Taking on the role of a popular superhero in any big Hollywood blockbuster comes with a lot of responsibility. And a few actors have taken that notion to heart. Earlier this week, we saw Robert Downey Jr. visit sick kids in a London hospital while he was in town to promote Captain America: Civil War. Other Avengers have done similar charity appearances to cheer up and support those who aren't able to make it to the theatre or need a little extra good will in their lives. While Deadpool might be a swarthy anti-hero, Ryan Reynolds has also upheld this fine tradition, inviting a number of ill children to the Vancouver set while filming of the movie was happening in 2015. Sadly, one of the Marvel comics biggest fans has passed away. And today, the actor remembered his friend with a deeply touching and very moving tribute on Facebook.
Ryan Reynolds' tribute is in honor of Connor McGrath's memory. The 13-year-old Wade Wilson super fan sadly passed away earlier this week in Edmonton, Canada after battle cancer for three years. Reynolds first met the young Connor in February through the Make-A-Wish foundation. The actor traveled to Edmonton to surprise McGrath in person. He also showed the boy a rough cut of the superhero movie, with his parents' okay, or course, as the movie is R-rated. Here is Reynolds full tribute.
For three straight years, my friend, Connor McGrath drop-kicked cancer...Not sure how...Maybe the cancer cheated...But the fight came to an end two nights ago. In my wildest dreams, I can't imagine how hard this is for his parents Kim and Gerald - along with his extended family in Newfoundland. Connor was 13. But this kid...He was smart. He was funny. And not just funny 'for a kid' - or funny 'for a person battling something awful'. He was unqualified funny. He had that...Thing. That thing you see in great performers or comedy writers. A running commentary/observational skill people are just lucky to be born with. He went way too early and it's impossible to reconcile. Connor was a great friend, a great son, and a light to the people lucky enough to know him. While repeatedly punching cancer in the balls, he made everyone laugh. Including the entire staff who cared for him at Edmonton's Stollery Children's Hospital. It was the Make-A-Wish Foundation that brought us together. I can't thank them enough. Seriously. Thank you. Because of his wish, Connor was the first person to see Deadpool. I traveled up to Edmonton, Alberta to surprise him with a rough cut of the film. There were still huge sections with wires we hadn't yet painted out, jokes which weren't working (and still aren't) and green screens. Connor didn't seem to mind. And I'd never felt luckier to get to be Wade Wilson.***Before you jump down my throat for showing a 13 year old an R-Rated film, please know this kid knew more swear words than a British chef. I went back to Edmonton 6 weeks later and I wish I could say things were looking up. After my visit, I didn't know if I was saying goodbye or see ya later. Sitting here now, I realize it was both. I'm grateful I got to orbit Connor's world for a brief time. Grateful for the pages and pages of hilarious texts between us. Grateful to his parents for allowing Connor to spend time with a foul-mouthed child in the body of a 39 year old. I called Connor, "Bubba". And he called me "Bubba2". We met because he loved Deadpool. In a certain sense he WAS Deadpool. Or, at least everything Deadpool aspires to be; balancing pain, fearlessness, love and a filthy (filthy!) sense of humor in one body. I wish he could've stuck around a lot longer. If you'd like to donate to The Make-A-Wish Foundation, I can pretty much guarantee, your money's going to a damn good place. These people do not suck. They are heroic. Full stop Donate Here. My deepest condolences and thanks to Kim, Gerald and the entire clan McGrath -- who loved this little boy so very well. And thankfully, Connor knew it. See ya down the road, Bubba. -r."
In may of 2015, Ryan Reynolds worked with the Make-A-Wish foundation to ensure that several kids could come visit him on set during the filming of Deadpool. One youngster included Tony Acevedo, suffering from Hodgkin's Disease, who was invited to try on Deadpool's mask. And earlier in the shoot, the actor welcomed 15-year-old Calista King to set, after she had recovered from having a large brain tumor removed. The young girl was awarded one of Deadpool's prized katana swords that was actually used in the shooting of the movie.
Ryan Reynolds is already confirmed to return as Wade Wilson in Deadpool 2. And he will continue to work with the Make-A-Wish foundation when shooting on that movie begins. No production start date has been announced yet. It has been rumored that the movie will begin production later this year. The actor started shooting his latest movie The Hitman's Bodyguard earlier this week. He stars opposite Samuel L. Jackman. You can take a look at Ryan Reynolds full Facebook message below.