It’s been almost eight years since Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively exchanged their ‘I dos,’ and they are still reckoning with their decision to hold their ceremony and reception at the Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant, SC. “It’s something we’ll always be deeply and unreservedly sorry for,” the Deadpool actor, 43, shared in a new interview with Fast Company. “It’s impossible to reconcile.”
The decision Ryan and Blake, 32, made to have their wedding on a former slave plantation didn’t initially cross their minds, nor the response it would invoke from their legions of fans, admirers, and coworkers. “What we saw at the time was a wedding venue on Pinterest. What we saw after was a place built upon devastating tragedy,” Ryan continued.“Years ago we got married again at home—but shame works in weird ways,” the actor admitted. Ryan qualified the couple’s decision as “a giant f**king mistake,” saying that the choice, “can either cause you to shut down or it can reframe things and move you into action. It doesn’t mean you won’t f**k up again. But re-patterning and challenging lifelong social conditioning is a job that doesn’t end.”
In the months since the deaths of Black citizens like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement, the site of Ryan and Blake’s wedding and subsequent discussions of it have resurfaced online. The couple, however, wants to be a part of the solution, and they each donated $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. In May, they also donated another $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, posting a message on their social media accounts that they, “want to educate ourselves about other people’s experiences and talk to our kids about everything, all of it…especially our own complicity.”
As for his work with Maximum Effort Productions, Ryan is putting a focus on inclusion in the workplace. “Representation and diversity need to be completely immersive,” he shared with Fast Company. “It needs to be embedded at the root of storytelling, and that’s in both marketing and Hollywood. When you add perspective and insight that isn’t your own, you grow. And you grow your company, too.” Since their 2012 wedding, Ryan and Blake have welcomed three daughters — James, 5, Inez, 3, and Betty, born in October 2019.