Ryan Reynolds Channels Deadpool Persona As Coping Mechanism For Anxiety: 'I Turn On This Knucklehead, And He Kind Of Takes Over' — But Still Managed To Build A Massive Business Empire


Ryan Reynolds, the charismatic Hollywood icon celebrated as People magazine's 2016 Sexiest Man Alive, exudes confidence. Whether he's bantering with celebrities like Hugh Jackman or diving into brash roles like Marvel's Deadpool, his aura of assurance is clear.

In a New York Times interview, Reynolds stripped away the glamorous facade to talk about his struggles with anxiety. He explained he has a unique coping mechanism — he leans on his Deadpool persona. 

"When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead, and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set," Reynolds said. 

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The transformation into Deadpool is not merely an on-screen act but a genuine way to escape from his anxiety, allowing him to navigate public events with more ease. He likens it to a self-defense mechanism, adding, "I figure if you're going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly."

Reynolds went on to say, "I have anxiety, I've always had anxiety." This spans from everyday worries to deeper and more profound mental battles. 

In a CBS "Sunday Morning" segment, Reynolds reflected on his younger self's backstage jitters.

"I remember I'd be standing backstage before the curtain would open, and I would think to myself, ‘I'm gonna die. The curtains' gonna open and something horrible's gonna happen!'"

But every time the spotlight turned to him, a transformative moment occurred. Another part of him, one that's assured and in control, took charge. He elaborated, "I leave that interview going, ‘God, I'd love to be that guy!'"

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In a WSJ Magazine feature, Reynolds shed light on his tendency to immerse himself in work, sometimes at the expense of his well-being. "I tend to pave over anxiety with work and, to a lesser extent, achievement," he said.

This immersion was evidently successful in a business sense. Reynolds isn't just about Hollywood and superhero personas. He's also an investor, making hundreds of millions from his business deals. Anyone has the potential for success by investing in startups like Mode Mobile, a company that allows people to earn money using their phones.

After Reynolds got involved with Mint Mobile, the brand experienced a 50,000% revenue surge. His dynamic presence in promotional campaigns — ranging from TV commercials to a unique Super Bowl newspaper ad — played a key role. Echoing this sentiment, Mint Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Aron North said in 2020, "His reach has given us a much bigger platform to speak on. He's been absolutely critical in our success and our growth."

Reynolds's involvement isn't limited to Mint Mobile. He's also put his spin on marketing campaigns for his other venture Aviation Gin, blending celebrity allure with savvy business acumen.

He recently teamed up with other investors to acquire a 24% share in the Alpine F1 Team, a deal valued at an estimated $218 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

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