As the brash, cocky star of Deadpool and with a famously sharp and quick wit off-screen, one would not imagine that Ryan Reynolds has any problem with confidence. However, the superstar actor has opened up more on his struggles with anxiety in a new interview.

“I have anxiety. I've always had anxiety,” Canadian star Reynolds told the New York Times on Thursday (May 3rd). “Both in the light-hearted 'I'm anxious about this' kind of thing, and I've been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.”

When he feels stressed out about stuff, Reynolds sometimes overcomes his anxiety by drawing on his now infamous Deadpool character to get through it.

Ryan ReynoldsRyan Reynolds spoke about his life-long struggles with anxiety

“When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead,” he continued, “and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set. That's that great self-defence mechanism. I figure if you're going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly.”

This difference between Reynolds-the-star and Reynolds-the-real-guy often gets displayed to him when he meets fans on the street, where they are usually disappointed to find “this incredibly boring version of a guy who looked like their hero.”

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Thinking further about how his anxiety started, Reynolds said that his father was “the stress dispensary in our house” as he raised him and his three brothers.

As a result, he explained that “I became this young skin-covered micro manager. When you stress out kids, there's a weird paradox that happens because they're suddenly taking on things that aren't theirs to take on.”

That anxiety carried over him into his twenties, where he got into a “real unhinged phase... I was partying and just trying to make myself vanish in some way.”

That hasn’t completely gone away, but now aged 41 and married to Blake Lively with two young daughters, he’s learned how to manage anxiety much more effectively.

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