Long before he was Mr. Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds was a comedic actor whose charming awkwardness made women everywhere laugh—whether he was chatting about sex over pizza on “Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place,” or playing the namesake role in 2002′s college-humor hit “Van Wilder.”
Reynolds celebrated his 37th birthday yesterday, which made us nostalgic for the days when he was more nerd than stud. We took a look back through the Ryan archives and found this gem of a photo, which was taken in 1999, when the Canada native was just 23. This is how early-20s Ryan chose to dress for the Hollywood film premiere of “Election.” He had only been in the public eye for about a year, with “Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place” about to hit the small screen and make him a household name.
As far as we’re concerned, Ryan is still the slightly squishy, hilariously awkward guy we met during the first half of his career, before he started taking his shirt off and fighting ’til the death in flicks like “Blade” and “Green Lantern.” (Although we have to say, we certainly don’t mind the new, stud-muffin version of him either.)
Happy late birthday, Ryan!