Hey! What's Ryan Reynolds Doing These Days, Anyway?
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Hey! What's Ryan Reynolds Doing These Days, Anyway?

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrities Are Better than You | July 2, 2014 | Comments ()


Way back in the day, Ryan Reynolds was the original Pajiba man crush, thanks mostly to some weird potential I saw in him from Two Guys a Girl and a Pizza Place and especially Blade Trinity, and later Adventureland and Definitely, Maybe. In 2009, he co-starred with Sandra Bullock in the surprisingly huge box-office hit, The Proposal, which suddenly elevated Reynolds from well-liked but little known star to THE NEXT GREAT ACTION HERO.

Unfortunately, Reynolds wasn’t very wise with his movie selections. He took a small role as Deadpool in Wolverine, because there was a future in that franchise. He jumped on the intense Buried with up-and-coming filmmaker Rodrigo Cort├ęs to show he had acting range; he took a role opposite Jason Bateman in The Change-Up to remind everyone that he is, above all, a comedic actor, and he dove headlong into The Green Lantern to demonstrate that he could also carry a franchise.

How’d that go for Reynolds, anyway? Not so good. Turns out, Wolverine was not particularly well accepted (and Deadpool something of an afterthought that only merits rumors and development deals, but never an actual movie). No one saw Buried. The Change-Up was a misfire, and The Green Lantern puked the bed proving that Reynolds actually can’t carry a franchise. And then, just to put the nail in the coffin of RYAN REYNOLDS ACTION STAR, the following year, R.I.P.D. completely crapped all over the box-office. Even the guy’s attempt to voice a franchise animated character fizzled out in Turbo, which made a puny $83 million).

And in the midst of all that, he also divorced the most famous blond actress in Hollywood, Scarlett Johansson, and later married Blake Lively, whose carrer trajectory looks awfully similar to Reynolds’, as of late.


Well, not so fast. Never count out a Canadian. He’s resilient, goddamnit. In addition to brilliant cameos in Seth MacFarlane’s two movies, Reynolds seems to be starting all over from the bottom. He’s trying to reestablish his acting credibility. First up, he’s got his weird Sundance flick, Voices with Anna Kendrick, about a guy whose pets convince him to murder. That should plant in everyone’s mind that he can play disturbed bad guy with a twisted sense of humor.

Next up, he’ll be in Atom Egoyan’s The Captive, which no one will see, but it’s nice to do a solid for your Canadian brethren (fellow Canadian Scott Speedman is in it, too), and people respect actors who work for Atom Egoyan even if they never watch his films.

From there, he has an excellent shot at a second career as an “actor” instead of an action star as the lead in Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s Mississippi Grind, a road-trip/poker film with Ben Mendelsohn (remember, Fleck and Boden transformed Ryan Gosling’s career with Half-Nelson).

Mississippi Grind won’t earn more than $20 million, but it’ll grab people’s attention for when Reynolds next shows up in Tarsem Singh’s Selfless, with Ben Kingsley, about an extremely wealthy elderly man, dying from cancer, who undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness to the body of a healthy young man (so, like the horror-mystical The Change-Up?) Michelle Dockery and Matthew Goode also star in that, and everyone will appreciate its visuals but the movie will probably suck, because that’s par for the course for Singh.

But that’s OK, because just as Ryan Reynolds’ sudden upswing starts to take a turn for the worse, he’ll turn it right back around with a stand-out role in Woman in Gold with Tatiana Maslany, Helen Mirren, and a director Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) about Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, who takes on the government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family. That’s the kind of role that will earn Reynolds’ co-stars Oscar recognition, but not serious Oscar recognition, and Reynolds will be not-serious Oscar recognition adjacent!

That should give him just enough credibility to finally get the greenlight for Deadpool, which will arrive in theaters in 2018 and make Ryan Reynolds THE NEXT GREAT ACTION STAR.

Full circle, people. Hollywood loves a good comeback story. Better yet, the next two years looks like nothing but bearded R-Squared roles.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Sean

    True Detective season 4. Set in Vancouver, Two Canadian cops investigating a human smugling ring. Staring Ryan Reynolds and Rachel McAdams.

  • e jerry powell

    Well, Helen Mirren, goddess that she is, couldn't do shit for Cuba Gooding, Jr., so I'm not holding my breath.

    Ben Kingsley does creepy-ass Freaky Friday. Because FUCKING BEN KINGSLEY, dammit, and nobody tells him what to do.

  • 23555belles

    I don't think they are expecting a zillion dollar BO draw, It is a Harvery Weinstein production & he does not finance projects unless he like them. the script is good and is directed by an Oscar nominated director

    w/a good cast I think Ryan continues to show that is a good actor.

  • L.O.V.E.

    A whole post about ryan reynolds, and nary a mention of his abs making a comeback? you be slippin'


  • Daniel Lewis

    Ryan will eventually get cast in a cable drama and we'll all love him again.

  • I've always liked Reynolds.

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

    I think if he kept churning out crap after Green Lantern, R.I.P.D. and Turbo, he'd be done-zo. So it's smart that he took a break.

  • 23555belles

    I think Ryan is a wonderful actor. Who has seen "Smokin Aces" & not formed an opinion on Ryan's acting & "Just Friends" was just flat out funny. Ryan will get the role that will throw him into the awards category. If you listen to others who are now on that winning circuit, you will hear they have ALL been through rough patches and can now discuss it at length. Down but Never Out!! From Ben A.. to Matthew M

  • My wife and I LOVE "Just Friends." It's such a weird, throw-off movie. But whenever it's on TV, we watch it. Regardless of whether it's the holidays or not.

  • Jormis

    I swear, 'I swear' gets me every time.


  • Irina

    Oh Dustin. Let it go, man, let it go.
    Can I interest you in a serving of Charming Potato?

  • For no discernible reason, I've shortened Channing Tatum's nickname to "Chaz Potato."

  • Orleanas

    I've never been able to fully get on the Ryan Reynolds train. It has to do with a character named Billy that he played on this Canadian teen soap opera, Fifteen, that aired on Nicklelodeon way back in the early '90s. Maybe it's a credit to his acting, but his character was such a pathetic wanna-be that I've not been able to shed that image of him in real life.

    I will admit that his turn in Two Guys and a Girl made him likeable and appealing, and his turn as Deadpool was enjoyable--but not enough to make me actively root for him. Lastly, it's hard for me reconcile his marriages to ScarJo and Lively in light of his long-gone relationship and engagement to Alanis Morissette.

    Other than not ever giving me the douche vibe that Bradley Cooper gives me, I would say that Reynolds' turn as a leading man feels the same as Cooper's desperate attempt to be a Hollywood leading man--he comes off as desperate and inauthentic, which brings me back to the Billy character.

    Reynolds has a certain comedic charm, so I'm not rooting against him, but I will admit that until this post, I did not really note or miss his absence (despite this long response to someone who I had not really thought about).

  • NateMan

    "Other than not ever giving me the douche vibe that Bradley Cooper gives me, I would say that Reynolds' turn as a leading man feels the same as Cooper's desperate attempt to be a Hollywood leading man--he comes off as desperate and inauthentic, which brings me back to the Billy character."

    I disagree with this one. I think he's got an excellent and dry sense of humor, and it comes across as genuine to me.

  • Repo

    Well I actually liked Green Lantern so none of this is my fault. YOU TORE HIM DOWN.

  • Sean

    You two are the only ones.

  • Repo

    Good company then. I'm cool with that. Reynolds mom too probably.

  • NateMan

    Same here, dammit.

  • PDamian

    I'll probably be strung up for saying this, but ... I adored Reynolds in Smokin' Aces. Silly movie, but I enjoyed it, and Reynolds was terrific. If you ever get your hands on the DVD, watch the bloopers reel -- he's hilarious in it.

  • NateMan

    That movie was stoopid genius.

  • JustOP

    I'm with you Dustin - Reynolds has always been the man since Blade Trinity and that sitcom he did. Affable, charming, funny, yet possessing rugged capabilities.

    Reynolds will happen - and one day all those who turned their noses from him will be forced to smell the glory that is this wonderful canadian god. SMELL IT I SAY.

  • 23555belles

    Here!! Here!! Ryan is alive and well and filming in London. I have not counted him out yet

  • TK

    Stop trying to make Ryan Reynolds happen, Boss.


  • 23555belles

    I wonder why people feel Ryan Reynolds is being forced on us. If you don't want to see his movies your option is not to go and when you don't go, you have no credible opinion to his talent. And if Chris Evans was taking on every role, the same crowd would be would very upset. i wonder why do you care? Does he bother you?? unless you are lot more interested in Ryan

  • pajiba

    My downvote may no longer register, but rest assured, it's there, sir. IT'S THERE.

  • TK

    Your downvote is invisible and meaningless, just like Reynolds's career.

  • JustOP
  • NateMan

    Ditto. Evans is great, but so is Reynolds. No reason we can't have both. Not like there's a shortage of roles in Hollywood for attractive white men.

  • kdm

    Based solely on the title, I fully expected to open the link and just see a picture of Boobs Legsly.

  • BWeaves

    I always feel sorry for actors who are on the cusp of something big. If you're poor, you take any and every job. Once you can pick and choose, it has to be really tough to figure out if a job will really be a hit or not. Maybe the script is great, but the director sucks and the editing sucks, but it's all your fault the movie bombed. Or maybe the idea was great and the director was great, but the script never lived up to potential, and it's all your fault the movie bombed.

    How many comebacks has John Travolta had? Or RDJ? Even Kathryn Hepburn was considered box office poison for awhile.

    R2 will be back in the saddle again. If only to satisfy Dustin's lust for his abs.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I feel like...our definition of "big" has changed. To me, if you are starring in Hollywood movies - MULTIPLE Hollywood movies, you are officially "big" and no longer on the cusp. I think this story - this whole idea - is overwrought. There isn't really a straight up trajectory in the arts - and Reynolds in the varsity pool. He's fine. He's not relegated to cameos on third rate tv shows.

  • 23555belles

    I agree the definition has evolved into TBA, It all boils down to box office viability. Ryan is a good actor & people turn on a dime. Bradley C, Matthew M, even Sandra Bullock were kings & queens of the rom-com & now they are REAL actors because they have taken on more dramatic roles, comedic actors are not serious thespians and that is the biggest lie out there. It is so much harder to make you laugh than to cry. These people have the same job & Ryan does cameos as well as starring roles but continues to work. 99% of them are waiting on tables & in-between assignments so Ryan is one of the fortunate ones

  • MayorChapStick76

    Katherine Hepburn was an excellent actress. RDJ is a good actor with an Oscar nomination under his belt. Ryan is just an OK actor. Ryan needs to be in movies where he's supporting,not the lead. He can't carry a movie by himself.

  • JustOP

    >can't carry a movie by himself

    I recommend Buried.

  • MayorChapStick76

    I've seen Buried and I stand by my comment.

  • Valhallaback Girl

    And Just Friends. Fuck me that movie is just great.

  • JustOP

    Yeah I enjoyed that too. Also your name is amazing.

  • NateMan

    *cough* I liked Van Wilder*cough*

  • JustOP

    Who doesn't? I don't even want to think we exist in a world where someone can honestly say 'I didn't like the Van Wilder movie'.

    *checks wikipedia section on the films critical reception*

    ...Good god.

  • Repo

    I thought Waiting was funny too. Apparently I'm in the minority a bunch here.

  • NateMan

    I haven't seen it in years, but I think I found it tolerable.

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