How Ryan Reynolds Used His Insecurities to Propel Himself to Stardom

One of the few actors to star in both a DC comics and Marvel movie, People magazine’s Sexiest Dad of 2016, and a Golden Globe nomination in 2017. The past 2 years have been nothing short of phenomenal for Ryan Reynolds as he continues to prove himself as an elite entertainer after taking Hollywood by storm. Making his acting debut in 1991, Reynolds enjoyed moderate success for the next 24 years. It was in 2016 when Reynolds amazed audiences and critics with his performance in Deadpool as the movies namesake, even earning himself a Golden Globe nomination.

Recently, Reynolds has just finished production in Vancouver for Deadpool 2 after Deadpool enjoyed so much success that it opened the box office in 2016 as the highest grossing R-rated film in history. With that being said, before the movie came out, Reynolds had expressed his interest in playing Deadpool for years after seeing that the character described his physical appearance as “a cross between Ryan Reynolds and a Shar Pei.”

As the youngest of 4 boys, Reynolds experienced his own growing pains. In his early childhood, Reynolds was extremely nervous and sensitive. While growing up with 3 older brothers, he almost certainly endured brotherly fights and insults which may have contributed to his vulnerabilities. Matters didn’t help as he failed his high school drama class. Eventually, Reynolds would find his niche in acting, using those same vulnerabilities to channel his skills as a performer and actor.

The first step in Reynolds realizing his dream was when he got his first acting offer, on the show Hillside, later renamed to Fifteen. The show was Canadian-based and filmed out of his hometown of Vancouver, but only lasted 4 seasons over 2 years. Reynolds getting his first acting gig was the moment that his sensitivity and insecurities as a child had rewarded his hard work. The show was based on teenage drama that included scenarios which focused on alcohol abuse, drug abuse, friendship, dating and divorce. After the show ended, Reynolds found himself struggling to find other opportunities. Upon completing high school, he worked several different jobs, including late shifts at the local supermarket.

The next step in realizing his fame was a big one as Reynolds and a friend moved to Los Angeles during the 1990s, where he earned a role on the sitcom Two Guys and a Girl (originally titled Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place). Although the show only lasted 2 seasons, Reynolds was able to use new found success and create a network of connections that led him to more roles including National Lampoon’s Van Wilder. Although the movie wasn’t received well from many different critics, it made a good return netting $38.3 million at the box office. For many years to come, Reynolds enjoyed moderate success, starring in films including Blade: Trinity and The Amityville Horror. In 2011, Reynolds was cast to play DC Comics superhero and titular character Green Lantern. The movie enjoyed a $219.9 million draw at the box office but received many negative reviews. However, things weren’t so bad for Reynolds as he met his wife (who also played the role of Green Lantern’s love interest), Blake Lively, on the set of the movie.

For the next few years Reynolds starred in several films including Buried and Safe House, but it wasn’t until 2016 that his love of labour came to fruition. Fox and Marvel Studios had finally reached an agreement that would bring controversial superhero Deadpool to the big screen. When it came to casting, Reynolds was a perfect and ideal fit as he’d portrayed Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but wasn’t really given a fair shake as the studios had written Deadpool off almost immediately. This was Reynolds’ chance to take his stardom to a whole new level. He already had the fame and success but never really had a classic movie that critics or fans could care much about. He, himself, had been trying to get Deadpool on the screen for years and here was his opportunity to ensure that the superhero would stay there for a while.

The reason Reynolds could accomplish so much is because he was unwilling to succumb to mediocrity. He used his insecurities as a tool to use in acting. His ability to provoke his own emotions while acting took him to where he is now. He could’ve given up after failing his high school drama class but he used that and his other shortcomings as motivation to become better. He was already a millionaire after 2004, but he strived to become better and never scoffed at the opportunities he had. Now in 2017, Deadpool is on screen and much like Iron Man with Robert Downey Jr., it impossible to imagine the red antihero without thinking about Ryan Reynolds.


Author: Manny Rao


 

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