No One Markets A Movie Better: Why Ryan Reynolds Is The Movie Star We Need

The movie star era is no more, and there are many reasons for that.

We see stars across the pop culture landscape, from late night shows to social media platforms.

It is no longer particular to see or hear from a Ben Affleck or a Viola Davis. We’ve heard their views many times before on our laptops, smartphones and streaming platforms. Plus, too many stars actively insult the audience and their lifestyle.

Celebrities rail against Trump voters, for example, or vilify those who believe abortion is murder. Some stars can’t get through a press junket without sharing divisive thoughts about race, religion or, most of all, politics.

Need an example? George Clooney promoted “Ticket to Paradise” by suggesting to HBO Max host Chris Wallace that Republicans are a threat to democracy.

And then there’s Ryan Reynolds.

The 46-year-old “Deadpool” star offers a different approach to stardom. He is often engaging, not divisive, on social media. He entertains sick children with his hospital visits and is generous to a fault given his financial means.

Reynolds, along with wife/actress Blake Lively, open up their considerable coffers to Water First Education & Training Inc., a group that provides clean water to struggling communities, and they similarly wrote a big check to help displaced Ukrainian refugees.

His image on and off screen has remained remarkably consistent over time. He’s the wisecracking hero of the “Deadpool” movies, and he adapted that comedic persona for the rare big-screen comedy that actually made us howl, 2021’s “Free Guy.”

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Indeed, at a time when stars are desperate to escape their image — think Jim Carrey ditching comedy for more dramatic roles — Reynolds is sticking to his comedic persona. Even his heroic character in “The Adam Project” spared some screen time for hilarious banter in the great Ryan Reynolds tradition.

The Canadian actor is a liberal, no doubt. He cheered on progressive Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader and shared the usual fear of “the sky falling” on President Donald Trump.

However, he does not push these views in our faces. He shares them now and then, but he is far more committed to his dual duties. Great movie actor and PR guru.

The latter is his most exciting element. While some stars promote their films with some success, Reynolds takes it to the next level.

The latest, greatest example? He broke the news that Hugh Jackman was coming out of superhero retirement to play Wolverine again.

“Hard to keep my mouth shut on this one,” Reynolds said on Twitter, an Easter egg for fans of his previous performance as Deadpool in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

The attached promotional video showed Reynolds playing himself, wondering how he could bring an old MCU favorite into the “Deadpool” saga. We see the actor pouring liquor into his coffee mug, strolling in the woods and staring at a typewriter, waiting for creative inspiration.

“I have nothing. Completely empty from here,'” he snaps, seconds before straight up asking Jackman to join the project.

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“Of course, Ryan.”

Cue Whitney Houston’s romantic ballad, “I Will Always Love You.” And scene.

The video went viral for all the right reasons, garnering 15 million views on YouTube alone. Suddenly, movie fans couldn’t wait to see Reynolds and Jackman together again for “Deadpool 3.”

It’s marketing at a genius level, and few stars do it quite like Reynolds. And it’s hardly the first time he’s embraced that approach. He often promotes his films with a combination of humor and heart, getting his hands dirty with good, pure marketing fun.

He cut several “Deadpool”-themed shorts to promote the films and the franchise in general, including one that berated “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels over the star’s possible appearance on the show.

Another featured David Beckham, who Deadpool grilled in the 2016 smash, clashing with Reynolds, in character, to promote the first sequel.

The actor’s Maximum Effort marketing company, which he co-founded, now produces these shorts, and his personal touch is all over the finished product. Yes, the company name comes from a quip uttered in the 2016 feature “Deadpool.”

The actor explored his love of marketing with Forbes earlier this year and how his superhero franchise gave him a “crash course” on the subject.

“Deadpool taught me that necessity is the mother of invention. Deadpool, the franchise, never had the kind of budgets and finances to work with that some of the bigger comic book properties had. Two of the biggest adversaries of creativity are too much time and too much money. I learned the value of character over spectacle through Deadpool.”

Need another example of Reynolds’ non-movie star behavior?

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His 2016 “Deadpool” co-star TJ Miller felt Reynolds didn’t like him while filming their scenes together for the 2018 film. The brief confession, captured on “The Adam Carolla Show” podcast, revealed a disagreement at the site that felt ugly to Miller.

The revelation quickly spread through social media.

Soon enough, Reynolds got wind of Miller’s complaint. Some stars may have ignored the problem. Others may have waged war on Miller, a comedian with a checked off-screen past. Or Reynolds could have played the victim or just cast Miller, a comedian with a checkered personal past.

Instead of Reynolds apparently contacted Miller directlyand the two settled any old differences between them.

“It was really cool, he emailed me the next day … it was a misunderstanding so I emailed him back and now it’s like fine.”

Reynolds did not make a public scene of the reconciliation. He handled it behind the scenes like a gentleman.

Reynolds doesn’t have much in common with many modern celebrities and thank God for that.

Christian Toto is an award-winning journalist, film critic and editor of He was previously an associate editor for Breitbart News’ Big Hollywood. Follow him at @HollywoodInToto.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Daily Wire.


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