His eight-pack abs have launched 2.4 million Google searches. Yet on a crisp fall day on a rustic farm outside Atlanta, where he’s filming the 2011 romantic comedy The Change-Up, Ryan Reynolds-who arrives with an entourage of one: his 2-year-old rescue mutt Baxter-reveals that his secret weapon is his sense of humor. Though he’s married to the awesome Scarlett Johansson and his star is poised to rocket into the stratosphere when he appears as the Green Lantern next year, the 34-year-old actor proves just how sexy self-deprecation can be. He prefers to sleep in the nude “because if anyone breaks into your house, I can’t think of anything more frightening than a naked 6’2″ man coming at you.” He’s proud of his ability to say “every swearword in Greek.” And he has a healthy appreciation for his native Canada, where he grew up the youngest of four brothers (one is a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer). “We’re trying to nationalize Sexy,” he says. “Sort of like Medicare.” To celebrate his title as 2010’s Sexiest Man Alive, Reynolds sat down to tell (almost) all to PEOPLE’s Alexis Chiu and Julie Jordan.
THAT AMAZING BODY
MOST HE’S EVER WEIGHED: 207 lbs.-of muscle (for 2004’s Blade: Trinity). His body fat percentage was 3.8 percent.
SHOE SIZE: 10.5
THE DIET: “My body naturally wants to look like Dick Van Dyke. So I have to eat a lot: protein, carbs, all that kind of stuff. I have to eat breakfast. I can do Lucky Charms. When I was a kid, I used to extract all the marshmallows from one box and put them in the new box so I’d double the marshmallows. The one food I can’t refuse is Ultimate Pizza in New York. When I walk past it, I’ve got to go in and eat a slice.”
THE WORKOUT: When training for a role, which he’s done three times-for Blade, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Green Lantern-“it’s all weights for two hours. No cardio at all; I can’t run at all. But it’s so sad because I train for six months, and it’s really fantastic to feel like that. And then I stop, and 4½ weeks later I turn into a skin-colored whisper. It’s so sad. When I’m not training, I run. I love to run. I run three or four days a week for five miles.”
THE GROOMING REGIMEN:
Shaving: “I usually use the clipper thing because I don’t shave clean unless I have to.”
Lotions: “I’ll spackle on moisturizer, and that’s kind of it. I need to wear sunscreen. I never wear sunscreen.”
Hair: “Sebastian Clay. The guy on the movie gave it to me.”
Cologne: “I like scents. Le Labo.”
Massages: “I don’t have the patience. I get 30 to 45 minutes in, and I’m like, ‘Let’s wrap this up.'”
Mani/pedis: “Never. I’ve only had one manicure my entire life.”
Manscaping: “Eww. I’m just going to pass completely on that one.”
VARIOUS TATTOOS, WHICH HE OFTEN COVERS UP: “I don’t have a lot of regrets, but I wish I hadn’t tattooed myself when I was younger.”
PIERCINGS: “When I was a kid, I wanted to get my ears pierced. My brothers told me, ‘Our dad will murder you!’ I did it anyway. At dinner I hear him muttering, and Dad is looking at my brothers, who got their ears pierced so I wouldn’t get murdered.”
THIS OR THAT?
LAID-BACK OR TIGHTLY WOUND?
“Um, laid-back. And tightly wound. Laid-back in my personal life. I’m tightly wound in work-I have a bit of a workaholic thing.”
BEER OR CHAMPAGNE?
“Oh, beer. I’d actually go with a good Canadian beer. Granville Island Lager, from a great little beer company in British Columbia. I also like Scotch. Johnny Walker Blue. That’s nice, but it’s fancy.”
BRIEFS OR BOXERS?
“Lately, briefs, I’m afraid. Just for the joy of briefs. They’re functional and sort of hilarious.”
REPAIR OR REPLACE?
“Always repair. I’m pretty handy. I can fix a motorcycle pretty well.”
HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL?
“Half full. I’ve spent some time in therapy. I’ve never been a pessimist. I don’t think I’d be where I am if I were a pessimist, because I would have quit.”
MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT PERSON?
“Big-time morning person. I would be thrilled to get up at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning. I love jet lag for that reason. When I’m coming back from Europe, I love that I wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning. I don’t sleep that much. I’m usually asleep by midnight. Six hours of sleep and I’m pretty good.”
OLD-SCHOOL BOOK OR KINDLE/IPAD?
“I’ve made the conversion. I’m on the iPad now. I’ve been reading books on it because I’m always traveling, always on location, and you can bring dozens of books without having to lug them around. Right now I’m reading this selection of essays by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s just a big information smoothie.”
PROTEIN BAR OR CHEETOS?
“Six months of the year, protein bar. The other six months, Cheetos. Shooting Green Lantern, I was on a solid diet of misery. I ate [pumpkin-flavored] protein bars. They’re basically like a cinder block of pumpkin spice.”
First crush: “Christine Yen. She sat next to me in grade two or three. She didn’t know I existed at all.”
First kiss: “Deanna was her name. God, I was in sixth or seventh grade. It was kind of gross. She went for tongue, and I wasn’t ready for that. The whole thing freaked me out.”
First girlfriend: “Jessica Cowley. That was my first real kiss. She was my high school girlfriend. We’re still friends.”
First time someone recognized you: “I was 15, and I went to McDonald’s. I was on a Nickelodeon show, Fifteen. A kid asked for my autograph.”
First major purchase: “Definitely a motorcycle. I have three. The biggest purchase was probably an apartment for my mom in Vancouver.”
WE ASK RYAN: WHAT’S CANADIAN SEXY?
• “We can ice-skate on anything. Even wood.”
• “Our accents are adorable.”
• “There’s an inherent ability to be self-deprecating. That has served me well in my career and personal life.”
• “We can apologize virtually on demand. For anything.”
BEING RYAN REYNOLDS
WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TALENT?
“I can do a standing back nip, which I only learned this year.”
WHAT DO YOU COOK?
“I can make a mean omelette. I can do any basic recipe that a fourth grader can do.”
DO YOU PLAY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT?
“No, but I’ll do karaoke. I’ll go for Wilson Phillips’ ‘Hold On.'”
DO YOU PLAY SPORTS?
“I grew up playing rugby. Nine years of it.”
ARE YOU ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER?
“I am thus far social-network-free. I’ve seen people pretending to be me, though. One of them was really good! I had to actually shut him down.”
WHAT’S THE ODDEST RUMOR YOU’VE READ ABOUT YOURSELF?
“That my wife and I are adopting a child from Papua New Guinea.”
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WERE DRUNK?
“Probably my birthday [Oct. 23]. I got drunk on wine. It’s a terrible way to get drunk, actually.”
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
“This is a bad one-I watched Field of Dreams again the other day. When he says, ‘You wanna have a catch? I could remedy a drought.”
WHAT’S YOUR PERFECT DATE NIGHT?
“Dinner and a little dancing.”
WHAT’S YOUR PORN STAR NAME?
“Oh, my porn star name is Oliver Caesar. Hello, ladies! Oliver Crescent is the street I grew up on and Caesar was the first dog I had.”
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT MARRIED LIFE?
“You get to hang out with your best buddy every day.”
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO BE NAMED SEXIEST MAN ALIVE?
“Well, there was a little moment of disbelief, and then you kind of settle into it. Really, you just have to go with the flow.”
WILL CANADA BE PROUD?
“I hope so. I’ll find out and let you know. I’ll get the prime minister on line l!”