It turns out; actors are more like us than we know. Take Ryan Reynolds. The star did an interview with The New York Times where he opened up and shared intimate details about his mental health and childhood. He has struggled with anxiety his entire life. He admitted to journalist Cara Buckley that despite being an actor, he suffers debilitating stage fright which can trigger his anxiety.
Buckley writes: “He gets wracked by dread and nausea before every talk-show appearance and becomes quite convinced he might die. During his ABC sitcom days, he chose to warm up the audience, partly to ingratiate himself, but mostly to redirect his panic or, as he describes it, “the energy of just wanting to throw up.” When we met at the Four Seasons here in Beverly Hills late one afternoon in April, he had barely eaten all day, because interviews for profiles make him crazy jittery too.”
“I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety,” the Deadpool actor 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.”
To help him cope, Reynolds relies on his work on screen, but his darker humor as well, which is in full view on his social media profiles.
“The best part about spending the afternoon at Disneyland in 100-degree heat is passing away in front of so many children,” one tweet reads.
“I can go from researching a cramp on WebMD to coffin shopping in under 90 seconds,” says another.
The interview also touched on Reynold’s childhood and his strained relationship with his police officer father, Jim Reynolds.
He called his father the “stress dispensary in our house.” He was always on edge when his Dad was around because he would be prone to screaming matches. To combat this stress and help not set his father off, the younger Reynolds would clean the house or mow the lawn.
“I became this young skin-covered micro manager,” he said. “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 actor explained doing interviews have become more bearable when he does them as his Deadpool character. “When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead, and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set,” he said. “That’s that great self-defense mechanism. I figure if you’re going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly.”