Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds was awarded Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainer of the Year at the 22nd annual Critics Choice Awards Sunday evening, where he dedicated the award to two Canadian children who lost their lives to cancer.
The Deadpool actor, who was nominated for two awards that night, delivered a touching speech.
“Deadpool was an 11-year odyssey for me to get up here. It resonated with a lot of people, the character that I play had cancer and some people this character resonated with were sick kids,” Reynolds said at the beginning of his acceptance speech.
Reynolds, who hails from Vancouver, plays crass Canadian superhero Wade Wilson (aka. Deadpool) in the Marvel comedy. He stars as a silver-tongued mercenary who goes through a rogue medical experiment that cures his cancer but leaves him disfigured.
Reynolds first dedicated the award to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Sick Kids Foundation of Toronto. “Two incredible organizations that do so much for so many kids in need.”
Ryan then also dedicated the award to Connor McGrath and Grace Bowen, two Canadian children whose dream was to meet the actor.
“They didn’t lose the battle, but they started a fight and it’s up to us to finish it,” Reynolds said in his speech.
In January, Reynolds travelled to Edmonton to meet 13-year-old Connor McGrath, who was battling leukemia.
With just a handful of other people, Connor got an early screening of Deadpool with Reynolds and said when the actor left, he promised to keep in touch and held true to his word, exchanged emails. Connor died three months later on April 26.
Reynolds met nine-year-old Grace Bowen, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, in 2014. Two years ago at Canada’s Walk of Fame, Reynolds rushed the stage to hug and kiss the young Grafton, Ont., girl. She died a year later.
Watch Below: Ryan Reynolds reflects on meeting Grace Bowen, a 9-year-old girl who lost her hard-fought battle with cancer.
Channeling his inner Deadpool, Reynolds also thanked the executives at 20th Century Fox for having the “foresight to see that children all over the world needed a sex-positive superhero running around in a big red body condom in the midst of a highly militarized shame spiral.”
On Monday, Reynolds was nominated for a Golden Globe award in the best actor in a motion picture, musical, or comedy category. Deadpool was nominated for Best Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy.