That goofy grin on Ryan Reynolds‘ face isn’t going away anytime soon.
“I have no problem waking up five times in the middle of the night and changing diapers, and as exhausted as you get, I have this stupid grin on my face all the time,” Reynolds, 38, says in the October issue of GQ magazine.
His “weirdly endless supply of patience” — the most surprising thing for the man who “could sometimes have a bit of a short fuse” — isn’t even a result of hired help to take care of the couple’s daughter.
“[It’s] not because I have a nanny or something like that. It’s just us right now, and I love it,” Reynolds, who kept his baby monitor on hand during the interview at his home, adds.
Peggy Sirota exclusively for GQ
His effortless ease into parenthood has been a balance of both nature and nurture for Reynolds, who, despite having a difficult relationship with his own father, is proud of his accomplishments so far.
“I look at each of my older brothers, and they’re all fathers, and they’re all great fathers. So I had some good examples,” the Deadpool star explains. “But I don’t think you really necessarily need examples. You just try to not be a complete pile of s— and just be there for them.”
Reynolds continues, “I like it: I mean that in the heaviest context. I genuinely like it. I like being a father. I like having a daughter. I would like to have more kids. It seems to suit me pretty well.”
Despite his love for his most important role ever, Reynolds is reluctant to rave about all of his daughter’s day-to-day doings — at least outside of the home.
“I find it to be really obnoxious. In fact, every time I talk about my kid in public, I’m generally talking about how average she is,” he shares. “But at home, I’m like, ‘You’re a genius! Oh, my God! You just took a s— in your diaper that came out as a perfect musical note!’ “
He adds, “I don’t f—ing fall victim to it, because, especially celebrities, when they talk about their kid, they talk about their kid like they’re the Chosen One, or they’re the only people who have ever had a child.”
That’s not to say Reynolds doesn’t completely understand the unconditional love that comes with having a baby. The actor admits he views his parents in a whole new light since the arrival of his first child.
“Once you have a kid, you just think, like, ‘I can’t believe that another person did all this s— for me, that I’m doing for this person right now!’ Like, that somebody woke up in the middle of the night this many times just to wipe my ass,” he says.
“It’s just profound to me. So you start to have a great deal more respect for your own parents. Not that I didn’t already. But I don’t know how my parents did it with four kids. Four boys! Who basically did everything short of setting their own home on fire every single day of their lives. It’s gotta be pretty intense.”
However not all relationships have changed for the better. While paparazzi were busy clamoring for the first photo of James, Reynolds’ childhood friend of 25 years was also trying to get in on the monetary prize.
“A guy that I’d known for my whole life, one of my closest friends growing up, he had been shopping pictures of my baby around,” he explains. “I kind of got in front of it, which is good. But it was a slightly dark period. A bad couple of weeks.”
Peggy Sirota exclusively for GQ
Reynolds confronted him and the two had a “pretty strongly worded conversation” about his actions before the actor completely cut him out of his life.
“It was like a death. It was like one of those devastating things to find out,” he recalls. “I don’t think he thought he would ever be caught. But it’s a pretty narrow group of people that I would send photos like that to. They’re just, like, my closest family and my closest friends: ‘Here’s us in the delivery room!’ “
Months later, the initial craze surrounding their family of three has finally died down.
“The whole thing becomes so absurd that all you can do is laugh about it and just go, ‘This isn’t the real world. This isn’t how real things work,’ ” he says. “But it happens to be happening right now. And it will pass. And it does. It passes. It all passed.”
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— Anya Leon