Story at a glance

  • Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have donated more than a million dollars to coronavirus efforts since the outbreak began.
  • Reynolds joined Stephen Colbert on his show via video call as they both chatted from home.
  • Two of the actor's companies have also announced efforts to aid those hurt by the pandemic.

What does staying at home during a pandemic look like for a Hollywood celebrity? For Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, it has involved gardening, making dresses out of tissue paper with their three daughters, drinking and donating more than $1 million to coronavirus relief efforts. 

Reynolds and Lively have donated $1 million to food banks in the United States and Canada and $40,000 to hospitals in New York, where they live. 

“I do think it's incumbent upon those who can give back to do so particularly at a time like this,” Reynolds told Colbert over a video call. “People are struggling to pay rent, they're struggling to buy food, and food I think is a national security issue, and pretty much treating people in this country with dignity and respect and that's part of the integrity of democracy.”

Reynolds is also giving back through Aviation American Gin and Mint Mobile, both of which he has a stake in. Mint Mobile is giving free data to its customers during the pandemic, which Reynolds said is "an essential service" in times of emergency. 

"I think most companies, if they can, need to be doing something, they need to be giving back in some way," he said. 


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Aviation Gin has started a $15,000 tab for service workers in the United States and a $10,000 tab in Canada and is donating 30 percent of the proceeds from every bottle sold to the United States Bartenders Guild.  

Reynolds, who worked in the service industry when he was younger, said, “Working in the service industries and working in a grocery store midnight until 8 a.m., I think those jobs taught me more about working in Hollywood than almost anything I've ever done." 

The couple’s philanthropy isn’t new. In September 2019, they donated $2 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Young Center for Immigrant Children in order to support social justice and the rights of migrant children separated from their families. The Marvel superhero actor is worth about $75 million, while Lively is worth about $16 million. 

Reynolds, who is originally from Canada, also spoke about his father, who was a boxer and a police officer before dying from pneumonia. 

"Pneumonia is very serious. It can take out the toughest of us and it certainly got my dad, so coronavirus is a serious thing," he said. "I keep seeing young people talk about it like it's not really their problem and, my god, it's their problem."

The actor was filming a movie before the outbreak, but returned home after production was stopped, where he is following New York’s stay at home order with his wife, children and mother-in-law. 

"Going forward, I don't know why any of us need to return to normalcy," he joked. 


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Published on Apr 02, 2020