Hollywood’s Most Lovable Star
By Lee Parham
For over 30 years, Ryan Reynolds has charmed his way to the peak of Hollywood stardom as he earned his status as one of the industry’s most beloved leading actors
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Ryan Reynolds is the youngest of four boys and the son of James Chester Reynolds, a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman, and Tamara Lee Reynolds, a retail saleswoman.
Even though Reynolds wasn’t born into an acting family, he showed an interest in performing at a young age. He began acting at 13 and debuted on the Canadian soap opera Hillside in 1991.
Hillside was distributed in America by Nickelodeon and retitled as Fifteen. Despite a four season run and a springboard for Reynolds career, he later admitted not enjoying filming the production.
Reynolds briefly flirted with quitting acting altogether and enrolling in college, but his Hillside co-star Chris William Martin convinced him to stick it out and move to Hollywood at age 19.
This move would end up paying major dividends for Reynolds as he eventually landed roles in American films. Before moving to California, Reynolds starred in the minor Canadian movie Ordinary Magic.
The late 1990s saw Reynolds dive into American comedy cinema, with films such as The Alarmist, Coming Soon, Dick, and Boltneck in supporting roles.
After a slew of smaller parts, Reynolds finally got the opportunity to prove himself as a leading man in comedy powerhouse National Lampoon’s movie Van Wilder as the titular character.
While Van Wilder was ultimately panned by critics, the movie gained a cult following and cemented Reynolds as a viable lead after his performance as the 7th year senior refusing to graduate.
After a number of additional comedy roles, Reynolds made his first foray into action and comic book films, playing the character Hannibal King in Marvel’s Blade Trinity alongside Wesley Snipes.
The majority of the 2000s saw Reynolds in more comedy films like Just Friends, Definitely Maybe, Adventureland, The Proposal, and Paper Man.
Reynolds was cast as the beloved Merc with a Mouth Wade Wilson/Deadpool in 2009’s X-Men Origins Wolverine, however this interpretation of the character was poorly received and loathed by fans.
Unfortunately, Reynolds' next attempt portraying a popular comic book character didn’t go so well either. This time the iconic DC hero Hal Jordan/Green Lantern was made into a disastrous 2011 effort.
However, Ryan Reynolds received superhero film redemption in 2016 with the reboot of Deadpool. Now R-rated, Reynolds was fully able to accurately bring the character to life while fans rejoiced.
Deadpool spawned a sequel (with another coming), and Reynolds became the go to action comedy star, with films like R.I.P.D., The Hitman’s Bodyguard, 6 Underground, and Hobbs and Shaw.
Reynolds has even tapped his foot into voice acting, most notably playing Pikachu in the Pokémon film Detective Pikachu along with Dreamworks animated movies Turbo and The Croods.
Most recently you can see Reynolds in Free Guy as Guy, a non player character in a huge video game who becomes self aware of his existence and tries to become the hero of his own story.
From humble beginnings in Vancouver to a comedy legend and an eventual action star, the career of Ryan Reynolds took many twists and turns to his eventual success as the beloved leading man.