Ryan Reynolds Opens Up About Struggles With Anxiety

In recent interview with the New York Times, Ryan Reynolds admitted that he has problems with anxiety.

"I have anxiety. I've always had anxiety," the Canadian actor said. "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."

He added that he is able to overcome anxiety by focusing on his character. "When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead," he says, "and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set."

Reynolds superhero comedy Deadpool was a huge critical and commercial success, grossing over $300m at the box office. With anticipation red hot for Deadpool 2, the pressure has been ramped up, an added stress for the actor to have to handle.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In the interview, Reynolds said that in earlier years (such as when he played party animal Van Wilder) fans were often disappointed by the 'incredibly boring version of a guy who looked like their hero', a consequence of his lighthearted, onscreen witty persona.

While he's famed for his wit (look up his Twitter), fans would often expect a shot-sinking hell raiser.

Reynolds also told the paper that he learned to be a 'skin-covered micro manager', at a young age due to his volatile father, a retired police officer turned wholesaler.

To try and ensure that arguments did not break out, he often found himself doing whatever he could to reduce the likelihood of conflict.

"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."

He also told the New York Times his anxiety continued to dog him throughout his twenties, something he tried to combat with partying.

"I was partying and just trying to make myself vanish in some way," he told the paper, before adding that he calmed down after some friends died of overdoses.

He went on to talk about some of the hits he's taken in his career, such as the hugely anticipated but commercial and critical failure of The Green Lantern. While the film wasn't a success, it was where he met his wife, Blake Lively.

According to Mind, anxiety can be caused by a number of often (but not always) interlinked factors including past or childhood experience, a person's current situation, physical and mental health problems and drugs and/or medication.

The NHS describes it as a 'feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe', noting that while anxiety of some sort affects everyone at certain times in their life, some people's anxiety is 'more constant and can affect their daily lives'.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Ronan O'Shea

Ronan J O'Shea is a freelance journalist from London who has written for titles including LADbible, Headspace, The Independent, National Geographic Traveller and New York Post. Contact him at [email protected]

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