Admittedly, Ryan Reynolds didn’t have the easiest upbringing.
The Deadpool 2 star grew up in a lower-middle-class family in Vancouver, the youngest of four boys. As Reynolds tells Mr. Porter, he had a “complicated” and “fractured” relationship with his late father, whom he describes as “a former cop, former boxer, full-time landmine.” His father, who died in 2015 after battling Parkinson’s disease, was “good in many ways,” but he was “tough,” too. “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,” he recalls. “I know that, throughout my life, I’ve dealt with anxiety in different ways.”
Reynolds wouldn’t wish his anxiety “on anyone,” but he believes it’s also a “great” fuel. “I mean, my God, it’s the anti- complacency pill, but it’s also something that you need to manage.” The actor tends to “get pretty depressed,” but exercise helps him cope. “Otherwise, I start to get a little bummed. For me, it is more psychological. Exercise is a means of expelling those demons.”
And the actor has always relied on comedy to ease his anxieties. “I’ll look for the joke in things so that I don’t look for the sadness and the grief,” he says. In that regard, Reynolds adds, “My brothers and I are all very, very close,” and they “all share a bit of that type of humor together.”
(The actor first opened up about his struggles with anxiety in The New York Times.)
Reynolds had a falling out with his father, but his wife, Blake Lively, encouraged him to repair their relationship before he passed away. According to the actor, “She has a gift for foresight.”
After their reconciliation, the couple named their first daughter after his father. “It felt right,” Reynolds says. “All family relationships come with some complications. For better or worse, all roads lead to here. At the end of the day, it’s easier to focus on the good stuff than the bad. My father died soon after my daughter was born, but he got to see her, which makes me happy.” The couple’s second daughter was born in the fall of 2016, Reynolds is now surrounded by female energy. “I love being a dad,” he gushes. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”