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‘I sort of hid behind self-deprecating humor’: When Ryan Reynolds revealed how he relives his 12 year old self in The Adam Project


In the movie The Adam Project, Ryan Reynolds plays a character who travels back in time to revisit his childhood memories when he was 12 years old. According to reports by NPR, the film was inspired by Reynolds’ own imaginative experiences as a child. In the story, Reynolds portrays a pilot on a mission to protect the future, and he doesn’t embark on this adventure alone. He forms an unexpected partnership with his younger self, skillfully portrayed by actor Walker Scobell.

When Ryan Reynolds discussed parallels between his 12-Year-Old Self and Adam in The Adam Project

In an interview with NPR, Ryan Reynolds shared how closely he resonated with the younger version of Adam, played by Scobell. He remarked on the striking similarities between Scobell’s portrayal and his own 12-year-old self, drawing a connection to the way they both used self-deprecating humor as a shield against the world. This technique, Reynolds explained, allowed him to navigate his childhood with a degree of safety and humor. 

Furthermore, as per the reports, Reynolds also opened up about his experiences growing up, revealing that he had often hidden behind self-deprecating humor, much like his character in the film. He attributed this tendency to his shyness and the need to find a defense mechanism against his three older brothers, who turned his childhood home into a raucous battlefield. 

Ryan Reynolds (Instagram)

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In the Deadpool star’s own words,  “I mean, the movie is – obviously, it’s a large-scale, spectacle-driven, wish-fulfillment movie, you know, that is an adventure action comedy. But its spine is something quite personal, intimate and emotional. And, yeah, as a kid, I really did. I sort of hid behind self-deprecating humor. And I used it as a way to stay safe. I mean, I grew up with three older brothers. So I was less a brother and more of a moving target in our house. And, you know, I wasn’t going to win with muscle. So I developed a bit of a silver tongue as a kid. But I was a lot shyer than Walker Scobell was in our movie. I mean, he was – he’s a little bit more extroverted than I was.”

What made The Adam Project meaningful to Ryan Reynolds?

Throughout the interview with NPR, the Free Guy star emphasized the personal and emotional aspects of The Adam Project. He acknowledged that while the movie offered high-octane action sequences and dazzling special effects, its core was deeply intimate and emotional. This personal connection, combined with the thrill of the adventure, made the project particularly meaningful to him.

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Additionally, Ryan also talked about enthusiasm and dedication to his work in the film industry, particularly when it comes to performing physical stunts. He mentioned, “I still love doing the physical stuff. I mean, movies like ‘The Adam Project’, I feel like the real stunt is the emotional work. I mean, the hard-hitting emotional stuff of the movie to me is much more difficult than, you know, jumping off a balcony or getting hit by a car.”

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.