How Ryan Reynolds Can Revive His Career

Actor Ryan Reynolds poses for a portrait for the film "Captives" at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, France, May 17, 2014.
Joel Ryan/Invision/AP Photo

Ryan Reynolds is in a slump.

His latest film, "The Captive," was booed at its Cannes' film festival premiere last week. The 37-year-old actor, who earlier walked the red carpet with his wife Blake Lively, 26, skipped out on the after party following the disastrous screening.

To be fair, The Hollywood Reporter called Reynolds' performance "solid," even while panning the Atom Egoyan film as "tangled, cliched and bereft of psychological complexity.

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But the poor reviews the film has already received do not bode well for the box office when it's released in the U.S. later this year.

Last year, the star endured not one, but two, box office flops in the same weekend when his animated flick "Turbo" sputtered to third place and his afterlife comedy, "R.I.P.D.," finished a dead seventh.

So what's a Hollywood star to do? Take a page from Matthew McConaughey's book. The 44-year-old actor not only remade his career after one romantic comedy flop after another, he took home the Oscar earlier this year for best actor.

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Here's how Reynolds could revive his career following the McConaughey Method:

Family First

Following his Oscar win, McConaughey told People the secret to his so-called career "McConaissance" was his family life. "My life outside my career is extremely enriching," the "Dallas Buyers Club" star told the magazine. "So I am letting that feed my work, and letting my work feed my life."

Reynolds is already on the right track here. He married Lively in 2012 in a hush-hush ceremony outside of Hollywood, and the couple maintain their zone of privacy by choosing to live in upstate New York. Reynolds has also made it clear he's looking forward to having a big family with Lively.

More Character-Driven Roles

McConaughey's "Dazed and Confused" director, Richard Linklater, credited the actor's wife Camila, for helping her husband move away from romantic comedies to more nuanced character-driven roles. "You'll have people around you who want other things [for you]," Linklater told People, "but she (Camila) will approach it as, 'What does Matthew want?' That's the direction she pushes him."

Lively already appears to be her husband's biggest advisor. Last June, Reynolds revealed that his wife is the one who signs off on his wardrobe. "I would never walk out of the house without her approval," he told "Extra."

Romcoms are not Reynolds' Achilles heel -- remember 2009's "The Proposal" opposite Sandra Bullock -- as much as big-budget action flicks. Reynolds should continue to move toward more character-driven roles, like the grieving father he plays in "The Captive." Even if the film tanks, he has a chance to shine in a smaller role or smaller movie.

Take a Break

Like McConaughey, Reynolds is a former "Sexiest Man Alive." But in order to get audiences to look past his good looks, McConaughey took a well-publicized break from Hollywood. By dropping out of sight, other directors, like William Friedkin and Steven Soderbergh, came calling, and McConaughey began to take notice of great character roles, which led him to supporting parts in a few indies and ultimately "Dallas Buyers Club."

Reynolds can mostly likely afford a similar hiatus from Hollywood, especially with Lively's star rising. Before long, Hollywood will be wondering whatever happened to Ryan Reynolds and rooting for his comeback.


Being thankful is not just something McConaughey pays attention to during awards season, it's a way of life. "I just find that the more I wake up and find things to be appreciative about, they do reciprocate somehow," McConaughey told ABC News' Josh Elliott backstage at the Oscars. "Gratitude is a scientific fact."

Regardless of where his career is right now, Reynolds certainly has a lot to be grateful for.

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