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Ryan Reynolds Discusses Complicated Relationship with Late Father

Ryan Reynolds at the Los Angeles premiere of 'The Proposal' heldIt’s been a big weekend for Ryan Reynolds. His new movie, Deadpool, performed way better than expected and blew away the competition at the box-office. This is just the latest triumph in a happy time in the actor’s life. He and his wife, actress Blake Lively, became parents to daughter, James, last year and have taken up country living to escape the stresses associated with city life. Unfortunately, Reynolds suffered a personal loss that has been difficult to process.

Father’s Death

Last October, James C. Reynolds, lost his long-term battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 74 years old. In an interview with People, the Canadian star opened up about the death. He explained: “My dad left a lot of unanswered questions. Unless I can find a very upscale Ouija board, I have to accept there’ll be no answers. Our relationship never really mirrored the father-son dynamic I envied watching ’80s sitcoms but, in the end, it found its own version of closure in peace.”

Importance of Laughter

Reynolds recently revealed that his character in Deadpool helped him through the grieving process. “I understand the idea of filtering pain through a prism of comedy,” the actor explained. “I think this character does that quite well. He obviously takes it too far. He wakes up in the morning exclusively to annoy everyone around him. But for your average civilian like me, I think there’s something really relatable about that idea, that there’s something to be learned by taking life a little less seriously.”

Specifically, he pointed to Deadpool’s sense of humor as a great coping mechanism. He added: “Laughing can serve you in those dark moments and even help you crawl your way back out… In my dad’s dying moments, we were making him laugh. We were all in there together, me and my brothers, just joking with him. And of course we end up busting each other’s chops. I recommended that the doctor raise Dad’s dose of Dilaudid in order to make my other brother more tolerable.”

Ultimately, Reynolds says that the loss had helped make his family stronger. It helps, he says, that his father didn’t suffer and had a dignified, relatively peaceful death. “It wasn’t a bad way to go,” he said. “If I could have the same death as my father, I would do it right now.”

Focus on the Future

Losing his dad has made the 39-year-old reflect on being a father to 15-month-old James. It seems that, while he is doing well in Hollywood, he’s made his commitment to his wife and daughter a priority. In fact, it seems like he ends up talking about his little family every chance he gets. Hopefully, he will be able to have closure and heal so that he can avoid repeating any unhealthy cycles in the future.

Ryan Reynolds Discusses Complicated Relationship with Late Father

Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne has been a celebrity blogger for eight years and also teaches psychology at the college level. In addition to her passion for mental health, she is an avid reader, hockey fan and mother of four.

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APA Reference
Croteau, J. (2016). Ryan Reynolds Discusses Complicated Relationship with Late Father. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Feb 2016
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