"I first met Ryan many years ago, and he struck me immediately as quick and warm and thoughtful, a gentleman in an era of foppish putzes, the unlikely love child of Mel Brooks and Dorothy Parker and Gary Cooper," Gyllenhaal writes. "He was also taller than me. Against my wishes, we became close friends."
Gyllenhaal references Reynolds' work in romantic comedies -- that wasn't always critically or commercially well-received -- before hitting it big with the Deadpool franchise. He notes that Reynolds put in the hard work to get the unconventional superhero film off the ground, and built "the house of Deadpool brick by brick."
"What we all want for our friends in this business is for the world to see what we see, and as actors, that only happens in a perfect storm of timing and the full luck," he shares. "After years of waiting and struggling to fit his unfortunate, pear-shaped physique into the skinny jeans of a conventional romantic lead, Ryan made his own luck with Deadpool."
"The remarkable success of Deadpool may have shocked the suits who took a chance on financing that ragtag superhero movie, but for the people who know and love Ryan, it was no surprise that the whole damn world rallied as soon as it had the chance to really see him: all of the edges and darkness, the crackerjack wit borne from a lifetime of sensitivity and sadness, and against all odds, the openness," he adds.
But aside from his career success, 37-year-old Gyllenhaal praised Reynolds for being a great husband to actress Blake Lively, and for being a wonderful dad to his two daughters -- 3-year-old James and 2-year-old Inez. He also poked fun at his pal owning Aviation American gin and being the spokesperson.
"For all of the effortlessness that Ryan projects, the man works tirelessly," he notes. "He writes all night so he can be present for his kids and wife all day (and thanks to Aviation gin, he can pull off the latter)."
"So often -- too often -- the wildly talented people of our world funnel the lion’s share of their energy into their work, but as good a writer and comedian as Ryan is, he is a better friend and father and husband," he continues. "And that, for me, is the true mark of power."