Ryan Reynolds: How ‘Deadpool’ Helped Me Cope With My Father’s Death

Ryan Reynolds attends a photocall for 'Deadpool' at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on January 25, 2016 in Moscow, Russia.
Ryan Reynolds attends a photo-call for 'Deadpool' at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on January 25, 2016, in Moscow, Russia. Gennady Avramenko/Epsilon/Getty Images

Laughter was definitely a necessary medicine for Ryan Reynolds when he was dealing with his father’s death from Parkinson’s disease last fall, the actor revealed in a new interview for Men’s Health. And his starring role in the upcoming Marvel movie Deadpool was just the prescription he needed to help with his healing.

“I understand the idea of filtering pain through comedy,” he said. “Laughing can serve you in those dark moments and even help you crawl your way back out. … I think there’s something really relatable about that idea, that there’s something to be learned by taking life a little less seriously.”

Reynolds, 39, added that he and his family were adamant about keeping their father, James C. Reynolds, in good spirits until the very end.

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. Joe Lederer/Marvel

“In my dad’s dying moments, we were making him laugh,” he recalled. “We were all in there together, me and my brothers, just joking with him. And of course we end up busting each other’s chops. I recommended that the doctors raise Dad’s dose of Dilaudid in order to make my brother more tolerable. … It wasn’t a bad way to go. If I could have the same death as my father, I would do it right now.”

Reynolds added that dealing with the loss of his father helped him gain some perspective about being a parent. (He and his wife, Blake Lively, welcomed their first child in 2014, and named her James in his father’s honor.)

"We had a deeply complicated relationship, and it leaves behind some questions that are still being answered,” he explained. “Not just about him but, you know … how I'm trying to get better at being a dad and a husband and a man."

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