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Ryan Reynolds Revealed The Real Reason He's Taking A Break From Acting After Previously Opening Up About Using Work To "Pave Over Anxiety"

"It's really about getting some quality time with my kids before they're teenagers who loathe me."

Posted on November 4, 2021, at 9:34 a.m. ET

Ryan Reynolds has explained the real reason he's taking a break from acting, revealing that he wants to spend more "quality time" with his family.

Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Last month, the Deadpool star announced that he'd just completed filming for his latest project, Spirited, which sees Ryan star alongside stars such as Will Ferrell and Octavia Spencer.

Gotham / GC Images

"Not sure I'd have been ready to say yes to a film this challenging even three years ago," he said in the caption of his Instagram post. "Singing, dancing and playing in the sandbox with Will Ferrell made a whole lotta dreams come true. And this is my second film with the great @octaviaspencer…"

He later added: "These days, kindness matters as much as talent. I've been lucky to work with folks who are flush with both."

With numerous projects currently in the pipeline, and having worked flat out for the last few years both onscreen and offscreen, Ryan took the opportunity to also announce he'd be taking "a little sabbatical" from making movies, which of course led to some trolling from wife Blake Lively.

Gotham / GC Images

"Perfect time for a little sabbatical from movie making," he said. "I'm gonna miss every second working with this obscenely gifted group of creators and artists."

In peak Ryan vs. Blake trolling, the Gossip Girl actor then jumped into her husband's comments, pointing out that another actor had already announced their retirement earlier that same day. "Michael Caine did it first," she wrote.

Michael Caine later clarified that he isn't actually retiring, but that's another story.

Then, just last week, Ryan opened up about how his hectic schedule had an effect on his mental health, telling the Wall Street Journal that he often used work to "pave over anxiety."

Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

"I tend to pave over anxiety with work and, to a lesser extent, achievement," he said. "I tend to bite off way more than I could or should chew."

"I think maybe it's just that Canadian sensibility: 'Well, I said I was going to, so I have to deliver this,'" he continued. "I will do that at the cost of my own well-being sometimes."

"I fixate on things," he went on. "That's sort of the engine of anxiety. I lay awake at night, wrapping and unwrapping every possible scenario."

Now, as his newest movie prepares to come out on Friday, Ryan revealed in an interview on the red carpet that he was taking a break from work so he could focus on family instead.

Axelle / FilmMagic

Responding to a joke that his sabbatical might be down to his experience working with Will Ferrell, Ryan said it was quite the opposite.

Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

"Will's like one of those people that's like everything you would hope, dream, and pray he would be offscreen," he told ET at the Red Notice premiere. "He's just such a wonderful human being. If anything, he gave me some major pause." 

"But he's a lot like me," Ryan went on. "His family mean everything to him, and for me, it's really about getting some quality time with my kids before they're teenagers who loathe me."

Ryan and Blake share three daughters together: James, 6, Inez, 5, and Betty, 2.

While Ryan might be taking a break from making new movies, he's not exactly leaving our big screens anytime soon. As well as the release of Red Notice, the A-lister has no less than six movies in various stages of production.

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Included in those movies is Deadpool 3, which is currently due to begin filming next year.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.