Ryan Reynolds Writes Moving Essay About His Brothers Coming To His Rescue
Ryan Reynolds reveals why he is thankful for his three older brothers this holiday season in a moving essay he shared with Time on Thursday. In the story, Reynolds recalls his siblings coming to his rescue when he had rebelliously gotten his ear pierced at 13.
“Actions speak louder than words,” Reynolds begins. “And for one particular memory I have, the action was deafening. I’m the youngest of four brothers. Being the youngest, I often felt less like a little brother and more like a moving target.”
He continues, “Growing up, all four of us were at war under our roof. Alliances were forged and broken daily. As the smallest and youngest, they reserved their most unique and unblinking brand of torture for me. But on occasion, they also unwittingly taught me about rising to the occasion. And for this, I’m grateful. Doing the right thing at the right time speaks volumes about one’s character. Especially when it’s wholly unexpected. As is so often the case with young boys, acts of kindness were like Blue Moons: rare and spectacular.”
The actor goes to explain that his father was “the toughest man alive,” noting that his dad “worked tirelessly to provide for his family and in return, you were expected to do what he said, often before he said it.” Reynolds writes, “In a word, he was scary. Not because he was sadistic or physically abusive. He was scary because he was one of those people with an energetic ‘weight’ to him. He could snatch the life right out of you with a simple look.”
Reynolds says that when he turned 13, he “decided to test the waters of questionable fashion and independence” by getting an earring. “I was terrified,” he recalls. “Not terrified to have a hole punched through my virginal ear, but terrified about the hole that would be punched through my future, when my father found out. I had a totally baseless and illusory idea that revealing this plan to my older brothers would elicit some form of support, or at minimum, empathy. Early that morning, I told them about the bold step I was planning to take after school, in the hope some kind of wartime bond would fuse us together as one imposing unit… Wrong.”
The Green Lantern star notes, “My brothers were characteristically detailed with their feelings on the matter. My oldest brother told me I was going to die tonight. Like, DIE. “Do NOT do this. If Dad sees that thing in your ear, he’s gonna release your soul to the wind.” My middle brother bluntly stated that, “Bad call. Dad’s going to turn you into a liquid, dumb-ass.” And my other brother took umbrage in the act itself, “Earrings on dude’s are lame. Especially on a dude.”
Despite his brothers’ warnings, Reynolds says he had his friend’s mother sign the consent form, so he could get his ear pierced. He writes of the moment, “My fate was punctuated by a tiny gold stud fired through my fleshy, pre-pubescent earlobe. It didn’t even hurt… probably because the hurt was yet to come.”
That night, Reynolds fearfully waited for his father to notice his new earring over dinner. “Dad’s eyes scanned the room like a flashlight thru fog,” he explains. “I anxiously waited for the beam to find me. When his eyes stopped scanning and rested in my direction, I held my breath and tensed my stomach. Before I could utter a single futile syllable he said… “P*ssies.” My head snapped up immediately. I could see he wasn’t just looking at me. His confused eyes darted spastically between all four boys in shock, disbelief and directionless anger. What he was in fact looking at, were four young men, sitting at a dinner table, each, with a freshly pierced ear. And a big Blue Moon rose to the occasion: rare, and pretty damn spectacular.” What do you think of Reynolds’ story?