A Hollywood success story born in Canada.

Ryan Reynolds isn’t one of those actors about whom people often ask: “How did that guy become an A-list movie star?” He is, objectively speaking, gorgeous, ripped, charming, smart, funny, kind, ridiculously likable, and super-talented. There’s an old saying my grandmother used to use, “God doesn’t give with both hands.” With all due respect to my dearly-departed Nana, Ryan Reynolds proves that is utter bullshit.

Still, his ascent to stardom hasn’t been as smooth or quick as you might expect. Though he was a scene-stealing standout in nearly everything he appeared in, Reynolds never settled on his looks or charm, he kept pushing himself into a broader range of work and roles, not willing to become typecast as just another dreamy matinee idol. Sure, he had his stint as a romantic-comedy leading man, but among films like Just Friends (a comedy gem, btw), The In-Laws, and The Proposal, Reynolds also made indie dramas – The Nines, Chaos Theory, Paper Man – action flicks – Smokin’ Aces, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Safe House – and even horror-thrillers – The Amityville Horror, Buried, The Captive.

For a full account of the Rise of Reynolds, check out the following video from Burger Fiction tracing 26 years of the actor’s career in just over 12 minutes. My favorite RyRen flick? Boltneck, all the way Boltneck.

More to Read: