at getting people to laugh. "I knew I wasn't Robin Williams funny, but I was good at using things around me to diffuse a situation, making myself the butt of the joke," he told The Guardian

To practice his comedic skills, Reynolds joined his school's improv team. While at home, Reynolds admitted to GQ that he and his brothers "basically did everything short of setting their own home on fire every single day of their lives." The actor also developed friends that would stay with him into stardom, although one turned out to be no friend at all after trying to sell private photos of Reynolds to news outlets. Reynolds confronted his buddy and ultimately ended the relationship because the betrayal was "devastating."

How Ryan Reynolds started acting

Ryan Reynolds had his first glimpse of life as an actor when he was a teen. Though he specialized in comedy and improv, the 13-year-old debuted in a completely opposite genre — soap operas. According to Reynolds, it was his ability to think on his feet that helped him land a part in the series "Fifteen." "It played to my strong point. They gave me a role," he told The Guardian

What seemed nice on paper turned out to be a total grind. "The stuff would pay $200 to $300 a week," Reynolds said about his early soap opera roles to Variety. This meant he still needed to work odd jobs like delivering newspapers and driving a forklift at his local grocery store during high school. Even more, he would often travel from Vancouver to Florida to shoot "Fifteen." From his shooting schedule of five days a week, "I learned a lot about preparation, not holding things up," Reynolds told The Guardian. He also said that, behind the scenes, the grueling schedule was tough for many of his young counterparts. Even worse, he remembered the production team would criticize the actors at such a formative time in their young lives. "You saw their self-esteem being rocked. I thought that was borderline abuse," he admitted.

After finishing his role on the soap opera and graduating high school, Reynolds was barely in college before packing his bags to move to Los Angeles to pursue acting, he told Variety.

The movie Ryan Reynolds hates

Warner Brothers was betting big that Green Lantern would be the next great superhero. After all, the character was part of the original 1960 DC Justice League comics alongside other famous superheroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. According to The New York Times, the studio felt a comedic actor would fit best for Green Lantern and developed the story with Jack Black to play the title character. In the end, Reynolds received the final call to help the studio compete against blockbuster Marvel films from Phase 1 like "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk." 

The expectations were so high that the "Green Lantern" film cost an estimated $300 million to produce. In fact, even before "Green Lantern" came out in 2011, the studio was reportedly in the process of creating sequels. "Establishing the world is the hardest, and if you get that right, and I think they did, you can really have some fun with a second and third movie," Reynolds told The New York Times. Even DC's chief creative officer was impressed by the final product, but the movie flopped, earning $116 million domestically, per Box Office Mojo.

Looking back, Reynolds partly blamed filming before the script was even finished. "I don't think it was fleshed out," he told Variety. Reynolds also said he would never play Green Lantern again, and the failure stayed with him for years. "I think 'The Green Lantern' going so wrong was tough on him," "Deadpool" director Ted Miller told The Guardian.

Ryan Reynolds loves to explore

One of the perks of being a movie star is shooting all around the world. Besides just showing up to set in exotic locations, Ryan Reynolds liked to travel in between filming his movies, like his visit to Africa. The actor said he had long been a fan of traveling, telling Collider, "I used to backpack when I was younger and loved it."

The actor also uses social media to sometimes post about his jet-setting life. Like when he visited Paris, France, in 2016 and posted a selfie with the Eiffel Tower behind him. More than just take in the sights, sometimes Reynolds himself is the spectacle. "I get noticed. It depends on where I am," he told Collider. In Spain for example, people don't really care who he is. However, in Germany, he said his Van Wilder character was especially popular. In 2018, he also appeared on a Korean singing show, but at first, no one noticed. While Reynolds was in Korea promoting "Deadpool 2," he performed on "King of Mask Singer," which inspired "The Masked Singer" in America. 

After performing "Tomorrow" from the musical "Annie" while disguised in a unicorn mask and cape, Reynolds revealed himself to a stunned crowd. Talking to the audience, Reynolds apologized for his rendition of the song. He also revealed that no one knew he was going to appear on the show. "I didn't even tell my wife," Reynolds said.

Life as a father for Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively had their first daughter James in 2014 and then daughter Inez two years later, per Us Weekly. "I genuinely like it. I like being a father," Reynolds told GQ. Though he admitted a strained relationship with his own father, Reynolds vowed to be a different type of role model for his own kids. Reynolds infused his brand of comedy into fatherhood as he jokes on Twitter about his experiences as a dad. "Being a father is the single greatest feeling on earth. Not including those wonderful years I spent without a child, of course," he once tweeted. The actor is fiercely proud of his kids, so much that he said on the "Late Show with David Letterman" that he would use Blake Lively as a "human shield" to protect his children.

In 2019, Reynolds and Lively had a third daughter named Betty together, per Harper's Bazaar. As the only guy in a household of four ladies, he joked to Today that he was doing what he could "to wipe men off the face of the earth." All jokes aside, Reynolds said that with a third child, it was getting harder to leave his family for work.

Fans of Taylor Swift may also recognize the kids' names on the song "betty" from her album "folklore," via Genius. Swift gave a shout out to the three girls, Reynolds, and Lively in her Grammy Album of the Year acceptance speech.

A family tragedy deeply affected Ryan Reynolds

Even though the young Ryan Reynolds was improving his comedic skills in improv, his home life wasn't always full of smiles. Reynolds admitted that his dad James Reynolds was particularly tough on his family growing up, which took a mental toll on the actor even after becoming a celeb. "At the time, I never recognized that," he revealed to Variety. Ryan furthe explained, "I was just a twitchy kid."

His father worked in law enforcement as a Mountie in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police before retiring. "My dad was never an easy person to be around," Ryan revealed to the "SmartLess" podcast. Even though his father was Canadian, he didn't exactly have the stereotypical easy-going vibe of many citizens. "Like you just never knew when you were gonna step on the wrong spot, and he was just going to explode," Ryan said of his dad. 

In 2020, James died of pneumonia. Ryan was devastated, and it also revealed more about the complex relationship he had with James. "My dad left a lot of unanswered questions," Ryan told People after the death. "I have to accept there'll be no answers," the actor added. Though Ryan knew for a long time that the relationship wasn't exactly ideal, he ultimately accepted the atypical connection with his father. "In the end it found its own version of closure in peace," Ryan concluded. To remember his father, Ryan and wife Blake Lively named their first daughter James.

The origin of Deadpool

With all the comic book movies that come out between the MCU and DC franchises, it's no surprise that lesser known characters beyond The Avengers get their own movies. What is surprising is how the more obscure character Deadpool came to the big screen. Starting around 2000, with movies like "Blade" and especially "X-Men," superhero movies began to show their blockbuster power. Even before the 2005 movie "Batman Begins" and "Iron Man" in 2008, Ryan Reynolds found the perfect superhero to play. 

He remembered first discovering a Deadpool comic in 2004 and immediately saw himself in the character — a wise-cracking antihero. Reynolds pitched the idea to Fox but the studio rejected the idea. He kept trying to get the movie made and even went as far as drafting a first script by 2009. The project became somewhat of an obsession for Reynolds. "We probably pulled that thing apart and rewrote it 600 times," he told The Wall Street Journal about the script. 

The big breakthrough came when Fox allowed Reynolds to film test footage. The short clip then made it online, even if it was supposed to be a secret. "When the leaked footage got around the internet, it created this enormous groundswell," Reynolds told Variety. "I credit Twitter users, Facebook users, and Instagram users for getting this movie made," Reynolds explained. Reynold's intuition was right, because "Deadpool" and "Deadpool" 2 became the highest grossing R-rated films ever upon their release, per Wall Street Journal.

Ryan Reynolds had several famous girlfriends

As a funny, charming, and handsome actor, Ryan Reynolds caught the eye of several romantic partners throughout his career. The first high-profile relationship was with '90s indie rock legend and fellow Canadian Alanis Morissette. Reynolds and the musician first met at Drew Barrymore's birthday party in 2002 and began dating, according to People. "We have the perfect combination of compatibility and incompatibility that makes the relationship very passionate," Morissette told People about being romantically involved with Reynolds. She called Reynolds supportive of her music career even while he was becoming a big star himself. "It's perfect. I think it's about stretching each other," she added of their relationship. In fact, things were so perfect that the two were engaged in 2004. By 2006, the couple called off the engagement and officially split.

Soon after Morissette, Reynolds then linked up with fellow actor Scarlett Johansson. The romance was swift and the pair announced they were engaged in 2008. Later that year, Reynolds and Johansson were officially married, People reported. Things seemed to be going well as indicated by their purchase of a $2.8 million home together in Los Angeles, according to Us Weekly in 2010. That same year, the actors shockingly announced their decision to split up. "We entered our relationship with love and it's with love and kindness we leave it," Reynolds said through a representative, E! reported. The pair decided to divorce, which was finalized in 2011, per Us Weekly.

Inside the actor's relationship with Blake Lively

smRyan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson seemed happily married in 2010, like when they were spotted together on a date night in New York City. Yet, rumors started to surface of trouble. Reportedly, busy filming schedules that kept the two actors apart created marital troubles, according to the Daily News. At the time, Reynolds was filming "Green Lantern" and as it turned out, it was the meet-cute with his future wife. "I met Blake on the darkest crease in the anus of the universe called 'Green Lantern,'" Reynolds told the "SmartLess" podcast. According to the actor, "We were friends and buddies, and then about a year and a half later, we actually went on a double date but we were dating separate people." While Reynolds was still linked up with Johansson, Lively was busy dating other famous actors. After dating her "Gossip Girl" co-star Penn Bagdley, she was reportedly together with Ryan Gosling towards the end of 2010, according to E!. The short fling ended, and Lively ended up dating Leonardo DiCaprio. A "Gossip Girl" producer remembered that Lively "had this thing where she had a doll that she took photos of that she sent to Leo," he told Vanity Fair.

Reynolds and Lively stayed in touch and fortuitously took the same train together to Boston one day. The actors quickly went from friends to lovers and soon after, the two bought a house together, Reynolds told "SmartLess."

Ryan Reynolds has another talent

Using his natural ability to entertain, it seems logical that Ryan Reynolds became an expert advertiser. He founded the Maximum Effort marketing company in 2018, the name a reference to a "Deadpool" catchphrase. Reynolds was responsible for the ads of several projects, like the "Deadpool" films, Mint Mobile, and Aviation Gin. One of his biggest hits was a Match.com ad featuring Satan looking for love, per TechCrunch

His first successful ad was with Aviation Gin, a company in the Pacific Northwest that he partly owned since 2018. The idea came after a viral Peloton Christmas ad became popular for all the wrong reasons. Some felt the character, played by Monica Ruiz, appeared to be forced to exercise on the gifted stationary bike. So, Reynolds connected with Ruiz to use this momentum to their advantage. Ruiz looks speechless in an Aviation Gin ad until a friend tells her, "you're safe here," before a cheers to new beginnings. "I just felt strongly that it would be a bit of digital judo, that she'd be taking this power back and repurposing it in a different way," Reynolds told Fast Company about the idea.

With Reynold's help, Aviation Gin became a tremendously popular spirit — so much that other companies wanted in. He sold the brand to the Diageo corporation in 2020 for $600 million, Adweek reported. As for Maximum Effort, the company merged with MNTN, a TV advertising platform, in 2021. Reynolds is listed as the Chief Creative Officer.

Ryan Reynolds reveals his fitness routine

Ryan Reynolds has long been comfortable with his shirt off, like when he went topless on the cover of "National Lampoon's Van Wilder." Reynolds then took it to another level when he became absolutely shredded for his role in the 2004 film "Blade: Trinity." It was the most Reynolds ever weighed, 207 pounds, yet he only had a minuscule 3.8 percent body fat. Even more impressive, Reynolds had to put in a lot of hard work to get the physique. "My body naturally wants to look like Dick Van Dyke," he told People. So, he focuses on eating well, even if he grew up on sugary cereal. Though he keeps a strict focus on his diet, Reynolds admitted he will always leave room for a slice of pizza when he's in New York. Reynolds also goes hard at the gym in order to prepare for his on-screen abs. He'll use: "all weights for two hours. No cardio at all; I can't run at all." As a result of his personality and looks, People named him the Sexiest Man Alive in 2010.

Reynold's long-time trainer Don Saladino says that even in his 40's, the actor seems to outdo himself in fitness preparation for every movie. "I can't take full credit because he has such a drive," Saladino told Esquire. Fans agree that the actor is only getting better with age, and as a result, People named him the Sexiest Dad Alive in 2020.

The inner struggle for Ryan Reynolds

According to Ryan Reynolds, he began to experience anxiety at a young age. "Trying to find ways to control others by trying to control myself" contributed to his mental state, he told Variety. Even after becoming a leading man and charming fans all around the world, Reynolds still confessed to rarely turning his mind off. He said filming "Deadpool" was especially taxing because he felt he owed it to fans to deliver the perfect movie. "The expectations were eating me alive," Reynolds confessed. As a result, he would rehearse lines over and over to nail the perfect punch line. What resulted in comedy often came at the expense of Reynold's well-being. Even though she was also filming a movie at the time, Reynolds admitted he was fortunate to have Blake Lively supporting him the entire time. "I'm lucky to have her around just to keep me sane," Reynolds said.

Diving into how his anxiety manifests, "I fixate on things" and "tend to bite off way more than I could or should chew," he explained to The Wall Street Journal. "That's sort of the engine of anxiety. I lay awake at night, wrapping and unwrapping every possible scenario," Reynolds added. To try and remove the stigma associated with revealing inner struggles, Reynolds posted on Instagram in 2021 for Mental Health Awareness Month. He called anxiety his "lifelong pal" and said this often drove him to be a workaholic, even at the detriment to his own health.

A joyous day for Ryan Reynolds turned controversial

The 2012 wedding between Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively seemed idyllic, fitting for their combined star power. Photos from the event in Charleston, South Carolina showed picture perfect desserts and flower arrangements, per Martha Stewart. Though the couple wanted to keep photos of themselves on their wedding day as private as possible, the ceremony sparked an intense debate years later. After Reynolds praised the first Black superhero in "Black Panther" on Twitter, some were quick to point out the incongruity with his actions in the past. "u got married on a plantation," a user responded in a private tweet, via BET. The fact referenced that the wedding took place at Boone Hall Plantation, a former site of slavery.

"What we saw at the time was a wedding venue on Pinterest," Reynolds told Fast Company. Then, "what we saw after was a place built upon devastating tragedy." Looking back, Reynolds called the decision to get married at Boone Hall "a giant f***ing mistake." He said the call out by fans forced him to further think about his actions in the future. The actor also apologized through a lengthy Instagram post. "We're ashamed that in the past we've allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is," Reynolds wrote. In addition to vowing to further educate themselves and teach their children about racism, plus vote in every local election, Reynolds and Blake Lively contributed $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

The charitable side of Ryan Reynolds

As big time celebs, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have been actively using their influence and resources to help others. For example, in 2019, the couple donated $1 million to both the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights. Through his marketing firm Maximum Effort, Reynolds also helped initiate campaigns for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, per Fast Company.

Reynold's support extended outside of America by helping Ukraine during its conflict with Russia in 2022. The actor and Blake Lively both pledged on Twitter to match up to $1 million of charitable contributions to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

After appearing as co-stars in the film "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," Reynolds and Hugh Jackman developed a special relationship. The two actors are friends who also make fun of each other on Twitter, per Buzzfeed. With this celebrity feud in mind, the two announced through a promotional video for Sam's Club that shoppers could vote to donate to the two charities picked by each actor, the Laughing Man Foundation for Jackman and the SickKids Foundation for Reynolds. After officially losing, Reynolds posted a video on Twitter of Jackman receiving the victorious news, with the caption, "Quite literally, I have a legal obligation to post this." The "Free Guy" director, Shawn Levy, who also directed Reynold's 2022 film "The Adam Project," said he hoped to reunite the star and Jackman to "make a big, fat bromance sandwich of a movie" (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Here's how much Ryan Reynolds is really worth

For all his work in film starting at a young age, plus side passions like part ownership in Aviation Gin and Mint Mobile, per CNN, Ryan Reynolds has collected impressive paychecks. As of 2022, he was worth an estimated $150 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

The actor used some of his money towards several motorcycles. Among his favorites are from the Triumph brand, including a custom 1964 Triumph 650 that he bought around 2012. "It's a work of art and magically, an incredibly comfortable ride," he told Forbes. This was quite a turnaround for how low on cash Reynolds was when he moved to Los Angeles after high school. After driving down from Vancouver, someone stole Reynold's Jeep on his first night in the city. As a result, he needed to drive to TV auditions during pilot season "with no doors and the stereo gone," Reynolds told Variety.

After finally earning the big bucks, Reynolds chose to live on the East Coast far away from the Hollywood lifestyle. He and Blake Lively both live in the countryside a little outside of New York City in Pound Ridge, New York. The power couple purchased the house for $2.35 million in 2012. The 1.8 acre estate is surrounded by trees and their neighbor is Martha Stewart, Haute Residence reported. The fit is perfect for Reynolds because he and Lively "don't lead a wild and crazy life," he told The Project (via People).