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Get the tissues ready.
The pair met earlier in the year through the Make-A-Wish foundation, a charity that grants wishes to children with life-threatening conditions. Connor’s wish was to see Deadpool (which is rated R), and when Reynolds caught wind of the wish, he did him one better: The actor brought an advanced cut of the movie up to Connor in Edmonton, Alberta, and the two watched it together.
“But this kid,” Reynolds wrote. “…He was smart. He was funny. And not just funny ‘for a kid’—or funny ‘for a person battling something awful.’ He was unqualified funny. He had that… thing.”
Reynolds described their time together fondly:
Because of his wish, Connor was the first person to see Deadpool. I traveled up to Edmonton, Alberta to surprise him with a rough cut of the film. There were still huge sections with wires we hadn’t yet painted out, jokes which weren’t working (and still aren’t) and green screens. Connor didn’t seem to mind. And I’d never felt luckier to get to be Wade Wilson.
Before you jump down my throat for showing a 13 year old an R-Rated film, please know this kid knew more swear words than a British chef.
I went back to Edmonton 6 weeks later and I wish I could say things were looking up. After my visit, I didn’t know if I was saying goodbye or see ya later. Sitting here now, I realize it was both.
I’m grateful I got to orbit Connor’s world for a brief time. Grateful for the pages and pages of hilarious texts between us. Grateful to his parents for allowing Connor to spend time with a foul-mouthed child in the body of a 39 year old.
I called Connor, “Bubba.” And he called me “Bubba2.” We met because he loved Deadpool. In a certain sense he WAS Deadpool. Or, at least everything Deadpool aspires to be; balancing pain, fearlessness, love and a filthy (filthy!) sense of humor in one body. I wish he could’ve stuck around a lot longer.
You can donate to the Make-A-Wish foundation on their website.
H/T Fox 13
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.