Yes, some could argue that 2016 was a hot mess of doom, gloom, and things we’d rather never speak of again. But let us take this moment to remind you that 2016 was also a very good year for Ryan Reynolds — and a good year for him equals a great year for us. From breaking all kinds of records with his hit Deadpool and welcoming another beautiful child with wife, Blake Lively, to marking his 40th year looking better than he did during Van Wilder, Ryan ruled 2016. So, before you totally write off the past year, let’s look back at all the joy that Ryan brought us. Here’s hoping his momentum keeps going into 2017.
1. His Film Deadpool Opened at Number One
February 12th is a date that was 11 years in the making for Ryan Reynolds. It was the day that his major passion project, Deadpool, finally opened in theaters, and it went on to become a massive hit. Not only did it open number one at the box office, but it also earned over $745.7 million worldwide and currently holds the record for biggest-grossing R-rated movie of all time (kicking out The Matrix Reloaded for the honors), according to Forbes.
Deadpool was a result of never-ending persistence from Ryan, who had always been a massive fan of the self-deprecating, cancer-surviving, sarcastic anti-hero. He told Variety, “Deadpool was always a passion project of mine — I just could not get it off the ground as hard as I tried. . . . I’m so happy that’s it’s become something of cultural phenomenon. I’ll walk out of my apartment in New York City and I can’t believe it: I’ll see something like 300 Deadpools in any square block. It’s mind blowing to me.”
2. He Closed a Sad Chapter of His Life — in a Humorous Way
Sadly, Ryan lost his father, James C. Reynolds, to Parkinson’s disease in October of 2015. James, his first daughter with wife Blake Lively, was named in his memory. So in May, Ryan let his fans in on the emotional journey of spreading his father’s ashes — all with one hilarious tweet: “A family having a picnic about two hundred yards downwind, ate like, half my Dad's ashes this morning.”
3. He Partied with Taylor Swift and Her Squad
Taylor Swift’s “Taymerica” themed bash at her Watch Hill, Rhode Island home was the place to celebrate over the 4th of July. Key members of her squad including Gigi Hadid, Martha Hunt, and Cara Delevigne (and then-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston) were all on hand to celebrate, as were Ryan and Blake. The problem, as noted by everyone on the internet, was that Ryan looked miserable. But fear not — he recently cleared up why he looked so glum at such a coveted event, telling Entertainment Weekly, “That’s a problem I’ve had all my life. If I’m not aware a photo is being taken, my natural resting face is one of a man dying. I had no idea somebody was taking a photo. Therefore, I was resting comfortably in my persona of a man whose soul is visibly exiting this earth.”
4. He Welcomed a Second Daughter with Blake Lively
In September, Blake and Ryan happily brought their second daughter into the world. There was no formal announcement on the baby’s sex —until Ryan appeared on Conan and let it slip that daughter, James, had a little sister. “Yeah, a lot of estrogen,” he told Conan. “It’s like an American Girl doll took a s*** on my life.” It turns out that Ryan had a lot of explaining to do when he got home that night, as Blake wasn’t ready to spill the beans. She posted an Instagram shot of her favorite cookies and milk with the caption: “The ways I know that @vancityreynolds got himself into huge trouble on @teamcoco tonight: Not only did he come home with my true love, @levain_bakery cookies, but he personally toasted them for me and brought me a cup of milk WITH ICE. Literal brownie points!”
5. He Made 40 Look Hotter Than Ever
You know what’s a killer combo? Ryan and the big 4-0. He celebrated the milestone birthday on October 23rd, not looking a day over 20. Ryan and Blake had a very special dinner at the Japanese restaurant O Ya in New York City to ring in the new decade. The spot held a special place for the couple because they fell in love at the Boston location of the restaurant. Blake posted on Instagram, “We fell in love at your restaurant in Boston. We stay in love at your restaurant in NY. Thank you for the BEST food and memories! You are our FAVORITE!! Another happy birthday with @vancityreynolds . Hey, Reynolds, I like you a whole lot. Just sayin'...” Ryan concurred, hinting that perhaps the dinner was a surprise from his wife, posting on Instagram: “Best. Birthday. Everrrrr. Courtesy of my wife, buddy, and international spy, @blakelively. With huge thanks to my favorite restaurant in NYC, @_o_ya_— and a special shout out to our children for not ruining everything like they planned.”
6. He Secretly Made a Sequel to The Notebook
Ryan’s wicked sense of humor is at the top of the millions of reasons why we love him (if we had to guess, it’s up there for his wife too). So, when he showed up on Conan to promote a surprise “new” movie he “made” with Conan O’Brien — well, we haven’t stopped laughing since. The project? The Notebook 2 and while the premise doesn’t have quite the same sentiment as the original, it’s one for the history books. “Remember that vacation we took in Tijuana a few years ago?” Ryan asked Conan. “We split that bottle of absinthe? Well, we fell in love, and I filmed it.” And before we could prepare ourselves, a clip of Ryan and Conan making out in the rain is now burned in our brains forever.
7. He Became a GQ Man of the Year
When you’re stylish, charming, and successful, what other honor can you hope for than to be named one of GQ magazine’s Men of the Year? Ryan took the cover this year along with Usain Bolt, and Warren Beatty — and he celebrated by granting GQ an interview with his “twin brother Gordon.” Didn’t know he had one? Don’t feel bad but stop what you’re doing and watch this.
8. He Scored His First Golden Globe Nomination
To cap off the amazing year of Deadpool, Ryan was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, and the movie was nominated for Best Picture — Musical or Comedy, making Deadpool the first live-action superhero movie to earn a Best Motion Picture nomination. What was Ryan doing when this career changing, monumental news came through? “I was changing a diaper, as I always predicted," he told The Hollywood Reporter. We love the way he took to Twitter to offer his hilarious and heartfelt thanks for the nomination.
9. He Was Honored as Entertainer of the Year
Ryan topped off 2016 by accepting the award for Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainer of the Year at the 22nd annual Critics’ Choice awards. He used his speech to send a touching message, dedicating the award to two non-profits fighting cancer. He said: “The [Deadpool] character had cancer, and some of the people that this character resonated with was sick kids. So, I would like to dedicate this honor to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the SickKids Foundation of Toronto, two incredible organizations that do so much for so many kids in need. They started a fight and it’s up to us to finish it.”
10. He Finally Revealed His Daughters to the World (Oh Yeah, He Got a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Too)
Ryan received a monumental star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — but all eyes were on his beautiful family during the ceremony. Yes, the fiercely private Ryan and Blake finally brought their two girls out in public to celebrate the big day! Ryan gave Blake the most amazing shout out during his acceptance speech, saying, "I want to thank my wife, Blake, who is sitting right there, who is everything to me. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You make everything better. You make everything in my life better. You've given me two of the most incredible children I've ever hoped to have." Crying yet? No, just us?