The Stunning Transformation Of Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds was crowned Sexiest Man Alive in 2010 and continues to land leading man roles in film and TV projects, proving he has the looks and talent to play everything from a comic book hero in "Deadpool" to a caveman in "The Croods." 

The actor, who is married to actress Blake Lively, frequently ranks high on IMD's STARmeter, thanks to his likability and active slate of projects. While he began his career on television with small roles in "Fifteen," "Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years," and "The X-Files," it didn't take long for him to find success starring in movies. 

With a career that spans 30 years, the actor and producer – known for his wicked sense of humor, good looks, and charm – has appeared in so many television and movie projects, it's easy to trace his transformation from boyish to one of the sexiest men alive — which has been nothing short of amazing.

Ryan started his acting career at 15

Ryan Reynolds was 15 years old when he landed his first acting role in the Nickelodeon TV series "Fifteen" (similar to "Saved by the Bell"), which was set at a fictional high school. For four seasons, Reynolds played Billy Simpson, a teen who navigated his parents separation by becoming a bully. Billy's older sister and her friends eventually broke through his emotional barriers, and he made amends for his behavior. 

The show was initially produced in Reynolds' hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, where it aired under the tile of "Hillside," according to The Wrap. The series, which is available for viewing on PROClassicTV on YouTube, gave the young thespian his first taste of acting, which led to a lead role in the 1993 family film "Ordinary Magic" opposite actress Glenne Headly, who played his aunt. 

Reynolds also earned a role on the Canadian TV series "The Odyssey" in 1994, proving he had the discipline to succeed as an actor. It wouldn't be long before more mature roles called to the young performer.

Ryan landed guest roles on popular TV shows in the '90s

Ryan Reynolds was only 20 years old when he landed a small role on an episode of the popular TV show "The X-Files." Playing a high school jock who dies at the hands of two teenage girls masquerading as a Satanic cult, Reynolds can be seen in the third season episode titled "Syzygy." 

Not long after, he sported blond highlights and an earring to play Seth, Sabrina's crush in the TV movie "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," which led to more guest-starring roles on shows such as "The Outer Limits" and "The John Larroquette Show."

In 1998, Reynolds was cast as one of the leads in the ABC series, "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place," along with Nathan Fillion, Richard Ruccolo, and Traylor Howard. In the show that lasted four seasons, he played a laid-back pre-med student who shared a Boston apartment with his two close friends and spent much of his time at a nearby pizzeria.

Ryan's breakout film role was as Van Wilder

"National Lampoon's Van Wilder" was a modest hit when it released in 2002, debuting at No. 5 at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo. However, it quickly gained cult hit status when it was released on DVD, pushing its star, Ryan Reynolds, to his highest fame yet. The movie follows a hard-partying seventh-year college senior who helps his fellow undergrads succeed by departing helpful life advice. 

The role helped Reynolds move on to bigger roles in major productions, including "Blade: Trinity," in which he played the first of many comic book characters brought to life on the big screen alongside Jessica Biel and Wesley Snipes. Reynolds portrayed Hannibal King, a former vampire who joined Blade's vampire-killing team of renegades. While Reynolds and "Blade" star Snipes reportedly didn't get along, that didn't stop Reynolds from advancing his career.

Reynolds transformed in a major way to show off his dramatic skills

In the early 2000s, Ryan Reynolds became an A-list star, tackling lead roles in major comedy films such as "Just Friends" and "Waiting..." but he also played some memorable dramatic roles, too. 

For the remake of the classic horror film "The Amityville Horror," Reynolds presented a shaggy and haggard appearance as the potentially murderous patriarch of a family who famously fled their haunted home in the 1970s. While not a hit with critics, the movie was well-received by audiences who found Reynolds' performance unsettling, but in a good way, according to Rotten Tomatoes

His penchant for portraying comic book characters became evident when he played Wade Wilson, also known as Deadpool, in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" in 2009, but the movie failed both critically and with audiences. Reynolds then tackled the role of Hal Jordan in "The Green Lantern" in 2011, but that movie failed to win audiences as well. He then shied away from comic book adaptations for several years afterward, instead choosing a mix of comedic and leading man roles, such as "The Proposal" with Sandra Bullock. His biggest and most popular role wouldn't come until 2016, when a truer-to-the-comics version of Wade Wilson landed on movie screens in 2016's "Deadpool."

These days, Ryan a devoted husband and father

Ryan Reynolds' love life has also seen a huge transformation throughout the years. He met his wife, Blake Lively, while filming "The Green Lantern," and the two married on Sept. 9, 2012 in South Carolina. Prior to this, he'd been engaged to singer Alanis Morrisette and married to actress Scarlett Johansson, according to Biography.

Reynolds and Lively have three children and often interact with each other on social media with Reynolds often speaking in favorable terms about his wife. According to Elle, he recently called her "the heart and soul" of their family.   

The 40-something actor has come a long way from the 15-year-old Nickelodeon star who set his sights on Hollywood. While Reynolds has plenty of future roles to keep him busy — IMDb lists five projects in pre-production — he'll next be seen on the big screen in the Disney film "Free Guy," releasing in theaters Aug. 13, 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the meantime, you can always check out his hilarious SnapChat series.