Ryan Reynolds opens up on difficult relationship with late dad in new Welcome to Wrexham documentary

·2-min read
Ryan Reynolds has opened up about his strained relationship with his father  (Getty Images for The Met Museum)
Ryan Reynolds has opened up about his strained relationship with his father (Getty Images for The Met Museum)

Ryan Reynolds has recalled how the sports field was the only place he felt he “received validation” from his late dad, James.

The Canadian actor, 45, opens up about his strained relationship with his parent in new documentary Welcome To Wrexham, with the first two episodes set to premiere on Disney+ on Thursday.

The 18-part series documents Ryan’s decision to co-buy Wrexham football club with fellow Hollywood star Rob McElhenney, as they attempt to revive the fifth-tier side and win promotion to return them to the English Football League (EFL).

James died in 2015 following a 20-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Ryan Reynolds and wife Blake Lively cheering on Wrexham at one of their football matches (The FA via Getty Images)
Ryan Reynolds and wife Blake Lively cheering on Wrexham at one of their football matches (The FA via Getty Images)

While almost two decades have passed, Ryan admitted that the quest to please him “doesn’t really go away,” saying he still views the former cop as a “hard-a***.”

He said: “The main place I got validation for my father was I was good at sports, so I played sports long past the point where I was really driven to do sports.

“It carried on all through showbusiness, an unquenchable quest for validation. My father has been dead for years but that stuff doesn’t really go away.”

This is not the first time that he has touched on the subject.

New documentary Welcome to Wrexham follows Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney as they attempt to  revive the fifth-tier side, Wrexham, and win promotion to return them to the English Football League (Getty Images)
New documentary Welcome to Wrexham follows Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney as they attempt to revive the fifth-tier side, Wrexham, and win promotion to return them to the English Football League (Getty Images)

Ryan - who is the youngest of four brothers - has previously said that growing up at home with his dad was “never a relaxing or easy” experience and led to him suffering from anxiety.

As a result, the Deadpool 2 actor and his siblings would use humour as a means of escaping the “sadness and the grief” of reality.

He told Mr Porter magazine: “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.”