Actor Ryan Reynolds grew up with his three older brothers in Vancouver
Ryan Reynolds' signature brand of sarcastic humor runs in the family. Growing up with not one but three older brothers, the Deadpool actor credits Jeff, Terry and Patrick for his quick wit.
"As a kid, I was the youngest of four boys. I wasn’t considered a younger brother, I was considered a moving target," Ryan said in an interview on SiriusXM EW Radio. "The way I stayed alive was with my mouth because I’m not going to win with my fists.”
The four boys were raised by their mother, Tammy Reynolds, and their father, James "Jim" Chester Reynolds. James died in 2015 after a 20-year battle with Parkinson's disease, which he rarely discussed with his family. While Ryan has shared that both the loss of his father and his childhood were not easy, the love he has for his brothers is more than evident.
So, who are Ryan Reynolds' brothers? Here's everything to know about Jeff, Terry and Patrick.
They grew up in Vancouver
Ryan was born on Oct. 23, 1976, in Vancouver, Canada, where he would remain throughout his childhood. In a 2011 satirical essay for Entertainment Weekly, the actor wrote (in third-person) about growing up in the seaport city.
"For him, it was an ideal place to live," he wrote. "Backdropped by a vast mountain range and flanked by the Pacific Ocean, it was a natural playground."
Ryan also described the physical nature of what it was like being the last of four boys: "He spent a great deal of time with his older brothers and, in turn, his brothers were very close to him. Usually within striking distance. Fun to bruise and generally considered to be 'emergency food,' he was teased for being the sensitive kid who liked to mow the lawn and get punched in the face. The boys remain close to this day."
Jeff was Ryan's first friend
Out of the three brothers, Jeff is the most private. His social media accounts are not public, and he's rarely seen outside of the occasional throwback photo Ryan will share. In 2017, the actor posted a sweet picture of the two of them as kids for Jeff's birthday and revealed in the caption that he considers him the first friend he ever had.
"I may have three older brothers, but only one Jeff," the actor wrote. "You were the first friend I ever had. If there was ever a fire and I had to choose a family member to save, obviously it’d be me. But if I had time to save one more... and I knew it was safe to re-enter the burning building, you can be damn sure I’d call the fire department."
His brothers protected him
Ryan describes his father as a " tough guy" who was hard on his kids. But the fear of getting on James' bad side wasn't always enough to stop him from rebelling — and it helped that his brothers always came to the rescue if he ever got into trouble.
On an episode of David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, the actor shared a story about how, as a 12-year-old boy, he went against his dad's wishes and got his ear pierced. He told Letterman: "My brothers said, 'You're gonna die. You're gonna show up at dinner tonight, and there will be a messy stabbing death because Dad will take one of the utensils and stab you.' "
Thankfully, that "stabbing" didn't occur because when the family sat down for dinner that night, Ryan looked around the table and saw that all three of his older brothers had gotten their ears pierced, too. They weren't going to let him face his father's wrath alone.
Growing up in a family of boys made Ryan want to have girls
Now a father himself, Ryan and his wife, Blake Lively, are parents to three girls, James, Inez and Betty, as well as a fourth baby whose name has yet to be revealed. The actor shared that growing up with a family of destructive boys made him want to raise a household full of girls.
“My brothers and I ... we would destroy the house,” he told SiriusXM Radio. "I could patch and drywall at 8. We could actually repair an entire hole in the wall in our house within 15 minutes. That’s part of the reason I don’t want boys, because I don’t want a wiffle house."
Terry followed in their father's footsteps and became a Mountie
Before he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, James was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. His role in protecting the community was something Ryan and his brothers looked up to. So, it's no surprise that Terry followed in his father's footsteps and became a Mountie himself.
In 2019, HuffPost shared a photo of Terry in his uniform that Ryan had posted on his Instagram Stories in honor of Canada's Remembrance Day. Though he seems happy with his chosen career path, the actor told The Sydney Morning Herald in 2010 that if it weren't for acting, he would have liked to become a Mountie, too.
Patrick is a teacher
Patrick didn't get bitten by the Mountie or the acting bug. Instead, he chose a career in education —something his brother, Ryan, is especially proud of. In 2020, the actor gave him a shout-out on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
“My brother Patrick, he teaches at Coyote Creek Elementary up in British Columbia, Canada," he told Fallon. "He teaches third- and fourth-graders. He’s an awesome guy. He’s also an artist, so he brings something special and magical to those kids each and every day."
Their father's illness brought them closer
Losing the patriarch of their family in 2015 was a difficult time for Ryan and his brothers. The actor shared that even though his dad didn't open up about his battle with Parkinson's disease, his diagnosis brought the whole family closer together.
“It kind of galvanized everybody else to sort of seek resources,” Ryan said in a 2014 interview on Today. “And for us, in a strange way, it’s really kind of brought us together."
In a 2020 interview with Men's Health, the actor said that even in his dad's final moments, he and his brothers were making him laugh. “We were all in there together, me and my brothers, just joking with him. And of course we end up busting each other’s chops. I recommended that the doctor raise Dad’s dose of Dilaudid in order to make my other brother more tolerable.”
They troll each other on social media
While Jeff and Patrick don't put themselves in the public eye, Ryan occasionally leverages his celebrity platform to tease them. On Father's Day in 2018, the actor shared a rare photo of himself with his three brothers and a caption that read: "#HappyFathersDay to my three big brothers — who also happen to be amazing dads. Looks like we made it... Who knew four broken condoms could lead to this much love?"
Terry, however, has no problem returning the favor. In 2022, he posted a shot of Ryan winning PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive more than a decade ago after finding the magazine while cleaning his house. "Oddly you were tucked underneath 2012’s Channing Tatum," he wrote. "I’ll never get past seeing that at every 2010 grocery checkout. It was staring back at me like a bowl of kale flavoured ice cream. Brought to you by our sponsors, Penetrating Eye Contact and Emergency Eye Wash Stations."
The brothers also shared an impromptu selfie after they unintentionally ran into each other in New York City in October 2023.
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