Deadpool is one of the more popular superheroes in the Marvel universe, especially after Ryan Reynolds brought him to life in the two recent movies that hit theaters. The potty-mouthed antihero is heavily scarred — a trait that’s easy to see when he’s not wearing his suit and mask — and he doesn’t let that stop him from kicking butt, finding love, and generally being super, super cool.
Among the fans who have been inspired by Deadpool is 21-year-old Johnny Quinn: a burn survivor (or, as he puts it, burn thriver) who’s a motivational speaker and bodybuilder. Johnny was just four years old in 2003 when the family dog knocked over a candle in the barn he was playing in. His sister pulled him from the blaze and saved his life, but Johnny still suffered burns to 95 percent of his body. He was placed in a coma for six months, and when he awoke, he worked his hardest to complete physical therapy and live his best life, and he’s been successfully doing so ever since.
Now, Johnny uses his story to inspire others, and he’s found some inspiration of his own in Deadpool’s story. Johnny decided to cosplay as the Marvel character and tagged Ryan Reynolds himself.
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It would make my dream come true if @vancityreynolds got to see this post! I learned to do the splits just for this photo. Deadpool has honestly made me way more confident. Anyone who has read or watched anything about Deadpool, knows his face and body are pretty messed up. So it’s only natural that I cosplay him. I wanted to be authentic as possible, and that was to not wear a mask. It’s so easy to cover up who I am, and to give In to despair. Deadpool just makes me not care about that stuff and show my true self. This is me, and I’m not Ashamed about it. Deadpool is icy clean, and he’s helped my self esteem so much. I’m owning who I am, and cosplaying Deadpool makes it that much easier.
Though Ryan’s a busy guy with a lot of fans trying to get his attention, he managed to see Johnny’s post… and left him the most heartwarming message ever on it.
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@vancityreynolds you’ve changed my life. I really hope I can meet you one day. Back when I was first burned my parents had a really rough time cuz I was just so “Lit”😳🔥haha some people just couldn’t take the heat, but I could 😉 I’m so thankful for all you guys reaching out to @vancityreynolds to notice me. I’m still in shock trying to process it. This has been the biggest blessing. All my efforts fulfilled. Ryan Reynolds knows I exist and I can sleep at night as the happiest dude ever hahaha this is so cool. I love you all so much. I couldn’t of done it with out all your support. You all mean so much to me. 💙💙💙💙💙💙💙
The response from the actor obviously brought a lot of joy to Johnny, who was absolutely rocking his Deadpool outfit.
Much like Deadpool himself, Johnny is charming, witty, and has an iron will to live. And we think he’s doing a darn good job at it.
While we’re sure he didn’t need Ryan’s validation to know that his cosplay is awesome, we know he’ll always remember the day the actor who plays his favorite not-hero was inspired by his words (and costume).
Make sure you follow this burn “thriver” on his journey!