Ryan Reynolds Opens Up About Losing His Dad To Parkinson’s Disease

Ryan Reynolds is currently promoting his new film Deadpool, which has him on the cover of Men’s Health. And while Reynolds does have a nice chiseled body to look at, his interview went deeper than that. The star reflected on fatherhood and the lessons imparted by his father, who lost his battle to Parkinson’s late last year.

Although his father passed away, the actor said that he still has “pretty valuable” lessons that his father left him with. Reynolds said of his relationship with his late father, “We had a deeply complicated relationship, and it leaves behind some questions that are still being answered. Not just about him but, you know… how I’m trying to get better at being a dad and a husband and a man.”

That said, Reynolds has found a way to channel his sadness, and that’s through comedy, which makes sense given his character, Deadpool, is the sarcastic, R-rated antihero of the superhero universe. “I really identified with this character,” said Reynolds.

He continued, “I understand the idea of filtering pain through a prism of comedy. I think this character does that quite well… He wakes up in the morning exclusively to annoy everyone around him. But for your average civilian like me, I think there’s something really relatable about that idea, that there’s something to be learned by taking life a little less seriously.”

As for his daughter, James, who was named after Reynold’s father, she was born in December of 2014 to Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively. The actor joked that fatherhood has made him a bit insane, stating that he suffered from lack of sleep and hallucinations.

“During those first six months, it’s amazing that you find a way to keep going. Just the lack of sleep, and the hallucinations. F–k peyote. You want to trip b—s? Have a kid and see what it’s like to be awake for a month straight.”

He continued, “You’ll have moments where you’re like, ‘Did I really ride a unicorn to work? I’m pretty sure I didn’t, but I don’t know.'”

Reynolds also said that he still checks on his daughter to see if she’s breathing in the middle of the night, by sticking his fingers under her nose.

It’s not surprising that the loss of Ryan Reynolds’ father is still fresh. As the Inquisitr reported, his father passed away in October of last year. The actor took to Instagram and Twitter for a short remembrance that hit home for many of his followers:

Despite his rocky relationship with his father, Ryan was and still is very involved with Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s foundation. Reynolds serves as a member of the board of directors for Michael J. Fox’s foundation. Prior to his father’s passing, Reynolds opened up to Time magazine about how the incurable disease had affected his father and his family.

“[He was] the toughest man alive: a former cop, former boxer and full-time landmine. He worked tirelessly to provide for his family and in return, you were expected to do what he said, often before he said it.”

Of the disease, which causes tremors in the body, Reynolds said it robbed his once healthy father of his life. He said his father was “slowly, cruelly stripped of his independence.”

Of his involvement in Michael J. Fox’s organization, he said watching his father struggle with the disease is what got him to take a stand. In 2008, Reynolds even ran the New York City marathon to support Parkinson’s.

[Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]