×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jake Gyllenhaal on How Ryan Reynolds Built the House of Deadpool

For Variety’s latest issue, we asked Jake Gyllenhaal to write a tribute to Ryan Reynolds, one of 50 people to make our New Power of New York list. Here’s why Reynolds, the star of “Deadpool,” represents a new generation of movers and shakers that capture the best of Manhattan. For the full list, click here.

I first met Ryan many years ago, and he struck me immediately as quick and warm and thoughtful, a gentleman in an era of foppish putzes, the unlikely love child of Mel Brooks and Dorothy Parker and Gary Cooper. He was also taller than me. Against my wishes, we became close friends.

Audiences got to know Ryan a bit through his work in a string of romantic comedies. He was undoubtedly charming and handsome (annoying), but he never quite had the space to fire on all cylinders. What we all want for our friends in this business is for the world to see what we see, and as actors, that only happens in a perfect storm of timing and the full luck. After years of waiting and struggling to fit his unfortunate, pear-shaped physique into the skinny jeans of a conventional romantic lead, Ryan made his own luck with “Deadpool.”

Ryan built the house of Deadpool brick by brick, constructing a space that inspired him and let him stretch to every corner of the room. The remarkable success of “Deadpool” may have shocked the suits who took a chance on financing that ragtag superhero movie, but for the people who know and love Ryan, it was no surprise that the whole damn world rallied as soon as it had the chance to really see him: all of the edges and darkness, the crackerjack wit borne from a lifetime of sensitivity and sadness, and against all odds, the openness.

But make no mistake about it: For all of the effortlessness that Ryan projects, the man works tirelessly. He writes all night so he can be present for his kids and wife all day (and thanks to Aviation gin, he can pull off the latter).

So often — too often — the wildly talented people of our world funnel the lion’s share of their energy into their work, but as good a writer and comedian as Ryan is, he is a better friend and father and husband. And that, for me, is the true mark of power.

Jake Gyllenhaal is the founder of Nine Stories Prods. He can next be seen in Paul Dano’s directorial debut, “Wildlife.”

More Ryan Reynolds:

More Film

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' No Match for China's 'Wandering Earth' Overseas

    Hollywood movies like “Alita: Battle Angel” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” are doing respectable business overseas, but they’re proving no match for foreign titles at the international box office. The Chinese New Year is bringing in huge business in the Middle Kingdom. China’s sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth” pulled in a [...]

  • ABA_062_DAU_0060_v0409.87501 – Rosa Salazar stars as

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' Wins Dismal President's Day Weekend

    Fox’s sci-fi adventure “Alita: Battle Angel” dominated in North America, but its opening weekend win isn’t leaving the box office with much to celebrate. Tracking services estimate that this will be one of the lowest grossing President’s Day weekends in years. Ticket sales are on pace to be the smallest bounty for the holiday frame [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content