For Variety’s latest issue, we asked Jake Gyllenhaal to write a tribute to Ryan Reynolds, one of 50 people to make our New Power of New York list. Here’s why Reynolds, the star of “Deadpool,” represents a new generation of movers and shakers that capture the best of Manhattan. For the full list, click here.
I first met Ryan many years ago, and he struck me immediately as quick and warm and thoughtful, a gentleman in an era of foppish putzes, the unlikely love child of Mel Brooks and Dorothy Parker and Gary Cooper. He was also taller than me. Against my wishes, we became close friends.
Audiences got to know Ryan a bit through his work in a string of romantic comedies. He was undoubtedly charming and handsome (annoying), but he never quite had the space to fire on all cylinders. What we all want for our friends in this business is for the world to see what we see, and as actors, that only happens in a perfect storm of timing and the full luck. After years of waiting and struggling to fit his unfortunate, pear-shaped physique into the skinny jeans of a conventional romantic lead, Ryan made his own luck with “Deadpool.”