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Ryan Reynolds: From actor to business mogul

Deadpool's business empire includes a football club, a gin company and a F1 team

Ryan Reynolds at the FYC event for
Ryan Reynolds has built a business empire. (Getty Images)

Ryan Reynolds was once Van Wilder but now he's one of the biggest names in Hollywood with a business empire that's more Warren Buffet than Donald Trump.

With fellow actor Rob McElhenney, it's been announced they have become part of a 200 million euros (around £172m) investment in a Formula One team, representing a 24% stake in Alpine Racing, who sit fifth in the rankings.

But how did he get to this point? We look back on the Canadian star's rise to superstardom.

Deadpool rises

Deadpool (Credit: Fox)
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. (Fox)

His name used to be synonymous with movies that were mainly very, very terrible (he was named one of Forbes' 'most overpaid actors' in 2014) but something changed when the Canadian took his career into his own hands.

Reynolds' long-gestating passion project was of course Deadpool. He had originally played the character in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine but after that film was poorly received, Reynolds and director Tim Miller set about creating something closer to the comic.

Read more: Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenny donate to Wrexham girl's cancer fund

The rest as we know is history. 2016's Deadpool broke box-office records, changed the game for r-rated superhero films (Joker says thank you) and turned Reynolds into a juggernaut.

Taking control

The success of Deadpool saw Reynolds take greater creative control over his projects, setting up his own production company – Maximum Effort – which would oversee the majority of his films going forward. The company would also be behind adverts for companies such as Peloton.

Reynolds also decided to jump head first into the business world when he acquired a stake in Aviation American Gin. Reynolds would not be the first star to team up with a beverage company (Sean Combs, 50 Cent, Matthew McConaughey) but the Green Lantern star would also take a creative role in the business.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Ryan Reynolds hosts a private cocktail reception at HIDE in Mayfair, London, to celebrate his recent acquisition of Aviation; an American craft gin brand of which he is now Owner and Creative Director.
Ryan Reynolds is now Owner and Creative Director at Aviation. (PA)

Just over two years later, beverage giant Diageo announced they were purchasing Aviation for $610m.

Kick off

Reynolds' next high profile business venture was purchasing Wrexham AFC with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney. The duo's ownership of the oldest club in Wales has proven popular with fans due to their attendance at matches, investment in the team and their engagement with the local community.

The two actors' purchase of the football club was detailed in Disney backed documentary Welcome to Wrexham.

File photo dated 22-04-2023 of Wrexham co-owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds. Wrexham’s historic Racecourse Ground will become known as the SToK Racecourse under the terms of a new sponsorship deal brokered by the duo. Issue date: Thursday May 25, 2023.
Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney celebrating Wrexham's promotion. (Alamy)

Reynolds' sporting pursuits didn't end there as he was in negotiations to purchase NHL team Ottawa Senators but eventually withdrew despite him being a fan of the team.

But just this week it was announced that Reynolds and McElhenney would be joining forces again to purchase a stake in Formula 1 team Alpine. The duo would buy 24% of the company in a deal allegedly worth around $200m.

The team is considered one of the sport's more mediocre units with only three podium finishes in its history.

Away from sport, Reynolds also bought a significant state in Mint Mobile that was recently bought out by T-Mobile as part of a cash and stock deal worth up to $1.35bn (£1.1bn), but the corporation is keeping the actor on as a spokesperson and in a creative capacity.

With a diverse portfolio that spans tech start-ups, sports teams and alcohol, Reynolds has proven to be one of the most astute businessmen in Hollywood (his net worth it said to be around the $350m mark) and adding in his eight figure acting salaries, one of the wealthiest.

Watch: Ryan Reynolds is getting in the F1 game