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Ryan Reynolds talks anxiety: “I feel like I have two parts of my personality”

The actor opened up in a new interview with CBS

By Joe Goggins

Ryan Reynolds poses
Reynolds has long been open about his mental health struggles. (Photo: YouTube)

Ryan Reynolds has discussed his struggles with anxiety, saying that he sometimes feels he has “two parts” to his personality.

The ‘Deadpool’ star, who has been open about his mental health problems in the past, was on CBS Sunday Morning to promote his new film, ‘The Adam Project’. “I’ve had anxiety my whole life really,” he said. “And you know, I feel like I have two parts of my personality, that one takes over when that happens.”

He cited experiences of stage fright before appearances on late-night talk shows as an example. “When I would go out on, like, ‘[The Late Show with David] Letterman’, back in the day, I was nervous. But I remember I’d be standing backstage before the curtain would open, and I would think to myself, ‘I’m gonna die. I’m literally gonna die here. The curtain’s gonna open and I’m just gonna be, I’m just gonna be a symphony of vomit,’ just, like, something horrible’s gonna happen!” 

“But as soon as that curtain opens – and this happens in my work a lot too – it’s like this little guy takes over,” Reynolds went on to explain. I feel, like, my heart rate drop, and my breathing calm, and I just sort of go out and I’m this different person. And I leave that interview going, ‘God, I’d love to be that guy!’”

In an interview with Mr. Porter in 2018, Reynolds went deep on his experience of mental ill-health. ”I tend to get pretty depressed and I have some issues with anxiety and things like that. [I exercise every day] otherwise, I start to get a little bummed. For me, it is more psychological. Exercise is a means of expelling those demons.”

In the same interview, he went on to link the issues to his fractious relationship with his father. ”My dad was a tough guy. He was good in many ways as well, but he was tough on us. This is not meant to be some sob story – everyone carries their own bag of rocks around and I am no different in that regard – but growing up in my house, it was never relaxing or easy and I know that, throughout my life, I’ve dealt with anxiety in different ways.”

He was also able to find a silver lining to his battle, saying: ”I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but anxiety is also a great fuel. I mean, my God, it’s the anti-complacency pill, but it’s also something that you need to manage.”

‘The Adam Project’, also starring Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner and Catherine Keener, arrives on Netflix on March 11.