Written by Anna Sanders, CNN
Actor Ryan Reynolds received the Governor General’s Award (GGA) on Monday at Rideau Hall, a stunning government guesthouse in Ottawa.
The Canadian star, known for his role as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord in the recent “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, held the prestigious award for national merit in the arts.
Reynolds is the first actor to be awarded the award, which is bestowed by the Governor General of Canada, the country’s Queen Mother.
The Governor General of Canada, Sharon Johnston, presented the “Deadpool” star with the award on Monday in recognition of his “influence on the world of entertainment and the arts, both in Canada and internationally.”
Reynolds’ acceptance speech was issued by the Governor General of Canada, Sharon Johnston Credit: Courtesy Rideau Hall
Reynolds, 40, joked at the ceremony that at one point in his life, he had considered pursuing a career in politics.
“Some years ago, I had an interesting turn of events, kind of a wake-up call, that I still might have an interest in something like this,” he said.
“I became actively engaged with the G.G.A. and it literally changed my life.”
The Governor General of Canada, Sharon Johnston, with Ryan Reynolds Credit: Courtesy Rideau Hall
Despite it being an award given by the country’s government, the ceremony attracted quite a crowd — including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
“When I think of Ryan Reynolds, I think of his bold portrayal of Deadpool. And, you know, I think of his wit, and his sense of humor and his wit, he’ll tell you that,” Welby said.
“It’s in some ways similar to the kind of sense of humor of people like David Letterman, or my old mentor, the great Johnny Carson. So, I would say certainly the combination of his wit, his sharp humor, his speech skills — you know, and his ability to get on and be with people, you know, to help them understand the world and help the world understand him — that’s what makes him very dear to my heart.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury was one of the many celebrities to attend the Governor General’s Award ceremony. Credit: John E Davidson
In addition to his role in “Deadpool,” Reynolds played the title role in 2011’s “Green Lantern,” and has amassed other memorable movie roles over the last decade, such as Domino in “Deadpool 2,” and in “Green Lantern” itself.
The former “Van Wilder” star has also been busy promoting the upcoming big screen reboot of DC’s “Green Lantern.”
Hosting the ceremony was CBC Radio personality and award presenter Kirstine Stewart, who was also in attendance.