Ahead of the release of his new film, Deadpool 2, which hits Irish cinemas on Wednesday week, Ryan Reynolds participated in an in-depth interview with The New York Times.

During it the actor revealed that he has been plagued with nervousness, fear and anxiety throughout his life.

“I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety,” he explained, noting that he still feels like he’s about to throw up before every talk-show appearance. “Both in the light-hearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.”

To help cope with the anxiety during major press tours now, Reynolds conducts most of his interviews in-character, acting as Deadpool instead of himself.

“When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead, and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set,” he said.

“That’s that great self-defence mechanism,” Reynolds continued. “I figure if you’re going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly.”

Reynolds admitted that following the success of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, a sitcom he starred in in his 20s, he entered a “real unhinged phase” and self-medicated to deal with crippling anxiety. However, he stopped when a few friends died of overdoses.

In an interview with Variety last year, Reynolds also spoke about his anxiety and revealed that his wife, Blake Lively, helped him deal with the stress of working on the first Deadpool movie. “Blake helped me through that,” he said. “I’m lucky to have her around just to keep me sane.”