Back when Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively revealed the name of their first daughter, James Reynolds, many people questioned the decision, wondering why they would give their daughter a traditionally male name. Was it a forward step in casting aside gender norms? Was it about getting in on the trend of celebrities giving their children unique names? As it turns out, neither of those theories are close to the truth. Reynolds just revealed the real reason he named his daughter James, and honestly, it’s going to make you tear up a bit.
When previously asked about the name, Reynolds had joked around, saying, “In the spectrum of weird celebrity baby names, I feel like we’re not really breaking any new ground here. I mean, I didn’t call her Summer Squash Meadowlark, or something. I also thought of just going with all the letters being silent in her name, so it would just be ‘Haa.'”
This time, though, Reynolds had a moment of sincerity during an interview with Mr. Porter. He opened up about his family life and talked about his relationship with his father, which, he revealed, Lively helped him mend.
He also explained where the name “James” came from: it was his dad’s name, and so his first daughter is named after her late grandfather.
How sweet is that? Hold the tears, though, because it gets even more sentimental.
Reynolds talked about how he had grown up in a “lower-middle-class family in Vancouver, the youngest of four boys,” admitting that he had a “complicated” and “fractured” relationship with his father, who was a “former cop, former boxer, full-time landmine.” He also said that he was “twitchy” as a kid and that he has lived with a lot of anxiety since then. Reynolds got quite candid, saying,
After getting together with Lively, she helped Reynolds fix his broken relationship with his dad before his father died in 2015 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. The reconciliation inspired the couple to name their first daughter James.
Reynolds said, “It felt right. All family relationships come with some complications. For better or worse, all roads lead to here. At the end of the day, it’s easier to focus on the good stuff than the bad.” He added that his father died after his daughter was born, but that she was able to meet her grandfather.