Without his recent screen success, Ryan Reynolds most popular movie role may have actually killed his career. After back to back fan failures in Green Lantern and as Deadpool in Wolverine: Origins, Reynolds might have been on the way out … then Deadpool saved him. The profane, violent and riotously funny rated R film about Marvel Comics’ Merc With a Mouth was pitch perfect, earning Reynolds a Golden Globe nomination. Suddenly, Reynolds was everywhere, a new Hollywood golden boy.
He even got a nod from Harvard’s “Hasty Pudding Theatricals,” a student group that recently named Reynolds its Man of the Year. The criteria? A “lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment.” Ryan Reynolds? Really? Yes, really. Check out his credits, and you soon realize that, long before Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds was That Guy in That Movie. His credits include voice work in The Croods and Turbo, as well as uncredited cameos in popular Millennial farces Ted and A Million Ways to Die in the West.
Following his success as Deadpool, Reynolds turned into a generation’s favorite leading man by being both hilarious online and making the rounds of the talk shows as Mr. Blake Lively. Reynolds and Lively might be a surprising “it” couple to older generations, but there’s no question in the minds of Reynolds’ core fan group. After the success of Deadpool and a surprise turn in Criminal, Reynolds’ options blew wide open. He’s scheduled to appear on the big screen soon in Deadpool 2, The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Life. This career trajectory likely contributed to the Harvard group’s glowing review of his career: “Ryan Reynolds is one of Hollywood’s most diverse leading men seamlessly transitioning through varied genres of drama, action and comedy in his rich and ever-evolving career…”
Reynolds joins an august company of previous Man of the Year award winners including last year’s honoree, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and previous winners Bob Hope, Warren Beatty, Paul Newman, Peter Faulk, Johnny Carson, Bill Murray, Sean Connery, and Robin Williams. That’s quite a group, and if you asked Reynolds, he would probably say he’s reluctant to admit belonging. But that’s part of his charm, the understated charisma that has made the Canadian actor such a breakout star.
And, when you take a second look, Reynolds really is responsible for his own career resurrection. The titular Deadpool movie was something the actor pushed and worked on for years. There was a long time when he was really the only person in Hollywood who wanted that movie to get made. But Reynolds didn’t give up. Like Sylvester Stallone, who shopped Rocky while demanding he be cast in the title role, Reynolds said he was born to play Deadpool. Then the movie was filmed … and he proved it. Since then, Reynolds has proven to be more than a merciless mutant mercenary. He’s lived up to the career he’s created, and he has fans eager to see what he’ll come up with next.
He is represented by entertainment PR firm 42 West.