By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
Having proven his chops at acting since the 1990s, “Deadpool” actor Ryan Reynolds also has been starring in recent years as a savvy marketer and businessman — as displayed in this week’s acquisition of Mint Mobile by T-Mobile.
Reynolds is a quarter owner of Mint Mobile, for which T-Mobile is shelling out $1.35 billion to acquire. In reporting on the telecom deal Thursday, BBC News/Seattle estimated that Reynolds himself will gain more than $300 million from the move.
Add that to a Reynolds net worth that Cosmopolitan in December placed at $150 million, from both acting and business endeavors, and you might say 2023 promises to be quite a year for the 46-year-old, Canadian-born thespian and entrepreneur.
“I never dreamt I’d own a wireless company and I certainly never dreamt I’d sell it to T-Mobile,” Reynolds tweeted to his 20-million-plus followers on Twitter when the deal was officially announced Wednesday.
“Life is strange and I’m incredibly proud and grateful.”
What else is making 2023 a “proud and grateful” year for Reynolds thus far? For more starters, he and his wife, actress Blake Lively, to whom he was married in 2012, welcomed their fourth child into their stable this past Super Bowl Sunday.
“It’s a zoo over here,” Reynolds told CNBC the day after the birth, in a virtual interview from the Reynoldses’ upper New York estate. “This is my office here and to be honest I’ll probably spend the rest of my life in here.”
From Acting to the Business and Marketing Worlds
Reynolds’ acting career began in 1990 with a Nickleodeon series, “Fifteen,” which was taped in Florida with other Canadian actors.
Interestingly enough, he had a side gig in the business world at the same time — as a newspaper delivery person. That youthful role would pay him up to $150 a day.
“For me, I thought I was like a gajillionaire,” Reynolds said in a 2018 interview on a daytime chat show. “For a 150 bucks a day it was like a dream come true.”
After landing the role as Berg in “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” in the later ‘90s, Reynolds’ acting career would take off in such films as “Deadpool 2,” “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” “The Adam Project” and “Free Guy.”
He recently started shooting “Deadpool 3,” in which his Merc character goes up against Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. It’s set for a 2024 release.
But, as Cosmopolitan notes, it’s Reynolds’ roles as promoter, pitchman and marketer in recent years that have really turned him into a businessman extraordinaire.
“Let’s see,” the magazine said in December when reporting on Reynolds’ then net worth, “… first we have Aviation Gin, which Ryan owns a stake in. It’s unclear how big his stake is, but the company was recently sold for $610 million and Ryan got a big slice of that pie.
“He also co-founded Maximum Effort Productions and Maximum Effort Marketing, which was responsible for that viral post-Mr. Big’s death Pelaton ad.”
Reynolds, Mint Recently Ventured Into ChatGPT
Rumors about a possible T-Mobile and Mint Mobile deal began to swirl in January, about the same time Reynolds and Mint ran an ad using the newest artificial intelligence tool, ChatGPT.
In the ad, Reynolds supposedly gives ChatGPT a few instructions for what he wants, and the tool’s speeding results give him a nearly instantaneous script for an ad that certainly sounds like a real TV commercial.
Reynolds calls the results, seen here on YouTube, “mildly terrifying, but compelling.”
“Though we don’t know if Reynolds really used ChatGPT to generate the Mint Mobile script,” surmised software-maker HubSpot, but “the video offers a glimpse into how marketers can use AI tools to streamline their efforts and describes how many people feel about the possibilities of artificial intelligence — mildly terrified but compelled.”
We doubt that AI will ever scare Reynolds, who with his inner Deadpool Merc spirit will keep fans watching for what his business and technology acumen might develop next while he works in his zoo-like office at home.