'Deadpool' star Ryan Reynolds opens up about his struggle with crippling anxiety
Ryan Reynolds is one of the funniest celebrities on social media. He constantly trolls his wife, Blake Lively, and even takes cracks at other celebrities. When Hugh Jackman tweeted a photo celebrating twenty years of marriage with his wife, Ryan responded: "I gave this 3 months. Tops. I was wrong."
However, the hilarious Deadpool actor got serious in a new interview with The New York Times. He spoke about his daily struggles with anxiety, which is something you wouldn't expect from a handsome, rich, witty movie star. "I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety," said Ryan. "Both in the lighthearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun."
Forty million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. However, many people do not pursue mental health treatment. In many communities, therapy is still a taboo, and some people remain in denial that that need help. When huge stars like Ryan speak up, it's important because it lets others know that they're not alone.
In the interview, the actor explained that he suffered from anxiety while growing up. His father and three brothers would often get into "screaming matches," and trying to play peacekeeper took its toll. "I became this young skin-covered micro manager," said Ryan. "When you stress out kids, there’s a weird paradox that happens because they’re suddenly taking on things that aren’t theirs to take on."
In an essay for Time, Ryan described his father as an intimidating man with a volatile personality. As a result, the two had a complicated relationship:
"Growing up my father was – at least in our eyes – the toughest man alive: a former cop, former boxer and full-time landmine. He worked tirelessly to provide for his family and in return, you were expected to do what he said, often before he said it. It was a somewhat impossible situation for any normally functioning nervous system. In a word, he was scary."
The highly anticipated sequel to Deadpool hits theaters in a couple weeks. On the press tour, Ryan's making several appearances in character, which he did during the first movie's press tour as well. In the New York Times interview, he explains that playing the smart-arse antihero helps get rid of his anxiety:
"When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead, and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set. That’s that great self-defense mechanism. I figure if you’re going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly."
It's great to see Ryan Reynolds join other celebrities, such Demi Lovato, in honestly discussing mental health. Now he can get back to what he does best: trolling his rage-filled wife, who rudely kicked him out of the house.