Ryan Reynolds doesn’t often discuss Blake Lively, whom he secretly married in September 2012. But in the August 2013 issue of Details, the R.I.P.D. actor explains why he rarely talks about their marriage and opens up about their shared desire to have a “big family” one day.
“I don’t intentionally try to be evasive about that stuff. If you ask me to describe my relationship, I mean — words are too clumsy to accurately describe how I feel in that regard, particularly in an interview,” Reynolds, 36, says of Lively, 25. “It’s a strange thing. I understand the climate we live in and why people are curious. But it’s just tough and almost emotionally violent — for anyone, I think — to see your personal life summarized in a sentence.”
The prospect of fatherhood excites Reynolds, who was previously wed to Scarlett Johansson from 2008 to 2011. “We’d love to have a big family,” he says of Lively, whom he met on the set of 2011’s The Green Lantern. “We both come from big families — my parents did four, Blake’s did five. A lot of people say it’s crazy, but we’ll only know when we’re there, you know? We’ll walk through that fire pretty happily, I think.”
Reynolds realizes that some aspects of parenthood are beyond his control — beginning with their children’s genders. “I’m terrified that I’m genetically predisposed to only having boys. That’s frightening,” he admits. “By the time I was 10 years old, and I’m not exaggerating, I knew how to patch drywall. There’s nothing my brothers and I didn’t put a hole in. We turned our home into a Wiffle house. That’s something I’m not looking forward to.”
The Safe House star was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. The youngest of four brothers, Reynolds says he “pretty much got pounded” throughout his childhood. “I don’t bruise easily anymore. I can’t tell you how many times the cops were called to our house.”
Ironically, the actor’s father was a police officer. “Yeah, that’s very embarrassing,” Reynolds jokes. “When your dad’s a cop, calling 911 is really just like calling Dad at work.”
Reynolds and his brothers were rebellious, but according to the actor, they always had each other’s backs. “I wanted to get an earring when I was 13. My brothers said that was a terrible idea and that as soon as Dad — a very, very obsessively strict cop, a tough guy — sees your Wham! starter kit, you’re dead. Like, literally dead. He will turn you into a liquid. But I said, ‘I don’t care. I’m gonna do it.'”
The following day, Reynolds got his ear pierced. “I had a long walk home that felt like seven or eight days,” he recalls. “And when I sat down at the dinner table, drips of sweat were just splashing off the table. I knew I was a dead man. I could feel my dad’s eyes on me, like a laser beam burning a hole through my head. But then I could feel the gaze shift over to my brothers, and I heard him grumble something under his breath that was immensely offensive and that I won’t repeat here. When I looked up, I saw that all three of my brothers had an earring. They did something pretty heroic in that moment. I have some amazing brothers.”
It’s those kind of memories that give Reynolds reassurance about raising his own family. “I think you have to let go of this idea that you can be precious about everything,” he tells Details, “and let it be the abstract mess that it is.”
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