Ryan Reynolds is one of the most sought-after celebrity dads around. First of all, the guy is an uber-talented actor and producer who has appeared in a number of fantastic films. To his credit, he's also been the only great element in a number of less-than-fantastic films... ahem... ahem... ahem... X-Men Origins: Wolverine.... ahem... ahem... ahem... Green Lantern. Secondly, we all love the well-documented relationship with his baby-mama, Gossip Girl and Shallows star Blake Lively.
The pair have two children, James and Ines, and are expecting their third right at this very moment.
Even though many of Reynold's parenting antics are presented on social media for all of us to see, many of us still don't know a lot about his life before he had children. This article will delve into some of the most interesting and unknown facts about his life. But we should probably start off by saying that Reynolds was born in 1976 in Vancouver, Canada. And that he is the youngest of four brothers. We will, of course, talk about some of the earliest moments in this celebrity dad's life, but also some from adulthood. So, without further ado, here are 20 things most people don't know about Ryan Reynolds' life before kids.
Ryan Reynolds truly began to act when it was 13-years-old. This happened after he attended an open casting call and landed a lead role in Nickelodeon's Florida-shot teen soap opera, Hillside (aka Fifteen). It went from 1991 -1993 and was enough to start Reynolds in the industry. After he was done there to film the show, Reynolds returned to Vancouver and appeared in several TV movies and even had a recurring role in the CBC fantasy series, The Odyssey. All of this happened before he graduated from Kitsilano Secondary School in 1994. Funnily enough, the school isn't far away from Matrix star Carrie-Anne Moss' high school, Magee, and Seth Rogen's elementary school, Vancouver Talmud Torah, and high school, Point Grey. Yep, a lot of major stars come from Vancouver.
Before Ryan Reynolds even dreamed of becoming an actor, he was actually causally featured in a news article which depicted what kids do in the summer. Reynolds shared with his fans many years later. The image included was of a three-year-old Reynolds wadding in the Kits Community Centre pool. Hilariously, underneath the photo was the caption, “This is Ryan Reynolds, 3, and he’s enjoying the water at Kits Community Centre wading pool. Ryan lives at 2382 Oliver Cr. This playground and others have supervised programs for tots and kids in summer.” Of course, Reynolds was quick to point out that he was happy that newspapers no longer publish the addresses children... for obvious reasons.
After Alanis Morrissette and before Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds got into a whirlwind romance with the Black Widow herself, Scarlett Johansson. It's easy to forget about this given how short their relationship was. They met, fell for one another, got engaged, married, and then swiftly divorced. After he had split from Morissette, paparazzi spotted Reynolds with Johansson a mere two months later. During their time together, both A-Listers kept things on the down-low. They were rarely spotted at events together and almost never caught by the paparazzi. For two attractive people in the public eye, they truly managed to keep their relationship to themselves. Unfortunately, it ended almost as quickly as it started.
Before we get into this little-known fact about Ryan Reynolds, we have to take a moment to talk about this image. Could there possibly be a photo that truly represents how wonderful Reynolds is more so than this one? How could anything beat a young Reyn Reynolds holding a fish while wearing a full denim outfit with the fly wide open? Seriously, this is just hilarious. It seems like Reynolds was always charismatic and born to be a comedy and action icon. Ironically, Reynolds didn't pass his drama class in elementary school. Soon after, he would act professionally, probably doing more noteworthy work than the teacher who flunked him has ever done.
In recent years, Ryan Reynolds has been open about his challenging relationship with his father, James Reynolds. He described his dad as a "tough guy" who wasn't able to connect with him on any level. Although he provided for his family, James Reynolds was very difficult on his boys, especially his youngest, Ryan. Because of this, Ryan Reynolds says that he developed anxiety and has struggled with this all of his life. Apparently, his father was especially triggering for him, since Ryan stopped speaking with him for more than a decade. Luckily, Reynolds has managed to find ways of dealing with these feelings, mostly through exercise, which would explain his fit physique.
In 2008, Ryan Reynolds starred in Fireflies in the Garden, which co-starred Julia Roberts, Willem Dafoe, and Carrie-Anne Moss. This movie depicted the fractured relationship between a father and son and very much reflect the real-life relationship between Ryan and his father. But in recent years, their relationship got much better. This was due to his wife, Blake Lively, who encouraged Ryan to have a relationship with his father so that their first-born could know who grandfather was. The pair reconciled in 2015, thanks to the encouragement of his wife. This allowed Reynold's father to meet his grandchild. Unfortunately, James Reynolds passed on shortly after this.
Before Blake Lively was even a relevant name in Hollywood, Ryan Reynolds started dating Alanis Morissette, an incredibly popular singer, and musician, especially during the 1990s. The pair began dating in 2002 after they met at Drew Barrymore's birthday party. In 2004, the two were engaged and spotted everywhere together. But they went their separate ways in February 2007 and apparently it wasn't pleasant. Morissette has since said that her 2008 album, Flavors of Entanglement, contains a number of songs about her time with Reynolds. Specifically, the song "Torch" is aimed directly at Reynolds. The two stars, both from Canada, apparently can't be in the same room as one another.
Long before their Marvel mutant rivalry, Ryan Reynolds got Hugh Jackman's public blessings. Jackman had struck up a friendship with Scarlett Johansson after the pair starred opposite each other in Woody Allen's Scoop, which was followed by Christopher Nolan's The Prestige. So, when Jackman heard that his friend had gotten into a relationship with Ryan Reynolds, he had to do some investigating. While promoting his movie Deception in 2009, Jackman told Entertainment Tonight Canada, “Both my wife Deborra-Lee Furness and I are very proprietary about Scarlett, but Ryan gets a big thumbs up from me! I'm giving my blessing -- Ryan is phenomenal." Unfortunately, their marriage didn't work out, but Jackman remained friends with both of them none-the-less.
Luckily for Blake Lively, we know that Ryan Reynolds did decide to get married again. But after he went his separate ways from mega-star Scarlett Johansson, he actually vowed to never get married again. Apparently, the split was very emotionally taxing on both of them. Sure, it wasn't super public, but something went down between them that truly affect them. Some claim it had to do with the rivalry that existed between these two stars, but we can't know for sure; nor is it any of our business. The point is, Reynolds was NOT happy after this split. Still, only two years later, Reynolds decided to marry his Green Lantern co-star. So, we gather he reevaluated his feelings.
Before his trade-marked good looks and acting ability, it's Reynold's quick wit that he is most known for. But this snarky, fast-paced, often self-deprecating sense of humor took a long time to develop. After his first couple roles on Fifteen, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Odyssey, Reynolds was offered the character of Xander in Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer but he turned it down in favor of the role of medical school student Berg in the ABC sitcom Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. It was on this series that he developed his quick wit, as well as his gifts for mimicry and imbecilic bumbling qualities. These gifts were later developed in National Lampoon's Van Wilder, which earned Reynolds an MTV Movie Award nomination for breakthrough male performance. This cemented his persona as a charismatic quick-witted smart aleck.
Ryan Reynolds first met his future baby-mama, Blake Lively while shooting the less than stellar, Green Lantern. At this time, they were both dealing with the splits from their respective partners. Lively was with her Gossip Girl co-star Penn Badgley and Reynolds was with Scarlett Johannson. During the filming of the movie, they grew close but didn't solidify their relationship until some time after. The pair had actually become good friends and wanted to set one another up. So this is precisely what they did. But while they were on a double-date, they started to fall for one another; which seems like the plot of every romantic comedy ever. After this, they started to date and quickly became an item.
Although Ryan Reynold's relationship to Blake Lively is almost always in the press now, it certainly wasn't when the pair first started to date all the way up until they had their low-key wedding in South Carolina. the pair tied the knot on September 2nd, 2012, at a plantation. The event was planned, in part, by lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, who knew both of them socially. Apparently, Reynolds and Lively just couldn't handle planning the event and asked their friend if they could hire her. There are no photos from the event that are online, but we do know that Florence and the Machine's Florence Welch performed at the reception. So, basically, it was a star-studded event.
On Britain's The Graham Norton Show, Ryan Reynolds told the hilarious story of how he used to ride the wrong bus as a child just so he could sit next to a girl that he had a thing for. Apparently, Reynolds was nowhere near as smooth and cool as he is today. After all, the guy has been with both Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively, two of the most charismatic, beautiful, and talented women around. When he was 11-years-old, Reynolds had a thing for this girl named Fiona from his school. Every day after school he would take the bus with her. Except, her bus went in the complete opposite direction as the one he should have taken home. When he finally got the courage to talk to her, the bus doors closed on his backpack and started to drive off. Yeah, not very smooth at all.
Although Ryan Reynold's parents definitely knew and somewhat supported his love of acting, they had no idea that he left for L.A. While Ryan was going to school at Kwantlen, just outside of Vancouver, he decided to pack his things and continue his acting life down south. He decided to drop out of college and pursue what he had spent much of his younger years doing full time. Reynolds worked multiple jobs in order to save up for Los Angeles and did this without the help of his parents, who he didn't want to know about his decision. When they did find out, he was already settled in Los Angeles. This was a pretty courageous move, but clearly, it paid off for him.
Although Ryan Reynolds started acting pretty young, he didn't make enough money to support himself. After graduating high school, Ryan was encouraged to take classes at Kwantlen College while he made a few bucks being a busboy at a restaurant in Kits, a place that now has some of the better places to eat in Vancouver. Reynolds claims that he was working for a very mean boss who could have been involved in some underground activities. Reynolds did this during the day and then later did the graveyard shift at a grocery store. However, this job was better than his day job, since he spent most of the time throwing fruit at his coworkers. This is how he made enough money to move down to L.A. to pursue acting full time.
When he was 19-years-old, Ryan Reynolds went skydiving for the 13th time. He was once very excited to do things like this, but not after this "lucky number 13". Unfortunately, this event caused him to be wary of flying in general as it didn't go well. After jumping out of the airplane, his main parachute malfunctioned, sending him plummeting through the air. As he descended, he wasn't sure if he should pull the reserve chute in order to stop himself from spinning out of control. Essentially, he didn't want to let go of the last chute he had. Eventually, he did this but landed seven or eight miles away from the actual drop zone, barely coming out of the situation okay. After this, he isn't a fan of all the aerial work he has to do in his action movies or fly in an airplane for that matter.
Ryan Reynolds has almost always been very consistent when it comes to his feelings about how he looked in his twenties. In short, Reynolds believes that his most awkward stage in life was that decade in his life. He didn't think he had any looks until after he was 28/29/30-years-old. Many would disagree with him but others might see his point. During an interview, after he was asked about aging, Ryan Reynolds went on to say, "I recently saw a picture from when I was just a pup — maybe 20 or 21 years old. And I look pretty bad. I've got some weird facial hair, and my hair is glopped with about six pounds of gel. So I really don't shy away from aging at all. I love getting older."
Many individuals, celebrity or otherwise, go through moments in their lives when they think they should get a tattoo that they should absolutely NOT have. At the moment they get it, they want it, but down the line, it becomes a moment of regret. Hindsight is 20/20, after all. Well, Ryan Reynolds is certainly one of these people. Over a decade ago, Reynolds wanted to honor the hometown that he was raised in and got a tattoo of a famous landmark in Vancouver's world-renowned Stanley Park on his body. Reynolds calls this moment a "fleeting moment of stupidity." He thinks this tattoo just looks like a bumper sticker attached to his body. One that he has troubles getting off.
Every individual has a time in their life when they were less sure of themselves as they may be now. Ryan Reynolds is no exception. He claims that before his children, he wasn't nearly as content with his life or even sure of the man that he is today. Because he had children, as well as got into a relationship with the right woman, Reynolds admits that he was pushed to embrace the fact that he's both smart and an "idiot." Being a father has made him come into himself as he has to be fully present in order to look after, guide, and even entertain his children. We're extremely happy that Reynolds has reached this stage and can see that his wife and children are the reason he feels this way.
Despite becoming an A-list actor and producer, Ryan Reynold's grew up with parents who had decidedly ordinary jobs. He lived in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver, Canada, which is now a pretty trendy and established neighborhood full of shops, a beach, and expensive old homes reflective of the time Ryan grew up. It's unlikely that his parents could afford to live there in today's climate, as they had middle-class jobs. Reynold's father was a police officer and his mother was a retail salesperson. His parents were part of the Catholic Church and raised a total of four boys, all of which cost money. Of course, Reynolds and his brothers managed to out-earn their parents, making it likely that they could live anywhere they so pleased nowadays.
Sources: TheCanadianEncyclopedia, ParentsDome, Us Magazine, SFGate, Georgia Straight, Buzzfeed, The Independent, Screen Rant, E Online, MSN, Elle, GQ