Ryan Reynolds opens up about his passion project, Deadpool, as GQ's Man of the Year 2016

By Lindsay Kimble
November 14, 2016 11:19 AM
Credit: Alasdair McLellan exclusively for GQ

Ryan Reynolds‘ movie Deadpool dominated the box office in February, but before the action flick debuted — a project years in the making — the star says he mentally collapsed.

“I felt like I was on some schooner in the middle of a white squall the whole time,” he tells GQ in the magazine’s Men of the Year issue of making the superhero film. “It just never stopped. When it finally ended, I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown. I literally had the shakes.”

Continues Reynolds, “I went to go see a doctor because I felt like I was suffering from a neurological problem or something. And every doctor I saw said, ‘You have anxiety.’ ”

Reynolds worked for 11 years to get the Marvel adaptation made, and said the pressure for the beloved character to translate well was “hard” on his “nervous system.”

“And I was banging the loudest drum for Deadpool,” he notes. “I wasn’t just trying to open it; I was trying to make a cultural phenomenon.”

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He admits that the movie’s success has come with a “certain vindication,” adding, “especially because the studio — granted, under different regimes — for years just kept telling us to go f— ourselves sterile.”

Now, the 40-year-old actor is working on the movie’s sequel with co-writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick on his and wife Blake Lively‘s farm in upstate New York.

Of Lively — whom he recently welcomed daughter No. 2 with — Reynolds says, “I’m on the precipice of having a real American family.”

Credit: Alasdair McLellan exclusively for GQ

“I mean, I always imagined that would happen, and then it happened,” he shares. “Every idiotic Hallmark-card cliché is true.”

Asked when he first knew Lively was the one, Reynolds jokes, “Probably after the sex.”

He clarifies, seriously, “No, we were hanging out at this little restaurant in Tribeca that’s open really late, and this song came on and I was just like, ‘Want to dance?’ No one was in there, so it was just totally empty. And it was just one of those moments where halfway through the dance, it was like, ‘Oh, I think I just crossed a line.’ ”

Credit: Alasdair McLellan exclusively for GQ
Credit: Alasdair McLellan exclusively for GQ

GQ‘s 2016 Men of the Year issue hits newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on Nov. 15, and nationwide on Nov. 22. Warren Beatty and Olympic athlete Usain Bolt are also on covers for the special issue.