Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
August 25, 1987
2005 - Present
Currently Known For:
Gossip Girl, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Green Lantern and The Shallows
“My husband and I are really shy people who express ourselves best when we’re acting, when we’re hiding as someone else. So, the fact that very shy people have to share that shy person with the world—and are sometimes hurt by it—it’s very weird emotionally.” With her mother working as a talent scout and her father and siblings working as actors in Los Angeles, it wasn’t a huge leap for Blake Lively to join her family in the entertainment business. Spending most of her childhood in acting classes taught by her parents, Lively made her official debut at 10 years old in the 1998 film Sandman, but was hesitant to continue in the business and even considered enrolling at Stanford University before her older brother, Eric, encouraged her to go on a handful of auditions, one of which happened to be for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Winning the part as Bridget in the 2005 film, Lively’s career was born with the 30-year-old now one of Hollywood’s hottest leading ladies who’s proven she can have it all after tying the knot and starting a family with Deadpool star, Ryan Reynolds!
Blake Ellender Brown was born on August 25, 1987 in the Los Angeles suburb of Tarzana to an actor and a talent scout who were well-versed in the entertainment industry and encouraged all their children—Eric, Blake, Lori and Robyn—to pursue acting careers of their own. “I’ve never worked with an acting coach, but my parents had acting classes and I grew up around them my whole life just because I didn’t have a babysitter,” Lively recalled of her childhood. “I’m actually a very shy person—that’s a big secret, so don’t tell—but being in those classes pushed me to break out of that a little bit. It’s like nature versus nurture: I’m naturally very shy, but I was brought up in a way where I had to get up and get out of that.”
Overcoming her shyness, Lively made her debut in her father’s 1998 film, Sandman, and was ready to give up acting by the time she reached Burbank High School when her older brother, Eric, encouraged her to start auditioning. Having never auditioned before and not knowing what to expect, Lively’s audition for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was memorable because she simply walked in, handed the casting directors her photograph, and left. Even then, the director knew Lively was perfect and cast her in the role of Bridget in what would mark the beginning of Lively’s career as she took home a Teen Choice Award nomination and went on to star in Accepted and Elvis and Anabelle. She then made her way to television where she took on the role of a lifetime as Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl.
Initially turning down the part with plans to enroll at Stanford University, Lively ultimately accepted the gig and became a teen icon as she graced the cover of Cosmo Girl and reprised her role as Bridget in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 in 2008. She cashed in on her growing fame and appeared in flicks like New York, I Love You and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. In 2011, both her career and her personal life took on a new direction when she was cast as Carol Ferris opposite Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern.
“It was nice for me that this was a studio that wasn’t looking for some girl to have her legs greased up and her boobs out—and that was all that mattered,” Lively said of the film. “I imagined that no one else knew anything about Green Lantern. As soon as I got the role, I was humbled about how naïve I was. They were grilling me about Star Sapphire and Hector Hammond and how many Green Lanterns are going to show up. All I could say was, ‘What are you guys talking about?’”
Quickly learning more about the Green Lantern, Lively also felt sparks fly behind the scenes when she and Ryan Reynolds became fast friends on the set and started dating in October 2011. As Lively wrapped up Gossip Girl in 2012, she settled down with Reynolds in Bedford, New York and later tied the knot on September 9, 2012. Over the last five years, the couple has become one of Hollywood’s favorite matches especially since they started a family of their own with the birth of daughters James Reynolds on December 16, 2014 and Inez Reynolds on September 28, 2016.
Even with two young daughters at home, Lively continues to work while she and Reynolds keep their promise to always balance their schedules and travel as a family. “I admire people who find that what fulfills them is their art or their work, but what fulfills both me and my husband is our family,” Lively says. “Knowing that, everything else comes second. We’ve each given up stuff we loved in order to not work at the same time. I’m fortunate to be in a place now where I get to find the material—a book or script—early and develop it. So, I know ahead of time that I’m going to be working on this job at this time and we can plan around it.”
Doing exactly that and planning around projects like The Shallows, All I See Is You, A Simple Favor and The Rhythm Selection, Lively manages to keep a firm footing in the spotlight even if she doesn’t mean to thanks to social media and her husband’s notorious Twitter account, which keeps her laughing. When asked about one of his tweets—“My daughter gets so pumped watching Disney films. She loves that they all have singing, dancing and a part when the parents die”—Lively admits that the tweets are only meant to be funny and not factual. “Everything is a completely made-up scenario,” she says. “He’ll run them by me sometime just to make me laugh. But oh, I’m so in love with him when he writes that stuff.”
With Lively still madly and deeply in love with Reynolds after five years of marriage, it’s no wonder why the 30-year-old is often asked about her relationship—after all, they are one of Tinsel Town’s hottest couples. But, for Lively, she says their marriage is simple—they’re best friends—and that they bring their problems to one another rather than take them to others. And, at the end of the day, their love comes easy because they share a priority—their family. “All my eggs are in one basket, and it’s my family,” Lively says. “That’s where my heart is. That’s where my everything is.”