Ryan Reynolds will go down in Hollywood history as one of the hunkiest heartthrobs, and he’s held that celebrity status in showbiz for decades now. The legendary actor, producer, and businessman has experienced success in all aspects of his life, and he credits his Canadian upbringing for shaping him into a loving man.
“You may be able to dig up a lot of sources who will deny this, but I’m polite,” the Deadpool actor joked with Elle in March 2017. “Generally, I care for other people. I always say ‘excuse me,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘I’m sorry.'”
Before he became a Hollywood heavyweight, Reynolds grew up in Vancouver, Canada. The youngest of four boys, who was born on Oct. 23, 1976, Reynolds was raised by his parents, dad James Chester Reynolds and mom Tammy Reynolds (via Biography).
Growing up, Reynolds described himself as a “really nervous kid,” he shared with GQ magazine (via Celeb Pulse). “I was extremely sensitive … I was so aware of everything around me.” Therefore, Reynolds sought an escape through theater, and at the age of 12, he landed his first professional acting job. Reynolds was cast in the Canadian teen drama Fifteen from 1991 to 1993.
Since then, Reynolds’ fame and fortune has skyrocketed ten-fold. In addition to his Golden Globe-nominated acting career, Reynolds has established himself as a gin connoisseur. The beloved hunk’s journey only seems to get more impressive as the years go on, and his transformation truly encapsulates how captivating Reynolds’ life is.
Ryan Reynolds works hard to break out in show business
Following his acting debut in Fifteen, Ryan Reynolds struggled to get his career off the ground. He was cast in a few small roles, including a guest spot on The X-Files in 1996. After moving to Los Angeles with a friend in the late 1990s, according to Biography, he landed his first major TV role in 1998 when he was cast in Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place.
Following the sitcom’s wrap after season 3 in 2001, Reynolds transitioned his focus to films. He starred as Van Wilder in the 2002 comedy National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, followed by Buying the Cow that same year, The In-Laws in 2003, Blade: Trinity in 2004, and The Amityville Horror in 2005 (via IMDb). Despite appearing in some relative flops, Reynolds garnered quite the popularity.
By 2007, he was named “Sexiest Renaissance Man” in People magazine’s “Sexiest People” issue (via Pop Expresso). The title not only catapulted his celebrity status, but he cemented himself as a household name. His charming good looks were center stage in Definitely, Maybe, when he starred as Will Hayes in the 2008 romantic comedy film.
Ryan Reynolds becomes a household name
In 2009, Ryan Reynolds’ film career took off. After years of appearing in his fair share of box office blunders, he earned his A-list status when he played the mercenary Deadpool in the mega-hit flick X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The American superhero film, which is the fourth installment of the X-Men film series based on the Marvel Comics fictional characters, also starred Hugh Jackman, Dafne Keen, Liev Schreiber, Svetlana Khodchenkova, and more.
The following year, Reynolds starred opposite Sandra Bullock in the oh-so-romantic comedy The Proposal. His résumé continued to flourish as he portrayed an American working in Iraq who gets kidnapped and buried alive in 2010’s Buried. The star proved he has what it takes to dominate dramas, but Reynolds also showed off his comedic talents in 2011’s The Change-Up with Jason Bateman. That same year, he appeared on the big screen in The Green Lantern.
At the time Reynolds starred in The Green Lantern, however, he was yearning to create a film based on his own X-Men character. The actor recalled how he “wrote a letter” to an executive at Fox expressing how he wanted to “make Deadpool,” but at the time, it was not ideal for the company. “They said, ‘Unfortunately, we can’t green-light that movie, and I don’t think it’s gonna ever get green-lit,'” Reynolds recalled to GQ in November 2016. “So I was like, ‘OK, I’m gonna go move on with my life, then, I guess.'”
Ryan Reynolds meets Blake Lively
While working on The Green Lantern, Ryan Reynolds’ love life took a turn when he was cast alongside Blake Lively. At the time, the actor was married to his first wife, Scarlett Johansson, whom he wed in 2008. Lively, on the other hand, was also in a relationship with her former Gossip Girl co-star, Penn Badgley.
Months after the film’s June 2010 premiere, however, E! News reported Lively and Badgley broke up in October. Two months later, in December, Reynolds and Johansson announced their divorce. “After long and careful consideration on both our parts, we’ve decided to end our marriage,” their rep told TMZ. “We entered our relationship with love and it’s with love and kindness we leave it. While privacy isn’t expected, it’s certainly appreciated.”
Both Reynolds and Lively were fresh out of relationships, but they did not rush into anything when it came to their own romance. In fact, the two were just “buddies” for “about a year after Green Lantern had come and gone,” Reynolds recalled during a chat with Entertainment Weekly in February 2016 (via Time).
“I remember it was funny because … we were both single. We went on a double date. She was on a date with another guy, and I was on a date with another girl,” the star reminisced. “That was the most awkward date [from their perspective] probably because we were just like fireworks coming across.”
Things get pretty serious between Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively
After establishing a connection with Blake Lively on the big screen, things got more serious between the A Simple Favor actor and Ryan Reynolds. The Golden Globe nominee said he knew he was falling in love with Lively after a date night in New York City. Reynolds recalled the sweet memory to GQ.
“We were hanging out at this little restaurant in Tribeca that’s open really late, and this song came on and I was just like, ‘Want to dance?'” he shared in November 2019. “No one was in there, so it was just totally empty. And it was just one of those moments where halfway through the dance, it was like, ‘Oh, I think I just crossed a line.’ And then I walked her home. And, uh, you know, I don’t really need to go into what happened after that.”
From then, Reynolds and Lively hid their relationship under the radar, but People reported the two were “very much a couple” and “really happy together” in October 2011. Less than a year later, in September 2012, the lovebirds secretly married in a private ceremony in South Carolina, according to Insider. Reynolds and his blonde beauty kept a tight-lip on their romance up until they made their red carpet debut as a married couple at the 2014 Met Gala.
Ryan Reynolds experiences fatherhood and fame from Deadpool
After making their first red carpet debut at the 2014 Met Gala, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively got a little more comfortable sharing details about their personal lives. In October of that year, the Age of Adaline star announced the news that she was pregnant with their first child on her former blog site, Preserve.
Lively shared a post titled, “Preserve Celebrations: Falling for family,” which featured the then-expecting mom cradling her growing baby bump. “Today we celebrate [family],” the message read, according to Hello! “Congratulations to all the expecting mothers out there.” By December, the lovebirds were officially parents. However, the news was not revealed until early 2015. In January, Page Six revealed Lively gave birth to their daughter, James Reynolds, near their Bedford, N.Y. home.
As Reynolds adjusted to his new role as a dad, there was no shortage of work when it came to his Hollywood profession. In 2016, he starred in his long-awaited film Deadpool, which became one of the highest-grossing R-rated features of all time, according to The Guardian. His role garnered a Golden Globe nomination and led to the film’s second installment, Deadpool 2, in 2018. In November 2020, Deadline confirmed Deadpool 3 was in the works.
Ryan Reynolds proves he can do it all
In recent years, Ryan Reynolds has excelled at balancing his showbiz career, life as a father, and his title of one of Hollywood’s hottest hunks. His days have only gotten busier, though, as he has continued to pick up more gigs and projects. He has even added a couple more kids to his family!
Reynolds and Lively welcomed their second child, Inez Reynolds, in 2016 (via Vogue), followed by their youngest, Betty Reynolds, in 2019. Us Weekly confirmed the news of baby No. 3’s arrival that summer in October of the same year.
While Reynolds has surely had his hands full, his professional work has only prospered. In addition to starring in his latest films, including 2021’s Free Guy, 2020’s The Croods: A New Age, and 2019’s Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Reynolds has also dedicated his time to his work as a businessman. In 2018, he tested out his talents in the alcohol game when he signed on as the creative director and co-owner of Aviation Gin (via Distractify). He also heads the fledgling advertising agency Maximum Effort, which continues to churn out hilarious commercials for his other passion project as owner of Mint Mobile.
So how does he manage it all? “For me, it’s really about prioritizing,” Reynolds said in May 2018 (via Yahoo! Life), noting his family will always come before his career. “I never want to be on my deathbed, and look back and just go, ‘Oh, I missed out.’ I love being with my kids.”
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