Ryan Reynolds is as confident as they come in Deadpool 2—but off-screen, he's a bundle of nerves. "I have anxiety. I've always had anxiety," the actor reveals in The New York Times. "Both in the lighthearted '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." The actor, who once told GQ he "had a little bit of a nervous breakdown" after the first Deadpool was released in 2016, adds that he's able to overcome his anxiety at work by channeling his character. "When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead," he says, "and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set."
Like the mercenary he plays on-screen, Reynolds has a famously quick wit. "That's that great self-defense mechanism," he admits. "I figure if you're going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly." But whenever he meets fans in real life, for example, Reynolds says they are often highly disappointed to find "this incredibly boring version of a guy who looked like their hero."
Naturally, the pressure for Deadpool 2 to do better than the first film weighs on him. "When there's built-in expectation," the actor explains, "your brain always processes that as danger."