British Columbia·Video

Ryan Reynolds surprises Vancouver students with virtual grad speech and free pizza

In a video shared online, the Hollywood actor encouraged students at Kitsilano Secondary to practise compassion.

In an online video, the Hollywood actor encouraged students at Kitsilano Secondary to practise compassion

Ryan Reynolds surprises students with virtual grad speech

2 years ago
Duration 0:17
The Deadpool star shared a few jokes — and heartwarming anecdotes — for the graduating class of Kitsilano Secondary School.

Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds surprised students at a Vancouver secondary school Friday with a virtual graduation speech. 

The Deadpool star addressed the graduating class of Kitsilano Secondary School with a four-minute online video, where he cracked some jokes, dropped a few F-bombs, and revealed each of the 300 students would be gifted a free large pizza from a local pizzeria.

Traditional graduation ceremonies are on hold this year, due to measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

"Kits was the best thing that ever happened to me up until that point," said Reynolds, who attended the school for two years and graduated in 1994.

"To this day, I'm still friends with so many people I graduated with, so that says something."

Watch the full speech:

Reynolds previously attended Prince of Wales Secondary School, where he said he was kicked out. 

He cited a current teacher at Kitsilano Secondary, Jonah Eckert, as one of his old friends.

"I remember when we were graduating, he was super excited because he was going to start a money laundering operation with the cartel in southern Mexico," Reynolds joked.

"But I guess becoming a teacher was plan B?" 

The actor went on to encourage students to practise compassion every day.

"Validating someone else's experience or point of view is just about the most radical act of ambition that you can ever demonstrate," he said. 

"To my surprise, this has made me money, friends and priceless memories."

Ranjit Bains, principal of Kitsilano Secondary, said the video was planned by Reynolds and some of the school staff in the last few days. Students were alerted Friday with a link.

"Our students are buzzing with excitement," she said. "It's providing some positivity, some encouragement and an inspiring message."

She said Reynolds also gifted pizzeria gift cards to the school staff. 

The school hasn't firmed up revised plans yet for a graduation ceremony, which is normally set for the end of June, Bains said.

"Hopefully, we will see our graduates very soon, and will be celebrating our graduating class."

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