It may have taken a while, but it looks like Ryan Reynolds has elevated his status from Canada's favorite sharp-witted pretty boy to bona fide Hollywood movie star. The former Mr. Alanis is headlining a major summer blockbuster, 'Green Lantern,' and he reportedly beat out some pretty stiff competition to land the role.
The 'Green Lantern' coup followed the surprise smash hit 'The Proposal,' where Reynolds proved he could co-headline a rom-com with the likes of industry heavyweight Sandra Bullock. Looks like Ry-Rey has mastered all of the genres that count at the box office, from frat-boy comedies to action flicks to rom-coms.
It's hard to think of another young actor who translates across genres so well. At one point I probably would have said James Franco could give Ry-Rey a run for his money, but he just may have worn out his welcome by trying to be a little too versatile. (More stoner flicks, less film school, Franco!)
Reynolds has already proven that he's no flash in the pan. He's been steadily working for decades now. (And he's only 34!) Plus, he's demonstrated that he won't let Hollywood starlets and heartbreak (ahem, ScarJo) distract him from his work. And even while his personal life was crashing and burning, Ry-Rey didn't have a Sheen-style public meltdown. (Though it would have been fun to see him have some sort of run-in with Sean Penn, wouldn't it?)
While we're contemplating his rise to the big leagues, why not take a more detailed walk down memory lane? Here are my top five favorite Ryan Reynolds roles to date. (And no, I didn't forget about 'Buried.' He certainly gets an A for effort for that one, but it's not on my list of faves.)
1. Van Wilder in 'National Lampoon's Van Wilder'
Oh, Van Wilder. What a scamp! Reynolds is perfect as the girlfriend-stealing, prank-loving big man on campus. His barb-trading scenes with frat boy rival Richard (Dean Cosgrove) are just super. No wonder he's in the Guinness Book of World Records as the raddest dude alive!
2. Monty in 'Waiting'
Ry-Rey is both engaging and appalling at the same time as he chases underage tail, frightens young birthday boys, cheers on the Penis Showing Game and secretly exacts justice upon rude, rude customers. Some of the best scenes are when he fights with his ex, Serena (Anna Faris). Reynolds and Faris are so good together, especially when they're at each other's throats. No wonder they teamed up again for 'Just Friends.'
3. Mike in 'Adventureland'
Reynolds is truly skilled at playing cocky douchebags, which is why his portrayal of skeezy Mike is near the top of my list. Mike's a loser (not to mention married!), but he's got game. Poor little James (Jesse Eisenberg) could stand to learn a thing or two.
4. Andrew Paxton in 'The Proposal'
This time around, Sandra Bullock gets to play the jerk! Reynolds holds his own as the conflicted nice guy, and proves he's got what it takes to woo larger-than-life Sandy on the big screen. Not to mention the fantastic chemistry the pair has -- it was enough to lead to speculation about the two being 'together.'
5. Wade Wilson in 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'
It's easy to see why they expanded Reynolds' role after he was cast. His expertly delivered wisecracks provide welcome comic relief in this intense tale about the misunderstood mutant.