Celebrities & Pop Culture

Ryan Reynolds Opens Up About How He Copes With Anxiety

"I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun."

Ryan Reynolds comes off as cool and quick-witted in “Deadpool,” and while he may seem like a superhero in the movies, he’s really just a human who sometimes battles extreme anxiety — and he’s not afraid to admit it.

Reynolds recently talked about the spectrum of anxiety he’s dealt with over the course of his life in an interview with The New York Times, but this wasn’t the first time the actor’s been honest and raw when it comes to talking about the anxiety he feels in all kinds of situations.

“I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety,” he told The New York Times. “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.”

Ryan Reynolds deadpool photo
Getty Images | Dimitrios Kambouris

Reynolds says these feelings began when he was just a child, when he would try to keep everything in the house under control to prevent his dad from getting upset.

“I became this young skin-covered micromanager,” he told the Times. “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.”

The anxiety hasn’t gone away in his adult life, as he continues to feel stressed about his career, interviews, press events and more.

So, how does he manage anxiety while living life in the public eye? He credits a variety of things: his humor, his ability to do interviews as his “Deadpool” character, the Headspace mediation app and his wife, Blake Lively.

blake lively ryan reynolds photo
Getty Images | Frazer Harrison

He told Variety that Lively helps to keep him “sane” when he feels the expectations are too high. She’s also helped him remember the good times he had in his childhood, instead of just focusing on the negative.

“She always responds with empathy. She meets anger with empathy. She meets hate with empathy,” Reynolds told Humans of New York of his wife. “I had a very fractured relationship with my father. Before he died, she made me remember things I didn’t want to remember. She made me remember the good times.”

At the end of the day, Reynolds knows you just have to be willing to fight through the nerves and take the risk.

“I figure if you’re going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly,” he told The New York Times.

Well said, Reynolds. Well said.