Ryan Reynolds pricked his ear and that poked the bear, his father. Luckily for the “Deadpool” star, his brothers came to the rescue.
The 45-year-old actor is the first guest in season 4 of David Letterman’s hit Netflix talk show, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” and ET has an exclusive sneak peek at the moment Reynolds recalled telling one of his brothers about how it “would be a good idea, a cool thing” to get his ears pierced when he was around 12 years old.
Reynolds, who added that the pop duo Wham! may have had something to do with his interest in getting his ears pierced, said he told his brother about the idea, and right away his brother warned him things could get ugly with their dad, James.
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“My brother said, ‘You’re going to die. You’re going to show up at dinner tonight and there will be a messy stabbing death because Dad is going to take one of the utensils and stab you,” Reynolds recalls.
The “Free Guy” star says he forged ahead with his plan anyway. And off he went with a friend and his mom to Sears — “or wherever the hell you go” to get an earring pierced — but soon, panic set in.
“I get to the dinner table and I remember sweat was dripping down my lap and I’m looking down and I can feel his gaze hit me,” Reynolds says. “He mutters some swear word under his breath, and I look up and I look around and I see that all three of my brothers had gotten an earring to sorta save me.”
Hearing the gripping tale, Letterman exclaims, “Oh my god,” to which Reynolds replies with, “Yeah, one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life.”
It’s not the first time Reynolds has spoken about this story. Back in 2014, Reynolds wrote an essay for Time‘s “Time for Thanks” series in which he opened up about the piercing story while describing his father as “the toughest man alive: a former cop, former boxer and full-time landmine.”
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Reynolds, the youngest of four boys, said his father “worked tirelessly to provide for his family and in return, you were expected to do what he said, often before he said it.” He continued, “In a word, he was scary. Not because he was sadistic or physically abusive. He was scary because he was one of those people with an energetic ‘weight’ to him.”
He further painted a picture of his dad saying, “Shifting his weight ever so slightly from one foot to another could transform an otherwise delightful 6th birthday party into what felt like an Irish funeral.”
Reynolds has also been open about the fractured relationship he had with his father, who died after a long battle with Parkinson’s in 2015. But it was his wife, Blake Lively, who encouraged him to patch things up before he died, and they did.
In fact, Reynolds and Lively ended up naming their first daughter James.
“It felt right. All family relationships come with some complications,” he said in a 2018 interview. “At the end of the day, it’s easier to focus on the good stuff than the bad. My father died soon after my daughter was born, but he got to see her, which makes me happy.”
Reynolds is the first guest in the season 4 premiere, which drops Friday on Netflix. My Next Guest Needs No Introduction’s upcoming guests also include Cardi B, Billie Eilish, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Smith (pre-Oscars slap).