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Ryan Reynolds named 2021 Entertainment & Entrepreneurship Innovator by ‘WSJ. Magazine’

Dan Jackson for WSJ. Magazine.

Ryan Reynolds covers the November issue of WSJ. Magazine, which named him the publication's 2021 Entertainment & Entrepreneurship Innovator.

The actor and producer was hailed for his efforts as a marketing guru, with viral ads for not only his 2016 hit Deadpool, but clever spots for his companies Mint Mobile and Aviation American Gin. Some interview highlights:

For Deadpool, Reynolds saw getting creative control of the then-obscure property a make-or break moment for his career.  "While I was obscenely privileged to star in movies, a lot of times they weren't working," he admits. "That's when I said, 'I need to have some authorship here.'"

The movie became an unlikely blockbuster, and spawned a franchise.

Deadpool also taught him "invaluable life lessons," many of which insped his company Maximum Effort, which produces everything from hits like his recent movie Free Guy, to viral ads.

"We had so little to make that movie and even less to market the movie," said Reynolds. The unconventional character meant "marketing it had to step outside any semblance of normalcy."

He says of Maximum Effort, "We love storytelling. Marketing, to a certain extent, is diet storytelling...," noting that the "scrappy" ads focus on character over budget.

Reynolds admits, "I tend to bite off way more than I could or should chew," and blames it on a "Canadian sensibility."

"I fixate on things....I lay awake at night, wrapping and unwrapping every possible scenario," he declared, then quipping, "I slept at a perfect right angle for so many years."

Ryan says he tends to, "pave over anxiety with work and, to a lesser extent, achievement."

He says, "You want to tick boxes sometimes. So these days, my goal is to be as present as I can and not just tick a box just to do it. I'm fully embracing and living that right now. It's been amazing." Making a "check mark" in the air with his finger, he adds, "OK. Heartfelt personal-growth quote: check."

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