Best Known For
Ryan Reynolds is a versatile actor who's played a college student, a mutant villain and a superhero. He also made headlines as Scarlett Johansson's ex.
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Starting out in television, Ryan Reynolds has become one of the most popular movie actors working today. His first major breakthrough came from the 2002 comedy National Lampoon's Van Wilder. Since then, Reynolds has proved to be adept at all kinds of films, from the comic-book action flick The Green Lantern (2011) to the serious drama Buried (2010).
The youngest of four boys, Reynolds "was a really nervous kid,
" he told GQ magazine. "I was extremely sensitive ... I was so aware of everything around me." He found sanctuary in school productions where his vulnerability could be an asset rather than a problem. At the age of 12, Reynolds landed his first professional acting job. He was cast in a Canadian teen drama first called Hillside and later renamed Fifteen when it aired in the United States. The show ran from 1991 to 1993.
After Fifteen, Reynolds struggled to get his career off the ground. He got a few small parts, including a guest spot on The X-Files. Still Reynolds needed to take odd jobs to make ends meet after competing high school. For a time, he worked a late-night shift at a supermarket.
Traveling with a friend, Reynolds moved to Los Angeles in the late 1990s. He got his first major television job in 1998, playing a medical student on the sitcom Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place (later renamed Two Guys and a Girl). After the show finished in 2001, Reynolds soon made the leap to feature films. He starred in the comedy National Lampoon's Van Wilder (2002) as a perennial, fun-loving college student. While the film did poorly at the box office, it eventually became a cult classic.
For several years, Reynolds appeared in a string of lackluster films—both critically and commercially. He played a vampire hunter in Blade: Trinity (2004) opposite Wesley Snipes and Jessica Biel and starred in the 2005 remake The Amityville Horror. While his movies may not have been wowing audiences, Reynolds enjoyed great popularity nonetheless. He was featured in People magazine's "Sexiest People" issue in 2007, earning the title "Sexiest Renaissance Man" from the publication.
In 2009, Reynolds's film career took off. He played the mercenary Deadpool in the box office hit X-Men Origins: Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman. Teamed with Sandra Bollock, Reynolds showed his comedic talents in The Proposal. He continued to thrive professionally, expanding his range with the independent drama Buried in 2010. In the film, Reynolds played an American working in Iraq who gets kidnapped and buried alive.
Reynolds made a triumphant return to the big screen in 2011. Taking on a comic book hero, he starred in The Green Lantern with Blake Lively. Reynolds then showed off his comedic talents in The Change-Up with Jason Bateman. Not only to slow down, he has several other film projects currently in the works. He will lend his voice to two forthcoming animated movies, The Croods and Turbo.
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The world craves the idea of unattainable perfection, and the superhero—an aspirational figure who is stronger, faster and smarter than the average human—is the epitome of human perfection. For more than two centuries, philosophers, comic book artists, writers and academics have debated the role of the superhero, from how they should interact with society to what they should wear when they're saving the world. And now, with the rash of superhero films in Hollywood, the debate becomes who should portray these larger-than-life characters on the big screen. Here are the actors and actresses who have been chosen to represent the mighty superhero. Whether it's running faster than the speed of light or stopping a speeding train with one hand, these performers are renowned for bringing the vision of the superhero to reality.
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