Ryan Reynolds on Loving Life Without a Nanny: ‘I Have No Problem Waking Up Five Times’ at Night with My Daughter

09/21/2015 at 12:55 PM ET

That goofy grin on Ryan Reynolds‘ face isn’t going away anytime soon.

It’s been nine months since he and wife Blake Lively welcomed daughter James, but the novelty of sleepless nights and diaper duty have not worn off for the first-time father.

“I have no problem waking up five times in the middle of the night and changing diapers, and as exhausted as you get, I have this stupid grin on my face all the time,” Reynolds, 38, says in the October issue of GQ magazine.

His “weirdly endless supply of patience” — the most surprising thing for the man who “could sometimes have a bit of a short fuse” — isn’t even a result of hired help to take care of the couple’s daughter.

“[It’s] not because I have a nanny or something like that. It’s just us right now, and I love it,” Reynolds, who kept his baby monitor on hand during the interview at his home, adds.

Ryan Reynolds GQ magazine
Peggy Sirota exclusively for GQ

His effortless ease into parenthood has been a balance of both nature and nurture for Reynolds, who, despite having a difficult relationship with his own father, is proud of his accomplishments so far.

“I look at each of my older brothers, and they’re all fathers, and they’re all great fathers. So I had some good examples,” the Deadpool star explains. “But I don’t think you really necessarily need examples. You just try to not be a complete pile of s— and just be there for them.”

Reynolds continues, “I like it: I mean that in the heaviest context. I genuinely like it. I like being a father. I like having a daughter. I would like to have more kids. It seems to suit me pretty well.”

Despite his love for his most important role ever, Reynolds is reluctant to rave about all of his daughter’s day-to-day doings — at least outside of the home.

“I find it to be really obnoxious. In fact, every time I talk about my kid in public, I’m generally talking about how average she is,” he shares. “But at home, I’m like, ‘You’re a genius! Oh, my God! You just took a s— in your diaper that came out as a perfect musical note!’ ”

He adds, “I don’t f—ing fall victim to it, because, especially celebrities, when they talk about their kid, they talk about their kid like they’re the Chosen One, or they’re the only people who have ever had a child.”

That’s not to say Reynolds doesn’t completely understand the unconditional love that comes with having a baby. The actor admits he views his parents in a whole new light since the arrival of his first child.

“Once you have a kid, you just think, like, ‘I can’t believe that another person did all this s— for me, that I’m doing for this person right now!’ Like, that somebody woke up in the middle of the night this many times just to wipe my ass,” he says.

“It’s just profound to me. So you start to have a great deal more respect for your own parents. Not that I didn’t already. But I don’t know how my parents did it with four kids. Four boys! Who basically did everything short of setting their own home on fire every single day of their lives. It’s gotta be pretty intense.”

However not all relationships have changed for the better. While paparazzi were busy clamoring for the first photo of James, Reynolds’ childhood friend of 25 years was also trying to get in on the monetary prize.

“A guy that I’d known for my whole life, one of my closest friends growing up, he had been shopping pictures of my baby around,” he explains. “I kind of got in front of it, which is good. But it was a slightly dark period. A bad couple of weeks.”

Ryan Reynolds GQ magazine
Peggy Sirota exclusively for GQ

Reynolds confronted him and the two had a “pretty strongly worded conversation” about his actions before the actor completely cut him out of his life.

“It was like a death. It was like one of those devastating things to find out,” he recalls. “I don’t think he thought he would ever be caught. But it’s a pretty narrow group of people that I would send photos like that to. They’re just, like, my closest family and my closest friends: ‘Here’s us in the delivery room!’ ”

Months later, the initial craze surrounding their family of three has finally died down.

“The whole thing becomes so absurd that all you can do is laugh about it and just go, ‘This isn’t the real world. This isn’t how real things work,’ ” he says. “But it happens to be happening right now. And it will pass. And it does. It passes. It all passed.”

Pick up PEOPLE’s 101 Sexiest Men Alive special edition, now in stores, or order here!

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting , Ryan Reynolds

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 42 comments

Sam on

If they show a picture of their child themselves they will take away the desire of the press to hound them. When you have fans showing a picture is the nice thing to do. All the secrecy around the wedding dress, baby pictures is getting old. Who cares really, life has gone on for everyone without it.

arabrabbra on

He is the epitome of SEXY. Just, drop dead gorgeous. And everything he says is RIGHT ON. I also have a crazy short fuse but found I have pretty much unlimited patience with my daughter.

PacificGirl on

Ok his friend is a real DB! How do you do that to someone you’ve known for 25 years?! He didn’t get the $$ and he lost a friend. Nice going loser.

maryhelenc on

How horrible!

Good for him for trying to give James privacy. They’re damned if they do & damned if they don’t. Blake & Ryan didn’t publish wedding photos, but when Blake posts photos, she’s a game shore. But when she doesn’t, she allegedly deserves to be hounded & just show us the baby. It’s almost sick.

veronicageorge7 on

wow! i can’t believe he life long friend did that! i hope he feels disgusted with himself for not respecting their privacy.
kudos to ryan and blake for being so awesome!

Staycee on

@Sam It’s also his child and he owes photos of her to absolutely no one. They have such little privacy as it is, why wouldn’t he be entitled to keep his own child private? Michael Jackson did it with Blanket for God knows how long. That’s also nothing new.

It’s his right as a parent and what happened to him should never happen to anyone. Ryan and Blake enjoy what privacy they do have, so I’m not surprised or bothered that they’ve chosen not to parade their child or sell photos of her to the world. Let them get used to being parents first and live their own lives.

Catherine on

I think its funny when people criticize him for not showing pictures of his kid, yet seem to have no issues with Kristin Bell and Dax Shepherd or Mike Fisher & Carrie Underwood doing the same thing… As parents they chose to be in the spotlight, but their children haven’t chosen that lifestyle. It’s their right as parents not to have photos of the kid all over the internet.

As a parent I rarely post photos of my kids on social media, even with privacy settings, I don’t want to find my kids photo being used by some random for who knows what.

Edie on

Horrible haircut. He looks dorky.

Anonymous on

Can’t stand him or his wife

Ami on

@maryhelenc
Exactly. Well said. Its a lose lose situation.
They’ll be pretty much attacked by agenda driven trolls who need something to gripe about.

America on

I think he should totally get douche of the year award.

Mia on

Who cares? He’s got months and months off in between “work” so why shouldn’t he get up in the middle of the night with his child? Try being a parent who works 52 weeks a year, 5 days a week, and has to get up at 6 am every day AND be up with a baby at night. Then you have something to be proud of! And NO, I am not a parent.

Don on

It blows me away when celebrities talk about the strains of having and caring for their children when they have personal assistants and nannies. Try being a parent like the rest of us. Whole different ball game.

Just a Duck on

He looks like he could use a shower, some clean clothes . . . and a nanny.

cyclone on

Maybe the fact that he is so closed off to the media (and to some extent his fans) is the reason he is not the bigger star people pegged him to be. You want to keep your kid out of pictures fine, but what was the big secret in revealing her name when she was born?

He is taking baby steps to be more open in the media, when he was married to ScarJo he never wanted his left hand to be photographed. It was always in his pocket or hidden away, I mean really? we all know you’re married. At least now, (witnessed by the picture above) he shows off his wedding ring finger. But he and Blake are rarely seen together, another thing he used to do with ScarJo and look how that turned out.

Sorry Ryan but if you want to be famous and be in this business for a long time, you have to play the game and it only gets worse the more you fight it.

Jen on

it’s not like you have to go work on a good movie…….

Bem on

So that makes you … normal! Congrats.

Mellie on

I think he’s adorable. I think he and Blake are a cute couple. Don’t care or the mixture of cuss words in a article for the public. I’m sure it doesn’t matter to many, but it shows a different side to him I don’t care for. Love how much he loves his baby girl and how much he loves being a dad. Not sure how I feel about their daughter’s name, but each to is own. Did he get a tattoo? I don’t like it.

Kimber on

I always have to laugh at celebrities seemingly thinking the lack of a nanny is some amazing thing. HELLO…that’s how normal people do it every day.

Jodie on

He is like a fine wine.. just gets better and better! Love that he loves his daughter so much.. also another thing.. there is nothing hotter than a dad who adores his child so much! Love him!

Marais on

If a nine-month-old is waking up five times a night, something is wrong.

Ami on

Lol. Ryan’s cute & funny.

Meme on

He doesn’t owe any of us a name or a photo. His job is being an actor and I doubt he decided to be an actor to be famous… We, the public, have made him famous. Also sure it isn’t amazing that he gets up with the baby but it is amazing for someone in Hollywood. I give him props for not just getting a nanny.

Powah on

LMAO. The power of Blake and Ryan. Look at how an innocuous, shade free, trash talk free, interview has somehow turned into foam mouthing bashing on him and his wife form the usuals who CAN’T stay away from their posts. The obsession is real .Lol

Kathy on

There is no need, ever, for them to show a picture of their child. Just because someone is famous, does not mean the public is entitled to their most private moments. Good for them for keeping her life separate from their careers.

lovely123 on

Okay, he is hotter than hot, BUT if I had a few million in the bank I wouldn’t worry about doing everything myself. Try doing everything yourself with THREE kids because dear sweet hubby decided to have a mid-life crisis and chase butterflies (aka: younger women). Life goes on! Ha!

Felicia on

If I had a job making millions of dollars in matter of weeks with the ability to take off as much time as I wanted to, I wouldn’t mind waking up 5 times at night for a kid either. Big whoop.

Anonymous on

I think it’s funny some of these comments on here…here is a guy just a very plain interview about how he’s enjoying raising his child…not a boat loads of nannies..and he’s criticized….how some of these celebrities that have a baby and blog about how going to work and trying to raise a child at the same time is difficult. ..welcome to the real world sweethearts…try paying for day care on a min wage job and no nannies on board..and here is this guy who is just so non celebrity. .it’s nice for a change. Sick of hearing about the Kardashian looser train or all the other garbage and b useless people floating around…I think his interview was light hearted and fun to read…

Margarita on

I used to like him. But the more he talks, the less I like him.He is trying to hard to win Daddy of the Year without “bragging”, yet that’s all he does.

MommyKelB on

Wow! How could someone do that to a close friend? I couldn’t imagine the betrayal. The most precious thing to him and for a lifelong friend to try and make a quick buck. Hopefully this saved him future trouble with that friend. Who knows if he had already leaked stories and made money off his famous friend. I couldn’t imagine having to end a friendship that close. At least he got in front of it before the intimact photos were out there.

Anne Ganrs on

It’s not a competition folks. The man simply expressed how much he liked being a parent. And many celebrities have nannies so it is rare from where he is sitting to raise your own kid. He uses curse words because men often do and he’s talking to GQ. It doesn’t matter if celebrities try to be relateable; people criticize anyway. He’s better off not saying anything.

Dayle on

I love Ryan Reynolds and it is obvious he loves being a dad but he has a serious potty mouth! You’re talking about you’re precious baby girl….say poop not Sh!t!

Lola on

All he ever talks about of his daughter is all the poops she has. Like that’s enough. Don’t show pics so don’t talk either. He’s just weird to me when he speaks of,his kid

Helen on

So Ryan, your daughter doesn’t have to wake up 5 times a night. That can totally change if you want it to! As a baby and child sleep consultant, I can teach you how to teach James to sleep all night for 11 to 12 hours! Helen

Anne Ganrs on

Eww. I sort of liked them until I read they got married at a slave plantation in S. Carolina! That’s a place of super bad, negative energy–not to mention insensitive. It’s as if someone got married at Auschwitz or something. As far as I’m concerned, the selling of the baby picture is karmic retribution. Why would you start your married life somewhere where hundreds of people have suffered????

Rachel on

Anne Ganrs — do you realize how many historic homes/buildings in this country once housed slaves, especially in the South?? I many honestly? If you think everyone who ever got married in a place where slaves were once forced to live or work is set to serve some sort of karmic retribution, then there are millions of people who are straight up screwed.

Marky on

Just for grins…This clown will never come close to being as famous, beloved, or revered as James Stewart, for instance, or Lucille Ball. Both of those people were known by everyone in this country, and for that matter almost the world. James Stewart was an actor who could sell out a theater just by being in a movie, let alone starring in it, and a WW2 bomber pilot, who stayed in the Reserves for a gazillion years.

Lucille Ball needs zero explanation. At the height of their fame, fans could walk up to their door, knock, and their kids would open the door, and hand out signed pictures! These actors today aren’t even that great and half of them are known because they were, or are, married to someone else who is about half good in one movie, and everything else they do stinks.

I think Ryan is funny on talk shows, but waaaay too full of himself, and neither he, nor his child are interesting enough for me to even care what the child looks like, or what his next film is. Nice he helps with the baby, as do many dads all over the world……

narky on

Duct tape is a good idea; I hope he didn’t get money from Ikea but he probably did. He is funny and sexy.

Van on

He is very funny LOL.

megan on

What a liar. People don’t get up five times a night to feed or change a 9 month old, unless it’s sick

Ilona on

he wants PRIVACY for his daughter ….. but he talks (with his wife) about his daughter all the time !!!! PFFFFFFFFFFF

Anonymous on

megan (and others who have said pretty much the same thing)- Considering his sense of humor, he was more than likely exaggerating.

llona- They’re proud parents, of course they’re going to talk about their daughter. Still doesn’t entitle us to pictures of her!