The scary experience that made Ryan Reynolds hate flying

Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds became a household name thanks to cult film favorites like Van Wilder and Just Friends, but it was not until the star took on Marvel’s Deadpool in 2016 that he truly hit his stride. While screenwriters were afraid to make an R-rated superhero film, Deadpool’s eventual debut proved the haters wrong, racking up rave reviews as it became the highest-grossing X-Men movie in the film franchise’s history. 

Between his razor sharp wit and embodiment of the iconic superhero’s physicality, it seems like Reynolds was destined to play Deadpool. Therefore, it is no surprise fans were quick to liken the actor to his alter ego, Wade Wilson. But, while Reynolds definitely looks like a superhero (even IRL), the actor has a few fears that you might not expect. In 2011, he told Ann Curry on The Today Show that he has a “problem” with airplanes, which he ultimately conquered while he was on-set filming another action hero film, Green Lantern. “On the film, we were up on high-wires flying all the time, all over the place … It was really interesting and really terrifying at first,” Reynolds confessed. So, how and when did this fear of flying manifest? Keep reading to learn the scary experience that made Ryan Reynolds hate flying.

Ryan Reynolds had a bad skydiving experience

In 2013, Ryan Reynolds appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he admitted he had developed a fear of flying following a terrifying skydiving experience that sent him free-falling through the air (via Express). At the time, the up-and-coming star was training to get his skydiving license with some friends when his main parachute malfunctioned. “I’m on my 13th jump, lucky number 13, my ‘chute opened and what happened … the risers broke and the thing opened kind of vertically,” Reynolds explained. “So it’s just sort of flapping in the wind and it really wasn’t slowing me down at all. It was just making me spin out of control and almost making me unconscious.”

The actor recalled that while he (luckily) had a backup parachute on hand, he was too afraid to pull the cord. “I was terrified to pull away, to break away and pull my reserve ‘chute because in my idiotic 19-year-old mind I thought, ‘Then I’ll have no more ‘chutes left,’ but I thankfully came to my senses, pulled away, pulled the reserve ‘chute and guided down.” It was not until he touched down on solid ground that the severity of the situation kicked in for Reynolds. “That was the point where my whole world collapsed and the panic attack kicked in,” he explained (via Digital Spy). Honestly, the harrowing experience would be enough to scare anyone away from flying for life!

Ryan Reynolds got over his fear of flying while filming 'Green Lantern'

Thankfully, Ryan Reynolds was able to move beyond his near-death experience by conquering his fear. During the 2011 filming of Marvel’s Green Lantern, Reynolds once again came face-to-face with flying. After his character acquired special powers thanks to a magical ring, the movie called for Reynolds to “fly” around thanks to help of high-wires. Describing the concept as both “terrifying” and “interesting” on The Today Show, Reynolds opened up about how his younger nephews and nieces helped him bypass his fear. 

“I don’t mean to make it sound too altruistic, but my nieces and nephews were just so excited about this movie and I kept thinking about them getting to come see this film,” Reynolds admitted on The Today Show. “You kind of get over all that crap… After the 17th, 18th time of doing it, you say, ‘Hey, this is actually a little bit of fun.'” Doing something for the greater good (in spite of your fears) is definitely what we would call the mark of a true superhero!

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