Ryan Reynolds: 'My father was a tough guy ex-cop - it was like living with a landmine'

Alistair Foster 
Guy Aroch for MRPORTER.COM

Ryan Reynolds has opened up about his difficult relationship with his late father, describing him as a “former cop, former boxer, full-time landmine”.

The 41-year-old Deadpool star’s father Jim died in 2015 after a 20-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Reynolds said their fraught relationship gave him anxiety which led him to using humour as a coping mechanism, and admitted he often suffers from depression.

The actor, the youngest of four boys, told Mr Porter that when he was growing up in Canada he felt “less like a little brother and more like a moving target”.

Opening up: Ryan Reynolds discusses his upbringing (Guy Aroch for MRPORTER.COM)

He described his relationship with his father as “complicated” and “fractured” and said it left him “twitchy” as a child.

He added: “My dad was a tough guy. He was good in many ways as well, but he was tough on us.

'Complicated': Ryan Reynolds on family life (Guy Aroch for MRPORTER.COM)

“This is not meant to be some sob story — everyone carries their own bag of rocks around and I am no different in that regard — but growing up in my house, it was never relaxing or easy and I know that, throughout my life, I’ve dealt with anxiety in different ways.”

He said: “My brothers and I are all very, very close and we all share a bit of that type of humour together. I’ll look for the joke in things so that I don’t look for the sadness and the grief.

Family: Ryan Reynolds with mother Tammy and father Jim (Rex)

“I tend to get pretty depressed and I have some issues with anxiety and things like that."

Reynolds revealed that he exercises daily “otherwise, I start to get a little bummed,” adding: “For me, it is more psychological. Exercise is a means of expelling those demons.

“I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but anxiety is also a great fuel. I mean, my God, it’s the anti-complacency pill, but it’s also something that you need to manage.”

Reynolds, who is married to Hollywood actress Blake Lively, with whom he has two young daughters James and Ines, said he is happy with ageing even as a leading actor — though stunts get harder as he gets older.

He said: “One hundred per cent, I’ve always enjoyed getting a little bit older. You never bemoan a birthday. I like it. It’s getting a little bit more difficult with the stunt work stuff.

“I find that landing on cement isn’t hilarious any more. But I’ve been injury-free for a while, knock on wood. As I’ve gotten older, I’m more comfortable with who I am.”

Read the full interview at MrPorter.com later this month.