By Emily Feimster
Canadian-born Ryan Reynolds has gone from being the cute guy on the mildly successful TV show "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place" to being a bona fide hunk of a movie star. In 2005 alone, he starred in four movies including "The Amityville Horror" and "Just Friends." With five more movies already in the works, it's becoming clear that Reynolds isn't going anywhere but up the Hollywood ladder.
Reynolds is also engaged to his girlfriend of three years, singer Alanis Morissette. The two have a lot more in common than just being Canadian. "I breathe music," he admits. Though both are extremely busy, they find a way to make it work. "It means just having to say no a lot and having to prioritize each other." Also, he goes on tour with her and she goes on location with him. "She finds it so amazing when our work is in the same city," adds Reynolds.
For the 29-year-old, who doesn't seem to be aware of his good looks and charming personality, acting was originally a way to be someone else. "For me, it started as escapism and slowly evolved into me considering it an art form. When I was young, I just wanted to escape myself. It was a way to get out of the house," he explains. "It evolved into a much bigger animal. I was 13 when I did my first television series and 14 when I did my first film." His first series was the short-lived Nickelodeon show, "Hillside."
He went on to appear in several mediocre movies, but ultimately decided to quit acting. As fate would have it, one night Reynolds ran into fellow Canadian actor Chris Martin, who convinced him to move to Los Angeles. Soon after, Reynolds landed a part on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and things only began to go up from there.
After four seasons on "Two Guys and a Girl," he went on to pursue a movie career, getting the lead in "Van Wilder" with Tara Reid and "The In-Laws" with Michael Douglas. However, Reynolds finally broke into another genre of movie making - action flicks - when he landed a part in the 2004 "Blade: Trinity."
In his most recent movie, "Just Friends," which gets its DVD release March 7, Reynolds got back to his comedy roots to play a former fat guy-turned womanizer attempting to reconnect with his high school sweetheart. It's a story that he thinks most everyone can relate to. "There are things that happen during that time that never really go away. We'd all like to go back to high school to get that second shot," he says. "When you're growing into your body and you're such a fragile state, going into high school, which can be one of the most hostile eco systems in the planet, is a pretty difficult thing for any kid. I can certainly relate to the fact that the wounds from high school remain until you're well into adulthood."
Having had such a positive experience with director Roger Kumble, Reynolds is hoping to work with him again in the action/comedy "Ride Along." "We had a real synergy. He really stretched me," claims the actor. "I find that it's difficult when I'm working with comedy directors to push me further than I've gone before. He really stripped away some of the old habits that I would typically rely on and push me to look for something new and different in each scene."
When asked what kinds of films he sees himself doing in the future, Reynolds responds, "The last couple of years I've just been trying to do different genres each time. I think I've kind of achieved that. Even the movie I'm shooting now is just a straight crime drama called 'Smokin' Aces.' It's a follow up to 'Narc.' The whole point is to switch it up as much as possible."
However, if he had to choose? "I lean a little more towards drama only because I'm afraid to leave my comfort zone sometimes. I think that's why I'll continue to do more drama than comedy because the possibilities in drama are far more infinite than in comedy. There's no specific objective in mind - like in comedy, the objective is to laugh."
For the time being, Reynolds is just enjoying the opportunities he is getting to work on various movie projects. "Whatever job I'm doing, at that exact moment, I feel like that's the best thing I've ever been a part of. It's a very fortunate line of thinking," he quips.
So what does he hope to accomplish during his career? "I want to continue to be challenged. I don't want to do anything unless it's going to offer something new on some level."