May 18, 2024

Unveiling the Influences: Discover the Three Actors Who Inspired Ryan Reynolds’s Performance in ‘The Proposal’

Ryan Reynolds’s performance in the romantic comedy film “The Proposal” opposite Sandra Bullock left audiences laughing and swooning. His portrayal of Andrew Paxton, an executive assistant reluctantly drawn into a fake marriage, was a delightful blend of humor and charm. While actors often draw inspiration from various sources and experiences, it’s intriguing to explore which actors might have influenced Reynolds’s approach to this iconic role. In this article, we’ll uncover the potential influences behind Ryan Reynolds’s performance in “The Proposal.”

1. Cary Grant: The Master of Wit and Charm

Cary Grant remains a timeless icon of classic Hollywood charm and wit. Known for his impeccable comedic timing and effortless charisma, Grant’s performances in screwball comedies like “Bringing Up Baby” and “His Girl Friday” set the standard for the genre. His ability to balance sophistication with slapstick humor was truly remarkable.

How Cary Grant’s Influence Shaped Andrew Paxton:

In the early scenes of “The Proposal,” Andrew Paxton is portrayed as a self-absorbed and sarcastic executive. The initial charm he exudes might be reminiscent of Cary Grant’s suave characters. Reynolds’s portrayal captures a similar sharpness and quick wit, allowing him to deliver Andrew’s biting one-liners with precision.

Much like Grant’s characters, Andrew’s journey in the film involves a transformation. Grant often played characters who, despite their initial aloofness, reveal vulnerability and a deeper emotional side. Similarly, Andrew’s character undergoes significant growth, making him more relatable and endearing to the audience.

2. Hugh Grant: The Endearing British Charmer

Hugh Grant is known for his signature blend of bumbling charm and witty humor in romantic comedies. Films like “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Notting Hill” showcased his ability to play endearing yet flawed characters who often find themselves in comical situations.

How Hugh Grant’s Influence Shaped Andrew Paxton:

As Andrew Paxton’s character develops throughout the film, we witness a shift in his personality from an initially self-centered executive to a more relatable and vulnerable individual. This transformation mirrors the arc of many characters portrayed by Hugh Grant.

Grant’s characters are often likable despite their flaws, a quality that Andrew Paxton shares. Ryan Reynolds channels this endearing quality, making Andrew’s journey from cynicism to vulnerability believable and heartwarming.

3. Humphrey Bogart: The Brooding Icon with Hidden Humor

Humphrey Bogart, known for his brooding screen presence and memorable roles in films like “Casablanca,” might seem like an unlikely influence on a romantic comedy. However, Bogart possessed a unique ability to convey emotion and humor through subtlety and restraint.

How Humphrey Bogart’s Influence Shaped Andrew Paxton:

As “The Proposal” progresses, Andrew Paxton’s character undergoes significant emotional development, particularly as he forms a genuine romantic connection with Sandra Bullock’s character, Margaret Tate. In these moments, Reynolds subtly conveys a depth of emotion and vulnerability that is reminiscent of Bogart’s performances.

Bogart’s characters often had a hidden sense of humor, revealed through dry wit and subtle expressions. Similarly, Reynolds infuses Andrew Paxton with moments of humor that stem from authenticity and genuine emotional connection.


While actors often draw inspiration from a wide range of sources and experiences, the influences of Cary Grant, Hugh Grant, and Humphrey Bogart can be detected in Ryan Reynolds’s portrayal of Andrew Paxton in “The Proposal.” These legendary actors each contributed a unique element to the character’s development and evolution throughout the film.

Cary Grant’s sharp wit and charisma informed Andrew’s initial portrayal as a self-absorbed executive. Hugh Grant’s endearing charm inspired the character’s journey toward vulnerability and relatability. Humphrey Bogart’s subtlety and hidden humor influenced the moments of depth and authenticity in Andrew’s character.

Ultimately, Ryan Reynolds’s performance in “The Proposal” is a testament to his versatility as an actor. He skillfully combines these influences while adding his own unique comedic timing and charm to create a character that is both memorable and endearing. “The Proposal” remains a beloved romantic comedy, thanks in no small part to Reynolds’s delightful portrayal of Andrew Paxton.

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