Ryan Reynolds on how anxiety has helped him in his personal and professional life

Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds. Picture: Bang Showbiz.

Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds. Picture: Bang Showbiz.

Published May 30, 2024


Ryan Reynolds says that he "loves" having anxiety.

The 47-year-old actor has spoken openly about his struggles in the past.

He recently explained that he is also "grateful" as he can also see the positive aspects of suffering from the mental health condition, such as being able to help and advise his and wife Blake Lively's four children - James, 9, Inez, 7, and Betty, 4, as well as a 15-month-old whose name and sex have not been publicly revealed - while they are navigating their own difficulties.

Speaking in conversation with Hugh Jackman for “People” magazine, he said: "Now I love that I have anxiety, I love that I've had anxiety.

"Because when I see my kids experiencing some of that, which is probably genetic, I know how to address it in a way that is compassionate, that actually allows them to feel seen. I know that I can't just fix it.

“And I can communicate all that stuff to them and with them. I'm always grateful for it."

The “Deadpool” star also believes his anxiety has improved his work because he is constantly questioning things.

He explained: "My job benefits greatly. People who have anxiety are constantly thinking into the future. You're constantly, 'What if this happens? What if that happens?' You're always telling yourself stories.

"So when we're shooting 'Deadpool and ‘Wolverine', I'm not just shooting the movie, I'm also sitting in the audience as a cautious critic going, 'I don't like that. I don't buy that.' So anxiety creates that ecosystem of awareness that I wouldn't otherwise [have]."

Reynolds also thinks fatherhood has helped his anxiety.

Asked if being a dad makes it better or worse, he said: "I think it makes it better because your focus is less on yourself and more on your kids. I know you know that too.

Jackman also admitted he has found it helpful to speak to his own children, Oscar, 24, and 19-year-old Ava - who he has with estranged wife Deborra-Lee Furness - when he's experiencing moments of anxiety.

He said: "I used to be a little bit old-school. I thought, 'Don’t burden them if you are anxious.'

"Say you’ve got an opening night, or you’re hosting the Oscars—for three weeks before, I go a little distant. And then someone said to me, 'But your kids don’t know that you’ve got the Oscars. Maybe they’re thinking you’re mad with them [or] they’ve done something.'

"I had to make an uncomfortable phone call yesterday, and I actually just said to my son, 'I’ve got to make this uncomfortable phone call. I’m a bit nervous about it. If I seem a bit off, that’s why.' And he goes, 'Oh.' And then he said, 'How did the call go, Dad?' I said, 'I feel so much better.' ”