Do you remember the first time you watched Ryan Reynolds on screen? Perhaps it was in the sitcom Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place; or cementing his leading wise-cracking funny man status with Van Wilder; or perhaps, if you’re quite young (but old enough to watch it), laughing at his foul-mouthed superhero, Deadpool.
Whichever it was, there’s no doubt that when you watched him, you loved him. With that in mind – and because he is the star of your Sunday night movie, Deadpool, on M-Net this weekend - we’re looking at nine reasons why Ryan Reynolds is awesome.
He’s been around the comedic block, and thrown in a rom-com or two along the way, but this is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best, and most beloved roles of his career. Deadpool makes full use of the exasperatingly charming and mischievous wit Reynolds plays so well.
We don’t just love Reynolds for portraying Deadpool so brilliantly, but also for his perseverance in making sure the film remained faithful to the character – particularly after fans were distressingly disappointed with the way he was written in X-Men Origins (where Reynolds made his first appearance as Wade Wilson/Deadpool).
- Loving Dogs
We don’t really need to explain this one do we? Practically anyone’s heart would melt at seeing a celebrity cuddle a dog – it somehow makes them more human and relatable (the celebrity, not the dog). Reynolds and his wife, Blake Lively, have a gorgeous dog called Billie. Check her out below.
- Being Funny (and Making Fun of Himself)
Reynolds doesn’t reserve his sharp, and often hysterically inappropriate, wit for his characters. He’s just as funny in real life and completely willing and able to make fun of himself, whether it’s in Deadpool (quote “Looks ARE everything..You think Ryan Reynolds got this far on a superior acting method?"), the movie’s honest trailer, The Family Guy, Ted, parodying The Notebook with Conan O'Brien, or on Twitter.
Speaking of Twitter, if you’re a tweeter and not following Reynolds we suggest you do so right now @VancityReynolds. He's witty, he's smart - basically he's everything we talk about in this article - and he's an expert at handling Twitter trolls by giving them as good as he gets. (As you can see, we've peppered the article with his tweets to give you an idea of the fun).
- Defying Social Convention
His celebrity persona makes it quite clear that he steers clear of playing Hollywood’s game (or maybe plays it better than anyone else), but he doesn’t stop there. He won’t let society tell him how to think/feel/act either: wanting to honour his late father, James, he named his daughter after him, even though it's traditionally considered a boy's name. When questioned about it, he made the astute observation that he and his wife are hardly the only people in Hollywood to do unusual things with their child’s name:
In the spectrum of weird celebrity baby names, I feel like we’re not really breaking any new ground here. I mean, I didn’t call her Summer Squash Meadow Lark, or something.
- Caring about the Planet
Not just an actor, but also an activist, Reynolds became interested in the environment in high school when he did an outdoor education programme, called TREK. The latter compressed the school curriculum into a few months, allowing the young Reynolds to spend the rest of the year outdoors learning about the environment. The programme sparked a love for environmentalism and these days the actor continues his passion for the planet by working with The Climate Reality Project, and becoming part of 24 Hours of Reality: The Road Forward. In a personal capacity, he’s solarised his home and bought an electric car, making him a man who puts his money where his mouth is.
- Being a Real Superhero
With the making and release of Deadpool, which focuses on a superhero with cancer, Reynolds became inundated with letters from children stricken with the disease who looked up to the character. Moved by what Deadpool meant to them he invited children to the set and, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, met Connor McGrath, a young cancer patient and Deadpool fan. Becoming fast friends with Reynolds, McGrath became the first fan to watch Deadpool when the actor flew to Alberta to show McGrath a rough cut of the film. Sadly, McGrath passed away last year; but Reynolds continues giving his time to foundations involved with researching life-threatening illnesses that afflict children.
- Being Nominated for Playing a Superhero
It is a rare thing indeed to be nominated, never mind win, a Golden Globe or Academy Award for playing a comic book character. But Reynolds did just that when he was nominated at this year’s Golden Globes for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for playing Deadpool.
- Having an Epic Hollywood Bromance
From Seth Rogen and James Franco to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, we love a good Hollywood bromance that bleeds from art into real life or vice versa. Reynolds and Hugh Jackman appeared together as Deadpool and Wolverine, respectively, in X-Men Origins, and particularly since the release of Deadpool, the two have had a good ol' time poking fun at each other. We’re not anticipating a Deadpool cameo in the upcoming Logan, but we’re desperately hoping that Jackman’s final hurrah as Wolverine will be in the Deadpool sequel, due for release next year.
This article is unmistakably Deadpoolish, so make sure you don’t miss the superhero comedy this Sunday, 15 January, at 20:30 on M-Net.
You may love Ryan Reynolds (who doesn’t), but if you’re not into superhero movies, we’ve saved the day with two other selections for your Sunday night movie: martial arts film Never Back Down: No Surrender at 21:00 on M-Net Movies Premiere or fencing drama The Fencer at 21:00 on M-Net Edge.